DOT launches ‘Flavors of the Philippines’
“Eating will never be the same.”
This was the statement of Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. as he introduced Flavors of the Philippines Festival 2016. A culinary campaign, it is envisioned to become the uniquely Filipino taste in the much-anticipated Madrid Fusion Manila 2016, and later on position the country as a “center of food and gastronomy in Asia.”
“It will take us to every corner of the archipelago for gustatory discoveries—for treasures handed down from generation to generation, for fusion dishes that encapsulate the identity of the Filipino,” said the undersecretary added.
Flavors was officially launched at the fourth edition of the annual Festival de la Paella Gigante in March at Greenbelt Park, Makati City. The event featured a 10-foot diameter paella valenciana that boasts of 100 kilos of rice, 13 liters of olive oil, and 265 kilos of mix chicken, chorizo, shrimp, prawns, squid, and mussels, cooked the traditional way by nine of the country’s top chefs and restaurateurs over charcoal and firewood.
Proceeds from over 1,000 servings of paella that were sold went to Sociedad Española de Beneficencia.
After the paella festival, Flavors will then participate at the World Food Month in April. It will be “the delightful run-up to the grand gastronomical event in Asia”, where everyone should “make conscious effort to try different cuisines, to be brave to try the unusual, and to work up those senses,” said Bengzon.
A month-long festival showcasing the best of the country’s gastronomic offerings ranging from culinary tours, food trucks, bar crawls, concerts, to agricultural fairs, weekend gourmet markets and bazaars, Flavors of the Philippines will be held simultaneously in different malls, restaurants and venues across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Organized by the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), its line up of activities include Market Tours in Old Manila by Smokey Tours from April 1 to 30; a one-day culinary heritage tour to various destinations in Cavite, Malolos, Pampanga, Malabon, Antipolo-Angono, and Laguna-Quezon by Food Holidays; and Soccsksargen or SOX Food and Fashion event, “Treasures of SOX: A Food, Travel, and Trade Expo” from April 11 to 14 at the Glorietta Activity Center.