The Philippines: Festival to showcase the country's vibrant cuisine

“Paella Gigante,” an 3.35m diameter paella, complete with chorizo, chicken, and seafood cooked in the traditional way: over charcoal and firewood.
“Paella Gigante,” an 3.35m diameter paella, complete with chorizo, chicken, and seafood cooked in the traditional way: over charcoal and firewood. PHOTO: DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM / THE INQUIRER, ANN

THE PHILIPPINES (THE INQUIRER / ANN) - The Department of Tourism (DOT) has kicked off the Flavors Of The Philippines 2017 festival, a month-long culinary bonanza set for April, the Philippine Food Month.

The food festival will showcase the best cuisines of the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao in a gastronomic road trip through various activities like cook-offs, food bazaars, food tasting, and market tours.

Organised by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and DOT, this year’s Flavors Of The Philippines marks its third year in promoting different food and local cuisine from different regions across the country.

The festival was kicked off by a Paella Gigante held  on March 11 in Makati where chefs from Let Toques Blanches (LTB) Philippines cooked an 3.35m diameter paella, complete with chorizo, chicken, and seafood. It was cooked in the traditional way, over charcoal and firewood.

The DOT has listed the gastro events in line with Flavors Of The Philippines which will run throughout the month of April.

National Capital Region
There will be two simultaneous events until April 30. Smokey Tour will take visitors through the market area of Old Manila with merchandise ranging from medicinal herbs, birds and clothing to digital gadgets, open every day except Wednesdays. A cultural exhibit called Glimpse of Filipino Culture will be held in Art Gallery Sining Kamalig in Quezon City.

Other events will include Sabado Mercado in San Juan City, All Natural Health Fair and Vegan Fair in Lucky Chinatown, week-end fair Cheese and Deli Festival and international cuisine fair Taste the World at Eastwood City at Eastwood City.

There will also be a Culinary Weekend Fair at SM North Edsa, as well as culinary sessions and food tasting with outstanding chefs called Food Meets Fun: Chef Creations.  There will be a Tapas Night at Green Sun Hotel in Makati; Dessert, an extraordinary confectionaire dégustation at Le Petit Souffle at SM Megamall; and Flavors Of Brunch at Forbes Town that aims to draw attention to the brunch dishes and pairings on the menu from participating restaurants within Forbes Town in BGC, Taguig.

Other Regions
The Cordillera Region will mount Flavors of Cordillera where their local dishes will be fused with mainstream recipes.

The Ilocos Region will host several bangus-related activities like Bangus Rodeo and The Search for Ms. Tisang Bangus in Dagupan, Pangasinan.

A gigantic celebration is set for Central Luzon with two of their event highlights: Giant Bringhe,  a 4.6m diameter variation of famous Arroz Valenciana prepared by four of their best chefs, and Giant Bucket of Chicharon, featuring Galan’s chicharon. There will also be food and gourmet fairs, cook-off challenges and food truck fest with concerts and shows hosted by different parts of the region.

Calabarzon will parade the Pamana ng Quezon Kulinarya, featuring the heirloom recipes of Quezon passed on from generation to generation and photo and recipe exhibit of historian Mr. Ige Ramos called Cavite: Culinary Destination.
Aside from food fairs and buffet, the Bicol Region will have a one-day event called Kinalas Y Kinolor, where they will expose the art and culinary preparation of ‘kinalas’ mami, a uniquely Naguena dish that makes use of bowls.

Central Visayas, along with their celebration of Kadaugan Festival, will highlight their own Cebu-grown restaurants through Flavors Of Mactan and Sugbo Flavors featuring a Cebuano chef and Cebu’s best dishes and delicacies.
For Negros Island Region, it will be all about the sweet favourite mango with their Mango Festival to be held at SM Bacolod City.

Zamboanga Peninsula will once again have their Savores (chavacano term for ‘flavours’) comprised of two activities namely Savores Expo,  featuring the cooking skills of the local chefs, and Savores Dine, highlighting the different specialties of Zamboanga.

Northern Mindanao will have Humba de Oro Festival, where different establishments will display their own variations of Humba. Humba de Oro is a stewed pork dish similar to Filipino adobo, only the former is sweet, sour and salty.
To celebrate Davao’s gastronomic treasures, the Davao region will hold Flavours of Davao at their SM supermalls.
Soccskargen will have their Seslong Festival at Kule Gono on the way to Lake Holon and Mahin Festival – 4Gs (Great Glan Gourmet Getaway) at Glan, Sarangani Province.

Not only will the third Flavors Of The Philippines event aim to promote the country’s best cuisines, but it is also set to give a chance for more local and foreign tourists to taste and experience how food is integral to the everyday lives of the Filipinos.