Some 40 netizens who are noted for their fast-paced lifestyle forgot the usual fastfood for a while as they took a break from their busy schedules to savor a gastronomic treat through Tabu-an lunch eyeball at Iloilo Central Market June 17.

They feasted on seafoods and specialty Ilonggo cuisines set on a buffet boodle fight session organized by Facebook group Discover Panay Island by Hawili Hurom (DPI).

It was the second time DPI members met to experience Tabu-an, a dine-out concept of famous Ilonggo chef Rafael “Tibong” Jardeleza.

“In this age of fastfood and Facebook, we are giving the guests the chance to get a taste of Ilonggo cooking. Tabu-an is becoming popular particularly with DPI group which has many members spreading the word about the scrumptious food being served,” Tibong stressed.

“We are offering the diners and visitors a healthy cooking fresh from catch of the day and native delicacies in a unique ambiance inside the public market,” he added.

Tibong first made Tabu-an (food market) public in November 2011 with the maiden edition of regional cooking contest sizzled at garden area of Esca’s Restaurant in City Proper to give hundreds of guests the best traditional delicacies.

Soon after, not only locals but balikbayans got interested to experience Tabu-an’s appetizing and mouth-watering food choices.

DPI founder Hawili who is based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said DPI members working abroad shouldered the lunch this time. The first lunch date was hosted by a lady balikbayan from Canada who hails from Estancia, Iloilo when she came home last May.

The DPI boss said since some DPI members have not yet personally known each other, Tabu-an serves as a venue for an eyeball or meet-up.

“DPI members working abroad enjoy our site (DPI FB group) that they want to call the treat for free lunch,” Hawili averred.

The 12,000-member DPI is always all eyes on what’s cooking in Iloilo City’s culinary scene and word of the mouth has it for varieties of tasty specialty menus.

With increasing members, DPI has become a fave FB hang-out and reunion for Panayanons worldwide taking their time to post photos and talk about the fascinating facts, delicious foods, wonderful nature’s wealth, cultural treasures and sweet people of Panay Island.

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