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

April 4, 2024

One of Luneta’s pocket gardens transformed into a bustling food park 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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