PALM Grass, The Cebu Heritage Hotel is hosting a culinary festival, Hikay, at Kapihan ni Lumaya today from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. to celebrate the National Heritage Month.

The event will feature a buffet of Cebuano dishes selected by Louella Alix, author of Hikay: The Culinary Heritage of Cebu. The term hikay is a Cebuano term for preparing food or the banquet itself.

According to Alix, early Cebuanos would prepare a hikay before they tilled the land to appease the spirits. The feast had a specific menu, and each food had a specific number of items on the table. Underneath the table, Cebuanos would set up a smaller feast to appease what the locals called the dakong tawo or the evil spirit.

Food, says Alix, is one way of getting to know a place, its culture, and its people.

“I didn’t just learn the way Cebuanos cook or why we cook this way. I learned a lot about what a Cebuano is. A Cebuano is somebody who respects nature. I learned that our residents are so simple and straightforward ,” Al ix writes.

During the event, the author will share a brief talk about the culinary heritage of Cebu.

The Culinary Festival Hikay will be celebrated at Kapih ann i Lu maya, a restaurant named after Rajamuda Lumaya who, according to local lore, was the founder of the Rajahnate of Cebu.

To celebrate the National Heritage Month, Kapihan ni Lumaya will be serving a dinner buffet of Cebuano dishes — kinilaw nga isda, tinowa nga manok bisaya, and litson, among others.

Palm Grass, The Cebu Heritage Hotel is located on Junquera Street, Cebu City.