Tourism activities in PH are shifting into high gear

DMG and PEPTarsus are launching The Hotel Show Philippines to be held August 2-5, 2017, co-located with the 17th World Food Expo (Wofex) at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City. From left to right: Joel Pascual, President of PEPTarsus, Gina Lumauig, Ria Lugtu, Melody Lim, Randy Manaloto, Heather McPherson, John Suzara, Joel Nunez and Rey Tinston

Le Coq has certainly shifted gears with various activities in the now booming tourism industry.


Baguio just wrapped up the annual Panagbenga Flower Festival with an elaborate flower float parade featuring no less than the stars of Aldub Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards in the GMA float and Bea Alonzo and Enchong Dee in the ABS-CBN float.

Baguio hotels, restaurants and other food establishments, run by The Manor, also participated in a food festival on Session Road, serving festival-goers some of their specialties from Le Chef deli, such as raisin bread, banana bread. , jams and marmalades from Chef Billy King.

It was my first time attending Panagbenga and I was overwhelmed and delighted by the number of participants in inspired outfits and sometimes made of flowers, as well as the larger than life floats all made of flowers!

I encourage everyone to make the Panagbenga part of your annual vacation or at least part of your to-do list.

DOT participates in Panagbenga 2017.

DOT participates in Panagbenga 2017.

Flavors of the world

In Manila Bay, Sofitel is launching Flavors of the World, a series of food festivals celebrating global cuisine. They start the “world tour” with Indonesian cuisine, flying with Chef Pradipta Bayu Primaputra from Pullman Jakarta, who will be there from March 13th to 19th. For those who would like to learn to cook Indonesian cuisine, sign up for a class with this great chef, which will take place on March 14 at 4 p.m. at the Spiral. Chef Pradipta will teach you how to cook Kambing Guling (not kambing duling, haha ​​- it’s lamb baked with Indonesian herbs); Ayam Taliwang (spicy grilled chicken, Lombok style); Bebek Betutu (roast duck with Bali spices); Ikan Dabu — dabu (fried fish with Dabu-dabu sauce); Redang Padang (beef with coconut); and Iga Balado (Indonesian prime rib).

Flavors of the Philippines

Yesterday March 11, the Ministry of Tourism kicked off Madrid Fusion Manila 2017 with a giant paella festival in Greenbelt 3. This kicked off Ayala shopping center activities for April as part of DOT’s Flavors of the Philippines, a project to promote regional Filipino cuisine. during the month of Madrid Fusion Manila.

Mission: Manila

On March 28, “Mission: Manila,” a personal project to promote Filipino chefs inspired by Madrid Fusion, will feature chef Myke Tatung Sarthou at a dinner titled Flavors from Across the Archipelago. Co-sponsored by Raffles Makati, Destileria Limtuaco and Lobster House Manila, the 8-course dinner with cocktails and food and wine pairings will feature the Tatung menu presented at the dinner with the stars in Madrid where he was a featured chef.

Tatung will also serve the dish he presented during his conference at Madrid Fusion last January. He was the only Filipino speaker at Madrid Fusion 2017 in Spain and the first Filipino to speak at the Madrid Fusion auditorium.

This event is also part of the DOT Flavors of the Philippines. It will be an exciting dinner showcasing flavors we didn’t even know we had. For any request, call 09175393937.

Madrid Fusion Manila

The most anticipated foodie event of the year, of course, is Madrid Fusion Manila, which runs April 6-8 and takes place at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

As always, one of the highlights is the Regional Lunch organized by the Ministry of Agriculture. Each day will have a different function for lunch. As this year’s theme is “Towards a Sustainable Food Planet”, the first day will highlight different kinds of Filipino rice; the second day will highlight Filipino meat products; and the third day will highlight Philippine corn.

According to Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture who heads DA’s participation in Madrid Fusion Manila: “All DA regional lunch dishes will use ingredients produced by our local farmers and fishermen. Through these efforts, the DA aims to educate chefs, restaurateurs and cooking enthusiasts that the Philippines can offer a variety of agricultural products and ingredients that meet international standards.

Another highlight of Madrid Fusion Manila is the trade show, organized by DOT’s private partner, PACEOS.

It is said to be the largest international food fair in Asia, focused on ingredients and cuisine.

The exhibit will have over a hundred booths, including DA’s own booth, showcasing indigenous Filipino products and heritage ingredients.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a Madrid Fusion attendee to experience the exhibit; it will be open to the general public on the last day, April 8.

And if you can prove that you belong to the food industry (bring your ID!), Joel Pascual (creator of WOFEX and main manager of the show) made sure that you can enter for free!

WOFEX and the hotel lounge

Speaking of WOFEX or the World Food Expo (the biggest food fair in the Philippines) it’s a bit early but I might as well mention – especially for the benefit of those who might want to attend – that this year’s WOFEX will be held from August. 2 to 5 and for the first time, the second floor of SMX will host The Hotel Show Philippines, the first hotel show of this scale in Asia.

It will be an exhibition modeled after The Hotel Show Dubai showcasing the latest products and services from around the world in the hotel and restaurant industries.

“This is in response to the growth of the tourism industry in the Philippines as well as the massive build-up of catering establishments like hotels and restaurants,” says Pascual.

Pascual’s company, PEPTarsus, was also motivated after hearing expats say that while the Philippines has the best beaches, tourists prefer to go to Bali or other tourist destinations because their services are better.

“If we are able to improve the hotel experience not only for chain brands but also for boutique hotels, we would be a better player in terms of tourism,” he said.

The Hotel Show targets around 150 companies for the installation of stands. Together with WOFEX, the two events will provide the largest catering and hospitality platform in Philippine history. For more information on how to participate, visit

Phew! And that’s just to start. Stay up to date by visiting or follow @margauxsalcedo on Instagram. What an exciting year for gastronomy!

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