Southern Tagalog Kulinarya Caravan part 1

The second Island Philippine Fun Caravan promoting Visit Philippines 2015 rolled off this year was the Southern Tagalog Kulinarya Caravan. It was scheduled in time for the Madrid Fusion Manila and also served as one of the activities for the Flavors of the Philippines celebration. The five-day caravan covered the CALABARZON provinces of Cavite, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.

The first leg, 25-27 April featured the culinary delights of Cavite and Batangas back dropped with one of the most significant part of Philippine history, the Declaration of the first Philippine Republic. Driving though the scenic causeway of CAVITEX, first stop was at the Aguinaldo Shrine where participants’ caravan was served with “Magdalo” breakfast featuring the distinct flavors of Cavite including the famous Salinas tinapa (smoked fish). The group was toured around the shrine with no less than Mr. Angelo Aguinaldo, a direct descendant of General Emilio Aguinaldo as guide. The group has the opportunity to listen to the original version of the “Hymno Nacional Filipino” in the main sala of the mansion. The participants later proceeded to Mary Magdalene Parochial Church for a “Karakol” reception.

Tracing the footsteps of the First Philippine Republic, the caravan continued to General Trias and visited Casa-Hacienda of Tejeros now popularly known as Tejeros Convention. In 1897, an assembly to form a central revolutionary government was held electing General Emilio Aguinaldo as president.

The “puto bibingka” with the authentic Rosario pancit was served for snacks. The culinary highlight of Cavite will never be complete without the visit of Salinas Tinapa factory. Completing the events of the history, is the visit of the Tanza Convent where General Emilio Aguinaldo and the rest of his government officials were sworn in to office.

The municipality of Indang proved to be one of the biggest surprises of the caravan. The laidback municipality with its rolling hills and beautiful greenery was the venue as Mayor Bienvenido Dimero of Indang gladly stamped the passport of the participants and then personally toured the participants in the newly constructed municipal hall. Native delicacies like “camachile” and buko bibingka. The group then proceeded to a barrio for a cooking demo of the famous kalamay buna. It was an opportunity for the participants to interact with the local community. Later a fusion lunch was served at Balai Indang followed by a cooking demo of “lumpiang murang buko”.

The caravan inched its way to the zigzagging road, past the town of Mendez, leading to mountain city of Tagaytay. Welcome reception was done at Nurture Spa Village with the drum and bugle band of Tagaytay providing the sounds to the delight of the participants. A walk to the farm capped by the healthy juices and delightful “goto” for snacks made the day for the group. After checking in for the night, Bulalo dinner was served.

Day 2 of the caravan started early as it went to the scenic Diokno Highway leading to the historical town of Taal in Batangas. Coinciding with the El Pasubat festival, the group was treated with “Taalmusal “. This was followed by the tour of the Basilica and the ancestral house of. The group was also treated with embroidery demo. The caravan proceeded to the Talisay via the Laurel Road providing a closer view of the coastal towns of Taal Lake and different perspective of the scenic lake and Volcano Island. The early afternoon arrival in Talisay provided the opportunity to check in at Balai Isabel and enjoy a short freshen up. Later, participants were treated to a ”karakol” for street dancing from the church to the bay walk past the passport stamping in front of the municipal hall.

The board walk was the perfect setting for “harvest of the lake” dinner with tawilis, and tilapia for a sumptuous dinner. Group was an also treated with a cooking demo with tilapia and talisay nuts as main ingredients. Entertainment was provided by a local cultural group.

This ends leg 1 of the Southern Tagalog Kulinarya Caravan

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