The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region IV-A hosted the launch of Food Holidays Philippines last April 5 at the General Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. Government officials, tourism stakeholders, historians, and food connoisseurs gathered to witness the unveiling of the latest edition of Food Holidays, a gastronomical guide book that aims to revisit Philippine history, heritage and culinary tradition.
“Food, restaurants, and historical cuisines in the region could well play an important role in linking and looping together the destinations and attractions in the region,” said DOT Region IV-A Director Rebecca V. Labit after citing the result of a review and product development workshop they organized for tourism stakeholders in 2014. “This event marks the dawning of CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon) region as the center of historical culinary tourism in the Philippines,” she added.
“CALABARZON plays a very important role in the history of the Philippines; Kawit, for one, being in the historical map. We all have to work together to put the region in the culinary map of the Philippines, together with its rich history, sources of food and ingredients, to make the whole travel experience truly a Filipino one,” DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato said, acknowledging that a large percentage of the country’s tourism receipts were spent for food and accommodation.
During the book launch, the chivalry of the “Tagayan Ritual” was also showcased with officials from the DOT led by Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Martinez and other tourism stakeholders taking turns to propose a toast, portraying the poetic and hospitable nature of people of Quezon Province.
Guests were also treated to an intimate gastronomic experience featuring delectable dishes by the Culinary Generals and the Razor Chefs of Cavite, reminiscent of CALABARZON’s food history and its contribution to the Galleon Trade.
According to publisher, Clang Garcia, Food Holidays took almost two years in the making. “Its launch could not be more timely, as the Philippines plays host once again to the Madrid Fusion Manila that opened the table to a wider discussion of what Filipino food is all about. And it is a dream come true to share with you a product of extensive research into the cooking and dining traditions from the major islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, encapsulated in one publication,” she added, feeling strongly about the dearth of a good gastronomical guide book in the Philippines.
This culinary event forms part of “Eat Your History,” a culinary heritage tour of Cavite, Malolos, Pampanga, Malabon, Antipolo-Ango, and Laguna-Quezon, which was also launched at the event in celebration of “Flavors of the Philippines Festival 2016.” It is organized by Garcia in partnership with the respective DOT Regional Offices.
“Flavors of the Philippines Festival 2016” is a month-long showcase of 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. Organized by the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), it is ongoing simultaneously in different malls, restaurants and venues across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“Food Holidays” is available online at www.thekitchenbookstore.com and at major bookstores for PhP500.
By VIA BAROMA