Angeles City, May 8, 2003  Everyone is invited, except tourists from 
countries severely affected by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome 
(SARS), when Angeles City holds its own signature festival featuring a 
32-foot long sizzling plate of sisig on May 17.

"We want tourists to come to the festival, but I am stressing that we don't 
welcome tourists from Hong Kong and other areas known to be heavily 
affected by SARS," said Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin.

He recalled that he had been outspoken against proposals to divert 
international flights carrying suspected SARS cases to the Diosdado 
Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) at Clark Field. The plan though was 

"I must protect my constituents," he said.

The city is now abuzz with preparations for the sisig festival which local 
officials hope would project the city as a more pleasant destination, no 
longer a "sin city" for pleasure-seeking tourists.

Organizers of the novel project  to be staged from 8 p.m. of May 17 until 4 
the following morning  are now rushing the Angeles Machine Shop to finish a 
giant oval metal plate with a wooden base which will be used for the festival.

City information officer Irish Calaguas said the sisig  boiled, grilled and 
then finely chopped pork cheek and rump mixed with liver and served with 
onions, soy sauce and calamansi on a hot plate  could feed at least 8,000 
people at P50 per serving.

Not only is the giant, half-inch thick plate one for the books, but also 
the ingredients: 240 kilos of pork cheeks, 140 kilos of pork rump, 140 
kilos of chicken liver, 140 kilos of onions, 400 kilos of calamansi and 40 
liters of soy sauce.

Calaguas said the city government has contacted Guinness officials for the 
event, but has yet to receive any reply.

She said the dish would be precooked and laid on the giant sizzling plate 
while cultural presentations are staged on the night of May 17. Twenty 
highly pressurized burners would heat the plate.

The northern lane of the Balibago highway would be closed to traffic to 
provide space for the sizzling plate. Restaurants in the area are expected 
to set up tables for paying consumers.

Calaguas said the city government is not spending a single centavo for the 
project since local sponsors are shouldering the cost of making the 
P150,000 giant plate as well as the P80,000 worth of ingredients. (By Ding 
Cervantes, Star)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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