Monday, May 28, 2018

5th Las Piñas Food Festival 2018: Showcasing the Best of Las Piñas City

5th Las Piñas Food Festival 2018 held last May 18, 2018 at Villar Sipag C5 Ext. Road

The Las Piñas Food Festival is an annual event that takes place every year and it is organized by the Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) headed by no less than Sen. Cynthia Villar herself. A brainchild of the Senator,  the Las Piñas Food Festival composed of weekly core events, themed celebrations, culinary workshops, and competitions organised baranggay-wide, this month-long festival celebrates the local perennial food favourites  in the hope that might just give Las Piñas City a reputation of a diverse food heaven.

Purple Plum Fairy along with other media friends were privileged to be invited in the recent 5th  Las Piñas Food Festival held at the Villar SIPAG C5 Extension Road, Las Piñas City. 

It wasn't exactly my first time at the Villar SIPAG, the first time was when I went to Havana Club where I met the indefatigable Senator Villar for the first time. But it was my first time to set foot at the St. Ezekiel Moreno Church. Since my media friends and I had arrived early, we decided to check out the church first. Situated in Pulang Lupa, Las Piñas, we were happy to finally had the chance to get inside the church. It was very solemn and conducive place to reflect and thank God for each day's blessings. 

St. Ezekiel Moreno Church in Las Piñas

We were very excited to witness what Las Piñas Food Festival will be offering this year. Senator Cynthia Villar who spearheads the said project says that the reason she has started with the Las Piñas Food Festival was for them to be able to find a particular food which will surely best represent the city. And for the past five years, they had been doing this food festival in the hope to be able to come up with such vision. 

Garlic flavored mushroom chips were such a hit

These Baranggay Cook Off participants were serious at work as they whip up their special recipes for this year

So we indulged our senses into unique culinary experiences along with some local chef collaborations which had showcased Las Piñas food heritage and culture. We had uncovered complex layers of the city's culinary landscape as Las Piñas Food Festival, which was now on its 5th year focused more into traditional tastes, authentic flavors, modern cuisine, innovative meals, promoting not just micro business, social entrepreneurship and organic urban gardening. 

Basil Plant

Insulin Plant

Some fresh harvests/produce were also sold that day

Fresh produce Upo

Fresh produce: from farm to table concept were also given highlight

Grand Chandellier hanging was made from used bottles

And there’s no better time to eat like a local than at the annual Las Piñas Food Festival, where local culture, proud tradition and contemporary dining are served up on a platter.
From Talon Dos were the freshest honey pots

At the annual festival, you can look forward to a curation of local favorites, fun lifestyle events (think specialty food per baranggay in the city), and rare collaborations between some of the best local chefs. If you are more of a hands on learner, join the annual cook-off for a chance to win awesome prizes! If you're a gourmet, it's the best time to visit Las Piñas, it makes for an in-depth exploration of the city's myriad culutres through its food. Whether you're a serious foodie, an urban gardener, organic food afficionado or simply someone just curious to learn more through cultural tours and workshops, you'll get to sniff out local street hawker fare and the colorful stories behind them. 
Three years ago, this Kalabasang kalamay won one of the grand prizes in inter-baranggay cook off

A formidable team of Talon Dos which claims to be a three-time winner in the Cook off

Aside from Senator Cynthia Villar, the event was also graced by the presence of Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos, and Senators JV Ejercito and Nancy Binay who all received warm welcome by the Las  Piñas residents. I had the opportunity to ask for a selfie with Hon. Sen. Nancy Binay. 
Purple Plum Fairy with Sen. Nancy Binay

I've also seen some of the great projects of the Villar SIPAG foundation such as the organic soil, basket weaving made from dried water hyacinth/lily and the school chairs made from plastic bottles. Truly, they are amazing recycled materials. There also was a museum about the Villar family as well as the projects and initiatives they have done for the city of Las Piñas. 

Hand-woven basket made from water lily

School chair made from plastic waste

Organic fertilizers were also one of the first projects by the Villar SIPAG foundation

The Villar Museum

The 2018 edition saw visitors biting into unique and modern takes on Filipino cuisines with a modern twists from the locals themselves—at the festival’s signature event,  Another highlight was food retailers'exhibit where you can buy fresh produce and organic vegetables for a really low price. Other event highlights include urban gardening competition, inter-baranggay cook off, a gastronomic showcase that included micro entrepreneurs. So look out for the next Las Piñas Food Festival and don't forget to bring your appetite for a feast of the city's best. 

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