Wednesday, April 3, 2024

LOVE THE FLAVORS, LOVE THE PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Eatsperience opens in Rizal Park and Intramuros in Manila


One of Luneta’s pocket gardens transformed into a bustling food park on Wednesday (April 3), as over 30 food joints  offer dishes like Cebu lechon, Chicken Inasal, Ilocos empanada, to Bicol Express, among other iconic food that represent the Filipino way of celebration. 

The new Filipino fiesta-themed food and lifestyle market at Noli Me Tangere Garden is now open to the public starting Thursday, selling various regional cuisines for one year. It is accessible to commuters and cars, just a stone’s throw away from Roxas Boulevard and Kalaw Avenue.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco led the traditional pot breaking to launch “Philippine Eatsperience” to celebrate the Filipino Food Month 2024. 

Experience the historic feel of Rizal Park while grabbing a bite or drink with friends and family. The Filipino lifestyle and food market is now open to the public from 7AM to 10PM Friday to Sunday in Luneta, and 7AM to 5PM in Intramuros daily.

Along with the lineup of vendors, the food joints also feature a weekly lineup of food demonstrations and activities to drum up food goers while they enjoy their weekend food trip.The perfect place to have your Filipino street food cravings satisfied, the new food joints aim to serve the best Filipino food has to offer.

Highlighting the Filipino food culture

Speaking before guests from partner government agencies, members of the diplomatic corps and invited guests, Secretary Frasco zeroed in on the Department’s efforts in promoting the Filipino brand and identity in all aspects of travel.

“Today, we gather here at the Rizal Park not just to savor the sumptuous flavors that our  nation   offers   but   to   recognize   Filipino   food   and   cuisines   as   pivotal   to   our   cultural  heritage. The Department of Tourism is fully committed to the task of preserving and  elevating our culinary assets on both the domestic and international tourism markets,” she said. 

As   part   of   the   DOT’s   flagship   project,   the   Philippine   Experience   Program   (PEP), Eatsperience celebrates the  Filipino  Fiesta, recognizing   the  pivotal  role   of  food  and gastronomy in shaping the country’s tourism landscape. 

“This   Philippine   Eatsperience   is   a   component   of   the   Philippine   Experience,   and   it  highlights one of the most enjoyable things that you can experience when you visit or  when you live in the Philippines, the Filipino Fiesta,” the Tourism Chief added. 

Quoting from the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, the country’s tourism roadmap, Secretary Frasco said the DOT strives to offer travelers an authentic taste of Filipino hospitality, while visiting top destinations like Rizal Park and Intramuros.

“We are crafting unique culinary tours and circuits that allow connoisseurs and travelers  alike to explore our gastronomic delights at the grassroots level. Through these, we aim  to  showcase   the   diversity and   richness   of   our culinary   traditions,”  Secretary  Frasco explained, promising to elevate the Philippine tourism experience.  

From Rizal Park to Intramuros: Hop On at Eatsperience

Meanwhile, the Filipino Fiesta brought the Tourism Chief and guests to the next stop at Baluarte   Plano   Luneta   de   Sta.   Isabel   in   Intramuros,   where   over   30   food   junctions, cooking demonstrations, and tasting await hungry travelers on board the Philippines Hop-On-Hop-Off. Open seven days a week, HOHO guests can now have their own Eatsperience.   

Philippine Eatsperience is  the flagship program of  the  DOT under the leadership  of Secretary   Frasco,   in   collaboration   with   the   Intramuros  Administration   (IA)   and   the National Park Development Committee (NPDC) launched in time for the celebration of the Filipino Food Month 2024 or Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino. 

An annual celebration declaring April of each year as Filipino Food Month or Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino, it aims to ensure the appreciation, preservation, and transmission of Filipino culinary traditions.

"Everywhere in the Philippines, wherever you may find yourself, whether up in the  North, in Central Philippines or in the South, there is always a fiesta that is celebrated.  And   in   these   fiestas   we   show   the   best   virtues   of   being   Filipinos:   compassion,  generosity, and a sense of community towards others," said Secretary Frasco.

"I invite all of you to celebrate the Filipino culinary spirit as we put Filipino flavors on the  spotlight of Philippine tourism and showcase to the world the multitude of reasons to  Love The Philippines," added the tourism chief.

Ambassador   Abdul   Malik   Melvin   Castelino   Anthony   of   the   Embassy   of  Malaysia, Ambassador Tull Traisorat of the Royal Embassy of Thailand, with NPDC Executive Director   Cecille   Lorenzana-Romero,   IA   Administrator   Atty.   Joan  Padilla,   National Commission   for   Culture   and   Arts   Chairman   Victorina  Manalo,   and   DOT Undersecretaries Gail Yu Pamintuan, and Ferdinand Jumapao all graced the event.

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