Lechon served by no less than Claude Tayag
Boodle feast of assorted Inasal and an array of the freshest seafood
Delegates of the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) Asia-Pacific 2016, the largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, content media creators, and tourism industry professionals, had a feast as they discovered Philippine cuisine.
Sea Urchin caught fresh along the beach of Camiguin
Eggplant with Salted Egg
Presented by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), in coordination with NMX Events, their journey of discovery began with a 15-hour food tour where they travelled to Pampanga, “the culinary center of the Philippines”, to try iconic Filipino dishes such as lechon, sisig, chicken inasal, and sinigang. They then went to Binondo to experience the country’s Chinese culinary influence on food.
Aling Lucing’s Sisig
The contingent was served an array of grilled fish, prawns, squids, and clams and tasted some of the native delicacies such as barquillos, turones, kutsinta, halo-halo, rice cakes including bibingka, cassava cake, and puto.
Chicken Inasal with Talangka Sushi
Puso from Cebu
The country’s tropical fruits were also a hit as the visitors sampled the sweetest mangoes, rambutan, lanzones and marang. Calamansi was a surprise to them for its versatility – from a refreshing fruit drink to an additional flavor to condiments.
Carabao Milk Pudding with Coconut, Ube and Egg Yolk
Lanzones and Rambutan
To complete their Filipino food experience, they were served some of the country’s exotic foods including balut, pako or fern salad, and sea urchin.
Marang from Davao
“I find it very interesting that the Filipino cuisine is influenced by so many other cultures and it creates a fascinating mix. This food trip was very interesting and inspiring for me.” ~Maria Haase, who traveled all the way from Germany.
Further making Filipino meals fun, the delegates experienced boodle feasts, which urged them not only to share their food but to interact and converse with one another. Trying Filipino dishes in this unique way was something the first-time visitors were able to enjoy.
Assorted rice cakes of Kutsinta, Puto and Suman
“This is such a simple pleasure to enjoy. It’s amazing that we get the time to eat together. I love this kind of culture.” ~Rosemary Kimani, Chicago-native
TBEX Asia Pacific 2016 was made possible with the support of Philippine Airlines, Globe Telecom, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and Duty Free Philippines. Other sponsors included Amorita Resort, The Lind Boracay, Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel, Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Primer Group of Companies, The Funny Lion Palawan, Merrell Philippines, Lakan, Banana Peel, Le Spa at Sofitel, Park Inn by Radisson, Hotel Luna, Bluewater Maribago Resort and Spa, Sonya’s Garden, Museo Orlina, and Grab Philippines.
San Nicolas Cookies by Atching Lilian Borromeo of Pampanga
The event was also made possible through the participation of volunteers from the University of the Philippines, Centro Escolar University, University of Santo Tomas, and Philippine Women’s University.
The amazing variety of food – from savory dishes to sweet delicacies, and our wide array of fresh ingredients, diverse cultural influences, proves that the Philippines can stand out as an exciting culinary destination.