More fun, more Filipino food trips at Kain Na!
The table is set at Ayala Malls Manila Bay
More fun, more Filipino food trips at Kain Na!
MISS TECH - Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2019 - 12:00am

Today marks the return of the Department of Tourism Food and Travel Festival, ‘Kain Na.’ We are very excited for this year’s Kain Na,” said Tourism Undersecretary Edwin Enrile as he read the remarks of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat. “Kain Na!, will not only showcase our richly diverse Filipino culinary heritage but also serve as a venue for business-to-business meetings in the ‘Food and Farm Tourism Exchange,’ where regional culinary and farm tourism sellers will meet with Manila-based buyers and tour operators invited though the Tourism Congress of the Philippines (TCP), the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), and the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA).”

Kain Na is the brainchild of Secretary Puyat, who has been promoting food tourism for more than a decade, as she has been a staunch advocate of Philippine cuisine and local produce even when she was an undersecretary of Agriculture. She continues with her advocay now as Tourism Secretary.

“Food will always be one of the things considered by tourists in the places that they visit,” said Enrile. “It is in their daily itineraries and comprises a third of tourists’ expenditures.”

It was a fun and yummy lunch as the DOT and Ayala left no stone unturned in bringing good food to the center table set at newly-opened Ayala Malls Manila Bay. There were many Filipino dances, which showcased just how lovely the customs that surround the growing of good food in the country are.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat

Kain Na! is organized in partnership with the Ayala Malls, and will be held in various cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The first event this year was last Sept. 27-29 at Ayala Malls Manila Bay. It showcased the food and farm tourism offerings of Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Bicol, Bacolod, Eastern Visayas, Cagayan de Oro and the Davao region.

 “What makes this installment of Kain Na! more exciting is that we are featuring a cross-regional farm and culinary tourism fair,” said Jenylle S. Tupas, president of Ayala Land Mall Inc. “Each mall adopts and promotes sellers, farmers and tour operators from specific regions, taking them out of their natural centers of commerce, and giving them an even wider platform at different Ayala Malls nationwide.”

This year’s edition highlights a food and farmer’s market where suppliers of iconic Filipino heritage cuisine and delicacies will be selling their wares along with local farms that will sell a variety of fresh agricultural products. There will be culinary and farm tourism presentations to whet the appetite of visitors to go on food trips to explore and discover the many flavors of the Philippines.

Exhibitors include regional farm tourism associations, farm owners and operators supported by partner agency, the Department of Agriculture (DA) as well as regional tour operators who will be selling various culinary and farm tourism packages. 

Tourism undersecretary Art Boncato Jr; assistant secretary Verna Covar-Buensuceso, Usec. Bong Bengzon, Usec. Edwin Enrile; Agriculture assistant secretary Kristine Evangelista; Ayala Malls president Jenylle Tupaz; Ayala Malls vice president for operations AC Legarda; Ayala Malls director for marketing Eunice Velasco and Ayala Malls head of operations for Luzon Mei Bauzon

Seven regional chefs will treat food enthusiasts to cooking demonstrations during the three-day culinary extravaganza, including chefs in Luzon Ian Q. Jocson (region 3), a 12-year veteran known for Kapampangan cuisine and specialties in Mediterranean, Korean and American cooking; Andre Perdigon Vocalan (region 4A), who was “born to cook” local dishes like pansit-pusit, minanok na maruya, sinaing na tuligan, minaluto and hardinera; Rechie “Aya Medel” Hayakawa (region 5), an actress turned-multi-awarded international chef whose originals include the Mayon 360, pinatos na bangkuli, ensaladang pako buda baluko, and many more.

Representing the Visayas are chef Nico Millanes (region 6), who enhanced his local training with stints in the United States and Paris, France and whose specialties include Bacolod favorite Kadyos, Baboy and Lanka (KBL); and chef Sabino Resos (region 8), who prides himself on his tahong salad with pomelo in chili sour dressing and tahong in wok-fried flat noodles with egg and vegetables.

Featured from Mindanao are Chiko Arvin Cacanindin (region 10), a multi-awarded young chef whose signature recipes include native chicken surol, beef rendang and sinuglaw; and Darence Patrick Co, a 23-year-old rising superstar from Davao City who turned professional at age 18, and then opened his first restaurant, The Fat Cow, in 2016.

Slated next are the Kain Na! editions on Oct. 4-6 at Alabang Town Center (ATC), Muntinlupa City, with the participation of regions 7 (Central Visayas) and 4B (MIMAROPA); on Oct. 11-13 at Ayala Technohub-Baguio, with regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); on Nov. 22-24 at Ayala Malls Centrio, Cagayan de Oro, with regions 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN), and 13 (Caraga); and, on Dec. 6-8 at Ayala Malls, The Strip, Iloilo City, with region 6 (Western Visayas).

“As we continue to celebrate with Ayala Malls food and Farm tourism, what better way is there to celebrate than to eat?” said Enrile. “Kain na!”

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