ORIGINS OF THE INASAL
Bacolod’s Burgos public market circa 1952 is said to be the inasal’s Ground Zero, where a young fish vendor surnamed Velez accidentally invented the marinated chicken as an appetizer for his drinking buddies.
But it was his mother Sabel who opened the very first inasal stall beside Floredith Theater along Araneta Street, next to the Bacolod City Hall and across from the Central Market. This was in the 1960s when Bacolodnons became movie lovers.
Sabel moved her stall to Cuadra Street near the Bacolod Public Plaza and adjacent to the city’s most popular cinema, State Theater. Her daughters Elisa and Nena helped her in running the thriving business, which attracted other inasal sellers to set up shop at the “Chicken Alley.”
As the inasal’s popularity grew in the 1970s, Nena and other stallholders transferred to a bigger site at the reclamation area known as “Manokan Country.” Meanwhile, Elisa and her business partners put up the original Chicken House on San Sebastian Street in the downtown area, which they later sold to architect-businessman Joe Cajili, who opened several branches and eventually expanded to Metro Manila in the 1980s.