The food fair launching was both colorful and exciting. As I was looking around, it dawned on me that this is not just an ordinary fair; it is a national event that once again has bound our country to one great nation with delightful varieties that reflects to the very food we eat and serve.
More than 250 food entrepreneurs from the country’s 16 regions will be showcased at “Sikat Pinoy” and it will run from the 22nd to the 25th of August, 2013 at the Megatrade Hall in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong city. I must say that the magnitude of this event is in every sense of the word amazing, as it covers the entire country. We owe this pleasure of experiencing Filipino culinary bliss to DTI-Bureau of Domestic Trade and the Department of Agriculture. The tagline of the fair is “Piling-piling pagkaing Pilipino” as it aims to bring together home-grown products, regional specialties, delicacies and best buys from all over the country under one roof ; and so they did. When I was roaming around and having so much fun tasting what participants had to offer, I always catch myself asking” this product is from where again?”, because there were a lot I tell you and in my own opinion it gives me exponential amount of joy and pride knowing that these products are the best in every region.
The most among exhibitors are from Region 4A-Calabarzon with around 50 booths followed by Region 5-Bicol and Region 3-central Luzon with about 30 each. NCR, Region 1-Ilocos, Region 2-Cagayan Valley and Region 8-Eastern Visayas with more than 20 booths per region. Booths are organized in to the following categories: baked products, snack foods, processed fruits and vegetables, wines and beverages, sauces and condiments, organic and natural products, processed marine products, processed meat products and others. There is also a Coffee Pavilion and a Filipino Kitchen serving hot meals which you can stop by for a quick boost since there is so much to see, smell and taste.
That was just to give you a head’s up on what to expect, but what to look forward to is an entirely different story. Everybody loves anything that’s free, I for one! With this thought, I have the most awesome news; aside from the free taste on almost every booth there is comes the free cooking demonstrations which will be given by the following:
- LJC Restaurant Group and Culinary Institute of Aristocrat
- Ultima Entrepinoy and Pan Pacific
- Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
- Villa Salud Catering
If you think that was it, well you can guess again because you thought wrong. Following the day of the launch and on top of the demos are free seminars as well. The topics that will be discussed are:
- Basic Exporting
- Food Handling
- Food Additives
- Business opportunities in Meat Processing
- Food Cart Business
Going back to the day of the launch, it was quite an adventure for me and my palette. There were a few that stood out and the first was the Ilocos empanada. The food itself looks enticing but what caught my attention are the Ilocanos in the booth smiling at me and inviting me to have a try of their product. One man even gave me a live demo on how it is done from from start to finish and I admire him for doing that, it reflects his desire to share what Ilocos has to offer.
On my way to the other booths, I was drawn to the stage since the program was already starting. The first speaker who gave the opening remarks is Director Rhodora M. Leaño from the Bureau of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME); the way she welcomed everybody and imparted how thankful and hopeful she is about the event reminded me of my mentor, strong-willed but soft hearted. The second was Chef Claude Tayag.
I admire passion in all its forms and passion indeed is what this chef has, he talks about food in a patriotic way. In a few minutes of him talking about his craft made me learn to love and see the beauty of our own unique Filipino cuisine better than I already have. He also shared his book entitled “Linamnam” , I haven’t gotten a hold of it yet but he said it is a culinary mapping of the entire country. It is very interesting both for the adventurous and the curious, not to mention all the food lover’s out there which might liberate them of the thought that there is actually more to discover here in our very own soil. I opted to continue my journey as both the sights and aroma were very inviting. Here are a few pictures of my must-try-list.
Opportunities like these are worth capitalizing your time on, so I suggest professional on cooking or not; kick your behind off the sofa and take this chance to learn and appreciate. “Be Sikat, Be Pinoy”. If you have any questions in mind, you may contact DTI through the Bureau of Domestic Trade at 751-3223 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. you may also visit the fair’s website at www.sikatpinoyfairs.com or “Like” its facebook page at www.facebook.com/SikatPinoyFairs.