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Bringing all of PH’s regional flavors together in one place

The Philippines has been working hard to establish itself as a destination that offers not only world-class beaches but also a wide and interesting cuisine.

The Department of Tourism hosted the hybrid KAIN NA! Food Festival in Tagaytay over the weekend, which took visitors on a journey around the Philippine islands by introducing delicacies from all over the country, including Caraga.

The food expo, aptly titled “Traveling Flavors,” allowed Tagaytay foodies to sample Tacloban City’s delectable versions of suman latik, sagmani, and moron; sopresa from Urdaneta City’s “healthy crisps” made from coconut and various vegetables; bagnet fresh from the Ilocos; and many other iconic Filipino dishes.

The Tagaytay KAIN NA! edition was the second of its kind this year, indicating a steady comeback of culinary tourism in the Philippines.

“While inbound tourism is currently restricted due to the Omicron variant, ongoing discussions on Filipino flavors and food tourism experiences remain among the best ways to keep the Philippines in the hearts and minds of tourists and travelers, whom we will welcome with a burst of fun flavors once the situation allows safely,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

‘Healthy and reassuring’

The food festival, like all previous KAIN NA! editions before the pandemic, not only gave expo-goers a taste of what the entire Philippine culinary scene has to offer, but also let them to discover the host town’s up-and-coming eateries.

The Bulalo, rich, delicious, and boiling hot with soft and expertly boiled beef that virtually melts in the mouth, is probably the meal that would identify Tagaytay, at least for tourists who haven’t discovered its gastronomic scores yet.

The beef shank soup is a Tagaytay specialty that can be found in practically every eatery. However, eateries in the area are working to provide travelers with a unique gastronomic experience, one that is clearly identified with Cavite: food oriented on wellness and sustainability.

The Farmer’s Table at Nurture Wellness Village, one of the hottest go-to destinations for tourists searching for healthy food and IG-worthy alfresco eating, ensured that the menu lived up to its name by obtaining the majority of the restaurant’s supplies from surrounding farms or their own organic garden.

From kale chips with malunggay-basil pesto mayonnaise to buffalo-wings-style broccoli and cauliflower, the establishment’s mission is to “make your cells happy,” and the long queues developing at the resort/entryway restaurant’s show that it succeeds.

“You’re eating everything, and it’s all good for you, but we make wellness enjoyable. Actually, you’re unknowingly consuming medicine “Cathy Brillantes-Turvill, the proprietor of Nurture Wellness Village, remarked in an interview.

“Your body is ecstatic at the cellular level. You’re actually making your body exceptionally healthy by consuming this kind of food… We all went through a lot of mental anxiety, especially with Covid-19, so kakain ka pa ba ng pagkain na maluluha ka sa sama ng loob? (Will you consume anything that will let you down? ), “she continued.

Siglo’s Modern Filipino and its associate Siglo Brew, like Nurture, use heirloom and “no-waste” recipes, as well as single-origin coffees, to make their products more sustainable.

If you still can’t find an outdoor restaurant, adjacent but equally “green” sites like as the Luntiang Republika in Alfonso and Shambala Silang, both of which are ideal for a weekend retreat or overnight detox, are also available.

“What we’re thinking is that it has to be Filipino. It’s not only about building a restaurant; our activism here is also in line with the slow food movement, which encourages people to grow their own food. We have Adobo sa Dilaw since we have turmeric here, and we even have Adobo sa Pula with our annatto “Riza Matibag-Muyot, the proprietor of Shambala Silang, stated.

“It also serves as a (green) space. We’re giving the location because we believe that people need to breathe and be in nature during a pandemic “she continued.

‘Come to Calabarzon,’ says the narrator.

Aside from the KAIN NA! expo, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is establishing the Green Corridor Initiative in Calabarzon to promote culinary tourism in the region through carefully planned travel circuits.

“Our current focus is on domestic tourism, and we want to demonstrate that Calabarzon already has a number of tourist attractions. This will be launched on December 18th “Marites Castro, Director of the Department of Transportation in Calabarzon, stated.

Aside from gastronomy, Cavite’s concentration is on wellness and farm tourism.

“It’s a hybrid of health and farm tourism. When you come here, you won’t just find historical places; we also have a number of farm sites that are ready to welcome visitors. We’re focusing on wellbeing, so that’s what we’re working on “Castro remarked.

“Our target market is Metro Manila residents because 65 percent of visitors to Calabarzon come from the NCR (National Capital Region),” she explained.

Meanwhile, Tourism Undersecretary Woodrow Maquiling Jr. stated that sustainable tourism would be “front and center” of all DOT marketing efforts.

NA! The KAIN! Tagaytay was hosted at Ayala Malls Serin, with the second expo scheduled for February 2022 at Ayala Malls Manila Bay.

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