PCG Calgary Supports Philippine Cuisine Festival Gala

25 June 2019, Calgary – The Philippine Consulate General supported the Philippine Cuisine Festival Gala held on 17 June 2019 at the Winston Golf Club in Calgary. 

Consul General Gilberto Asuque congratulated the event’s main organizers – Diaryo Alberta Society (DAS) and the Philippine & Culinary Federation of Canada (PCFC) – for putting up the event as part of the month-long celebration of the Philippine Heritage Month in Alberta, Canada.

Eighteen (18) Filipino chefs belonging to the PCFC came up with Filipino dishes that were served to about 170 guests in fine-dining style. The Filipino chefs came from various parts of the province of Alberta – Banff, Canmore, Cochrane, Calgary, Strathmore – and from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Quezon City, Philippines.

The Filipino dishes showcased were the following:

Sutukil– A trio seafood dish with yellow fin tuna as the main ingredient and done in sugba(grilled), tula(boiled) and kilaw (marinated in vinegar). This dish is popular in General Santos.

Chicken Inasal with Cucumber Salad– Grilled chicken cooked with calamansi, lemongrass and anatto oil. The dish comes from Bacolod.

La Paz Batchoy– A sweet and salty beef noodle soup popular in La Paz, Iloilo.

Hamonado and Biringhe Bulakenyo –Hamonado is pork meat marinated overnight with sweetened pineapple sauce. Baringhe, popular in Bulacan, is rice cooked with coconut milk and turmeric oil.

Durian Cheesecake– A dessert made of durian, an exquisite tasting fruit that is abundant in Davao.

Mango Calamansi Cocktail– Cocktail drink combining the Philippine mango and Philippine lime.

Sutukil, Chicken Inasalwith Cucumber Salad and La Paz Batchoy (Photo credit: DAS)
Hamonado and Biringhe Bulakenyo, Durian Cheesecake and Mango Calamansi Cocktail (Photo credit: DAS)

The Philippine Department of Tourism-San Francisco was also among the event’s sponsors. 

Consul General Gilberto Asuque addressing the guests at the Philippine Cuisine Festival Gala in Calgary.
Madame Rosalie Asuque and the officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Calgary together with some of the participating Filipino chefs.

Press Release: PCG Calgary

“Proudly Philippines” Brings a Taste of Filipino Cuisine and a Glimpse of Philippine Travel Destinations to Vancouver

15 June 2019 – Consul General Maria Andrelita S. Austria welcomes guests to the opening ceremony of the “Proudly Philippines” Food and Travel Fair, held on June 15, 2019 at the Robson Square, Vancouver, in celebration of the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence, the 70th year of PH-CA relations and the Canada-wide declaration for the very first time of the month of June as Filipino Heritage Month.

The opening program was attended by representatives from the Canadian government, members of the Consular Corps of British Columbia, business and Filipino-Canadian communities, and media.

Mr. Jason Pires (left), Co-anchor of CTV Morning Live in Vancouver, and Ms. Michelle Eliot, Host of CBC Radio’s BC Today, were the emcees for the opening program. Jason’s mother is aFilipino while Michelle was born in the Philippines.

(Clockwise from top left photo) Member of Parliament for Vancouver-Kingsway Don Davies, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston, andVancouver Deputy Mayor Sarah Kirby-Yung were the Canadian officials who graced the event. Philippine Department of Tourism-San Francisco office (PDOT-SF) Senior Tourism Officer Zeny Pallugna delivers her closing remarks. PDOT-SF supported the Consulate in mounting“Proudly Philippines”.

Consul General Maria Andrelita S. Austria cuts the ribbon to officially open the fair, with the assistance of (L-R) Senior Tourism Officer Pallugna, Deputy Mayor Kirby-Yung and MP Davies.

The La Riva Dance Studio and Ms. Sheryn Regis provided the entertainment during the opening program. The La Riva Studios is a family-owned business, founded and directed by Riva Oquendo in 1996, with the goal of expanding the dance community by teaching young children ballroom, hip hop and cultural dances. Sheryn Regis rose to fame during the first season of the Filipino singing competition, “Star in a Million”, and was dubbed the Crystal Voice of Asia by the Philippine local media. Sheryn is now based in the US.

Some of the Filipino-Canadian artists who performed during the day were the Aklanon Sto. Niño Association of B.C., Zambales Dance Group, violinists Kimwell and Grace del Rosario of Rosario Strings., Marife Elsted, Salve Dayao, and BIBAK.

Participating Filipino restaurants Plato Filipino, Kulinarya, Aling Mary’s Bakeshop and Goldilocks provided a taste of Filipino cuisine for visitors throughout the day. Corinthian Distributors and AFOD Ltd., two of the biggest Canadian importers of Philippine products, share their booth with Seasia Foods Ltd., and Rumtels Solution Inc., as well as Philippine exporters, Mama Sita, Paradise Fruits Corporation,Loobi Canada Inc., and Mega Global Corporation to highlight Philippine products already available in Canada. Also joining the event were various Vancouver-based enterprises owned by Filipino-Canadians, such as Kape, Kasama Chocolates, Bukobaba Essentials Inc.,La Glace, FlipSide Desserts, and, Filipino franchises, Max’s and Potato Corner.

The Philippine Department of Tourism-San Francisco office led travel agencies, (clockwise, from top left photo) New Millennium Holidays, Tourmasters Travel, Maligaya Travel, and Aling Mary’s Travel &Tours, as well as Philippine Airlines, in enticing visitors to the Philippines. The DOT’s photo booth, provided by Lucky Studios, was a highly popular attraction for the guests.

In addition to food and travel, “Proudly Philippines” also showcased the work of a group of Fil- Canadian artists (some of the exhibiting artists L-R: Lenore Lim, Tessie Dechupa and Ed Lantin) and photographer Allan Florendo, who presented the Consulate with one of his framed pictures of the Dinagyang festival. KannaNg of Weavinalikewise promoted her mat-woven products.

Press Release: PCG Vancouver

Take a Jeepney to a Pineapple Farm: A Bucket List for Traveling the Philippines

Have you been saving and searching for a dream vacation? Well, stop searching, because we’ve got a bucket list full of the best things to do in the Philippines that’ll have you booking your flight in no time.

For the Avid Hiker

The Philippines consists of 7,641 islands with a tropical maritime climate–which means it’s warm and humid the majority of the year. The extensive coastlines and rainforests on the islands provide a perfect habitat for plant and animal life to flourish. Hiking expeditions through this exotic wildlife offer unique experiences at sites that are inaccessible by car.

Explore the Banaue and Batad Rice Terraces

Carved into the mountainside more than 2,000 years ago, the rice terraces created–by the ancestors of indigenous Filipinos–are a sight to behold. The rainforests above the terraces provide water to the ancient irrigation system, which is still used today.

Catching a ride in a Jeepney–which provides local transportation across the Philippines–is the suggested way to start your hike. Guided hikes can be negotiated and purchased when you arrive in Banaue or before leaving for the Philippines.

Learn more about Lotte, a travel blogger from the Netherlands, and her hike through the rice terraces on her blog, Phenomenal Globe.

Backpack Mount Apo

Backpack to the top of Mount Apo, the tallest peak in the Philippines archipelago. The best known starting point originates in the national park located in Kidapawan City, the capital of Cotabato Province. The hike is expected to take three to four days and is considered a seven out of nine-difficulty rating, according to the local mountaineering guide.

Go Spelunking in Cantabon Cave

Described by some as an experience much like an obstacle course, you can try spelunking into one of the least corrupted caves in the Philippines when you visit Siquijor. The professionally guided caving experience at Cantabon Cave may leave you wet, dirty, and tired–but it’s unlike anything else you will see while visiting the islands.

The 800-meter hike into the cave is expected to take around two hours to complete. Watch this video of one group’s experience in the cave.

For the Divers and Swimmers

Under the clear blue water, the flora and fauna of the Philippines provide a spectacle any diver would enjoy. In fact, you can find more than 500 types of coral and 2,400 species of fish. Beyond the natural wonders of the area, you’ll find sunken ships to discover, special swimming classes, and friendly boat captains.

Attend the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy

Photo used courtesy of the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy[/caption]

Have you dreamed of swimming through the seas with one fin like a mermaid? The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy will teach you how! Start your introduction to a mermaid’s life in Boracay, Cebu, or Manila. For more in-depth courses, you’ll have to visit Boracay.

Initial intro classes include tail measurements and fittings, safety and photo training, and free swim time in shallow water. Advanced classes further teach safety, methods for swimming in deeper water, and lessons on how to act more like a mermaid by doing handstands and blowing mermaid bubbles.

Discover the Coron Bay Reefs and Wrecks

With more than 1,000 types of marine life to discover among the reefs and a dozen wrecked World War II ships, the area around Coron Bay is a diver’s paradise. It has been named among Forbes Traveler Magazine’s Top 10 Dive sites. Rock formations in the area also provide a lively snorkeling experience for those who like to stay near the top of the water.
One famous dive site is known as Gunter’s Cave, where you can visit a naturally lit, underwater cave. At certain times of the day a beam of light shines through the opening in the cave and illuminates the entire space.

Scuba at Tubbataha Natural Park

While visiting the sites at Tubbataha Natural Park, you must schedule a boat and stay on board during your trip. Its location in the middle of the Sulu Sea, with no human-inhabited land, makes visiting without a boat impossible.

Experienced divers, as well as newcomers to the hobby, will be impressed with no less than 360 coral species, 600 types of fish, 11 different shark species, and 13 whale and dolphin species that call the area home. Since December of 1993, the area has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected and loved by those who Scuba dive there.

For the Natural Wonder Enthusiasts

The climate and location of the Philippines creates natural wonders you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the natural wonders require boat rentals and some you might want a guided tour to enjoy. Either way, these are experiences you don’t want to miss.

Tour the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and National Park

Copyright by Eric Beltran[/caption]

Under the island of Palawan, you’ll find an exciting experience. The Puerto Princesa subterranean river flows directly beneath the St. Paul Mountain Range, weaving through cave-like structures beneath the mountains for 8.2 km. Getting to the starting point of the underground trip at Sabang is only about a 40km trip from Puerto Princesa. Once you’re there, this “New 7 Wonders of Nature” site will amaze you with waterfalls flowing from cave walls, ancient fossils, and creatures that live nowhere else in the world.

Don’t forget to get a permit to travel there, or else you won’t be allowed in. If you book a guided tour, your permit, boat, guide, lunch, and transport are usually all included. If you are staying in Sabang, you can opt to buy everything separately and use your negotiation skills to save some pesos.

Soak in the Hinatuan Enchanted River

Copyright Dennis Onashi[/caption]

The Hinatuan River is a deep spring, saltwater river on the island of Mindanao, which flows directly into the Philippine Sea and onto the Pacific Ocean. Catching a ride on a habal-habal motorcycle is the preferred way to get to the river once you arrive in Hinatuan.

The enchanting color of the water has long left local people to believe the water holds secrets. Whether the water itself has healing powers or if spirits keep the place safe, no one knows for sure. However, novice adventurers or advanced swimmers alike can find an area of the river they enjoy.

For the History Buffs

The history of the Philippine Islands is diverse. Different regions have unique stories and not all the islands have the same background. Travel the islands and sample cultures from around the world without having to get additional stamps in your passport.

Step Back in Time on Corregidor Island

Corregidor is an island found at the mouth of Manila Bay, in the southwestern part of Luzon Island. It has long been fortified by the reigning military forces to protect the most important seaport located in Manila. During World War II, the area was of great importance to both the Japanese military and the Allied Forces.

Today, the ruins of the fortifications from that time serve as a memorial and reminder to visitors about the cost of war. Families from around the world visit the site to remember loved ones and learn more about the history of the Philippines during WWII.

Hanging Coffins of Sagada

The practice of burying the dead in hanging coffins predates the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. Hoping to get the dead closer to the spirits of their ancestors, Filipinos hung or nailed the coffins to the sides of cliffs. However, the tradition is practiced today on a much smaller scale than in the past.

Today, the burial ceremonies are only held by the elders of Sagada, as the younger generation have adopted more modern burial traditions and enjoy being able to visit their ancestors on All Saints Day.

Walk the Cobblestone Streets of Vigan

Vigan is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines, but its structures have mostly been preserved and restored. The cobblestone streets and unique architecture–which marry the Philippines’ traditional Filipino structures with those of the Spanish-colonial era–make it a popular vacation destination.

One can visit preserved houses near the central park, known as Plaza Salcedo, which surrounds Plaza Burgos. You’ll also find a museum along Crisologo Street with unique antique collections of memorabilia and vehicles. When your feet tire of walking along the cobblestones, snag a ride in a kalesa and complete your journey back in time.

For the Nature Lovers

The unique land, as well as the special plants and animals that call the Philippines home, often require protection. Unfortunately, it would be easy for these unique plant and animal species to be endangered without formal conservation efforts. While you’re there, visit a few of the reservations dedicated to protecting the Philippines’ natural wonders.

Experience Everything El Nido Marine Reserve Park Has to Offer

Located on the northernmost tip of the Palawan mainland, El Nido Marine Reserve Park is a perfect example of the diversity you’ll see when traveling through the Philippines. You can fly into the airport at Puerto Princesa or travel by boat. When you arrive, you’ll see white sand beaches and limestone cliffs, high-end resorts, endemic and endangered species of birds, and lush forests.

With more than 30 dive sites, there’s more to see while diving than you’ll be able to fit in during most trips. The resorts on nearby islands offer snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and spa treatments in addition to the diving expeditions. You can even find a secret beach hidden among rocks if you’re brave enough to swim through a hole in the limestone.

Visit the Tarsier Sanctuary

The Tarsier, one of the world’s smallest primates, is indigenous to the Philippines. You can visit the Tarsier Sanctuary while you are in Bohol and, for a small price, you can pay for a guide to help you trek through the sanctuary and spot the Tarsiers in their natural habitat. Your guide will be glad to help with taking videos and photos along the way. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and culminates on a viewing deck over the sanctuary.

See the Ruins at Mount Mayon Active Volcano Natural Park

Mount Mayon is the most active volcano in the Philippines and is located on the island of Luzon. The most destructive eruption happened in 1814. Five towns were destroyed in that eruption, but each one was rebuilt, demonstrating the resilience of the locals.

The Cagsawa Ruins are the remnants of a Franciscan church destroyed in the 1814 eruption and are one of the most visited areas of the Natural Park. Near the ruins, you will find the Cagsawa National Museum, which helps the local government care for the park and ruins.

Live Like a Local

One of the greatest treasures you will find while traveling the Philippines are the people who live there. Learn about how they live while doing things the Filipino way. Get to know them, make friends, and let them show you the best ways to enjoy your time in the Philippines.

For more information on how to eat like a local or see what the locals see, check out our blog. Don’t hesitate to send us your questions. We can’t wait to help you visit the Philippines!

Manila and its Southern Outskirts

Summer is almost here, and you just can’t wait to bathe under the scorching sun. Coron, Cebu, and Boracay are some of the famous destinations in the Philippines where you can enjoy the tropical weather. Comprised of more than 7,641 islands, it might be hard to move from one place to another unless you have the time and the resources. Good thing there are world-class destinations a few hours from Manila. Go down South Luzon and experience accessible world-class destinations without spending too much of your time!

Laguna

Located Southeast of Metro Manila, Laguna is engulfed in rich culture, nature and plenty of attractions you could discover yourself. The promising destination is home to Pagsanjan Falls, Mount Makiling, Paete – the wood carvers’ town, and Los Baños Hot Springs. If you’re fond of a serene atmosphere where you could contemplate about life, Lake Pandin in San Pablo offers a calm adventure and you may even dine in the middle of the lake with your special someone. Make sure not to miss Villa Escudero, a resort plantation, reputed as a showcase for the Philippines’ rich cultural heritage, offering a charming glimpse of history, cuisine, dress, customs and nature.  The villa has become famous for its restaurant at the foot of a man-made waterfall which is truly a unique dining experience.

Tagaytay

Tagaytay is the most popular choice among locals looking for a cooler climate. Its chilly atmosphere, refreshing sights and outstanding restaurants offer an easy escape from a buzzling city life. People who are in dire need of a quiet time alone deserves this haven called Tagaytay. One can drop by Palace in the Sky, situated on top of Mt. Sungay where you could overlook and enjoy the interesting landscapes. Another noteworthy spot is Tierra de Maria which is an ideal place for spiritual contemplation and healing. It is famous for its 50-foot tall statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a replica of the Virgin of Manaoag. Several vantage points are available for you to visit and be amazed with the overlooking views that can be seen in Tagaytay.

Batangas

Having one of the longest coastlines in Southern Luzon, Batangas offers a variety of beaches perfect for your travel adventure. Batangas is known to have it all –historical structures, a volcano within a lake, pristine beaches, diverse marine life, and everyone’s favorite, irresistible delicacies. Tourist activities in Batangas include overnight stays in resorts in Nasugbu, Calatagan, Mabini, and San Juan, hike to Taal Volcano island, pilgrimage to the numerous churches in the Archdiocese of Lipa, and visits to well-preserved ancestral houses in the Heritage Town of Taal. If you are an underwater adventure enthusiast, a trip to Anilao is a must. It is a world class diving destination belonging to the waters of the Verde Island Passage labeled as the “center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity”.

Enjoy the beauty of the Philippines with these provinces and secure yourself with the best tropical vacation without the expense of your time! Contact our travel experts and embark on another meaningful journey.

Viva Visayas- 4 must-see destinations in Central Philippines

There’s more to the Philippines than the picture-perfect seascapes of Boracay and Palawan. In fact, more and more travel writers are becoming gateways to the world as they beautifully narrate their adventures in this amazing archipelago. The great thing about this country is that with over 7,000 islands, you will surely find the kind of escape you are looking for. So how about experiencing four amazing islands in the Visayas, in just 8 days? Some may say it’s crazy, but we say it’s possible! To help you fully appreciate the beauty of this country, let’s go on a wild ride through Cebu, Panglao, Bohol, and Siquijor.

First stop- Cebu

It only makes sense to start this tropical escapade in the Queen City of the South. This part of Visayas is like a bite-sized version of the country’s capital Manila with its electricity but with an additional serving of mother nature’s best creations. So, if you the vacation of your dreams is a perfect combination of the pulsating city life and the quaint charm in the arms of amazing oceans, then Cebu is the place to be.

We’ve done a few articles highlighting the many destinations you should experience in Cebu. For places that are rich in history, you definitely should pay a visit to Magellan’s Cross which Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan erected to commemorate the conversion of King Humabon of Cebu and his Queen, son and daughters, together with some of 800 of their subjects to Christianity. Another historical site worth visiting is the Minor Basilica of Santo Niño, the home of the original and oldest religious relic in the Philippines in honor of the Holy Child Jesus.

Of course, you can’t leave Cebu and move on to the next destination without treating yourself to an actual magnificent tropical getaway. The seascapes here are incredible with marine life that would definitely make you want to stay underwater. Our recommendation- Tingko Beach, Mactan Island, and Malapascua.

Second stop- Panglao

The beautiful Central Philippines is located in the north Bohol Sea and is home not just to breathtaking white-sand beaches but also to gorgeous terrains like mountains, hills, and limestone formations. Out of all the many islands that make Panglao (like Gak-ang, Pontod, and Balicasag), the most popular is Alona Beach, recognized for its white sand and pristine waters. This island is also perfect for travelers looking to take their adventure travel to the next level through water activities such as scuba diving, dolphin watching, snorkeling, and island hopping. In fact, around 250 new species of crustaceans, as well as 2500 new mollusks species, were found around the island, this discovery actually revealed that Panglao has more marine biodiversity compared to the Mediterranean Sea and Japan.

Third stop- Bohol mainland

Now, we go to the mainland of, an island province filled with natural wonders. Yes, Panglao does the fair share of bringing in tourists to this destination but Bohol mainland is known for its lush forests and white-sand beaches, and more importantly for the majestic Chocolate Hills.

The Chocolate Hills makes for some breathtaking landscape views you would ever see in your lifetime and what makes it even more amazing is the many stories and legends that surround it; one of which is of two giants in a battle throwing boulders at each other. But this place is just the tip of the iceberg that is Bohol because you still have those cute bug-eyed tarsiers, the delectable local delicacies, the historical attractions, and the white-sand beaches to see and experience.

If you want your #SummerGoals achieved, Bohol is definitely a place to visit because you will go back home with a suitcase filled with unforgettable adventures.

Last stop- Siquijor

Known for being a place of mystery and magic, Siquijor is a must-visit destination for those who are after a truly unique tropical adventure travel. If you’re up for it, you could time your vacation to witness their festivals which focus on rituals of healing. On these local occasions, incantations are being sung while the elders brew potions made out of herbs, insects, tree barks, and roots. In fact, if you’re lucky, a few locals would gladly share legends of witchcraft on the island.

But stories of wizardry are not just what makes Siquijor a must-experience destination; it has plenty of natural wonders that would make any traveler come back time and again. With a 102-kilometer coastline of white-sand beaches, it comes as no surprise that Siquijor is home to some of the best diving spots in the Philippines. It also has caves, waterfalls, a natural park, and a butterfly sanctuary.

Ready to take on these four amazing islands? Check out the eight-day tour of Central Philippines our travel partner has for you and start booking your flight for another summer to remember!

What to do in Bohol

Home of the cute Tarsiers, Bohol is serene but adventurous version of the entire archipelago. The endless possibilities found in Bohol will not only calm your screaming tired soul but also awaken the sleeping adrenaline junkie within. Listed below are four things you must not miss when in Bohol.

1. Exploring Loboc River

Surrounded by captivating rainforests, Loboc River is a jaw-dropping turquoise-colored river that Bohol takes pride in. While most people opt for a cruise along the impressive river, adventurous people can take an extra mile by stand-up paddle boarding along the river. It is a lot easier to paddle board in Loboc due to tranquil waters which involves less friction and smooth-sailing. Stand Up Paddling offers a quiet time and re-connecting with nature. You paddle at your own pace, meditatively as you cruise down this river paradise in Loboc. You’ll get to see the ruined 17th-century coral stone San Pedro Apostol Parish Church which was destroyed by consecutive natural disasters. Watching the colors of the sky change as the night time approaches is an added bonus to end your relaxing day at Loboc River.

2. Island Hopping in Panglao, Bohol

What would a vacation mean without getting a luxurious time at a beach? But in Bohol, you should not stay at just one beach. Known to have a lot of beaches with light blue waters and defined sandbars, it would be hard to discover them all. There are plenty of activities you can do depending on the island you are about to encounter. Passing by fish pens can be arranged so you could feed the tiny schools of fish., you can also check snorkeling off your list in an island called Gak-ang or scuba dive in the neighboring island of Balicasag. Immeasurably protected and preserved by the government, you will only find unspoiled beaches with clear waters free from litter and any kind of trash. Since they are strict with implementing rules, you must enjoy the lovely sceneries while abiding the rules. Leave nothing but memories, good friend!

3. Getting cozy with tarsiers

Traveling around Bohol without visiting the tarsiers in their sanctuaries would be incomplete. These cute googly-eyed mammals are most active at night and lives on a diet of insects. One of the smallest primates in the world, Tarsiers even have a special adaptation in the neck which allows its head to be rotated 180 degrees. While visiting these shy lemur-like animals, always move in with caution. As they are extremely introverted, flashes of cameras and loud sounds can startle them in an instant. Make sure to ask your guide for any questions to fill up those tarsier trivia you’ve been dreaming of learning.

4. Sight-seeing the Chocolate Hills

Last but not the least, the essence of Bohol, Chocolate Hills. Spread in a wide area of 50 square kilometers, the majestic hills are covered with grass, which, at the end of the dry season, turns chocolate brown making it one of Bohol’s main attraction. One travel tip would be to ask locals or your tour guide on famous folklore about the chocolate hills that you could brag and pass on to your friends. Make sure you have eaten before watching over the symmetrical chocolate-colored hills as it would just make you crave more for Hershey’s kisses.

Convinced of the ultimate Bohol getaway? Contact our travel partners and we’ll arrange everything according to your taste. See you soon!

5 must-try delicacies in Vigan

One of UNESCO’s World Heritage Cities, Vigan is acclaimed for being an intact example of a planned Spanish colonial town in Asia that features 233 historical structures built during the mid 18th to the late 19th century lined up in a grid of 25 streets.   The famous cobble-stoned Calle Crisologo is definitely one of the highlights but roaming around the rustic but elegant streets of Vigan would definitely tire you out. Worry not, here are 5 of the most sumptuous foods from the city of Vigan that will boost your energy fuel.

Pakbet

Pakbet or more known as Pinakbet for people in the South, is also one of Ilocos’s preserved dishes. Vigan’s style of pakbet sets its difference from the Southern’s through adding bitter gourd and excluding squash which is a key ingredient of Southerns. Ilocanos customarily uses vegetables which can be grown from their backyards such as eggplants, okra, string beans, chili peppers, and bitter gourd. If you’re feeling a bit conscious about your health, this is the perfect meal to try out in Vigan.

Royal Bibingka

A sweet tooth must-try, the royal bibingka also made its mark as one of Vigan’s specialties. If compared with the ordinary “Christmas bibingka”, Vigan’s royal bibingka falls short if size were the basis. But, what they say is true, small is terrible. In this case, terribly delicious! The crusty top and the sticky but soft cupcaked-sized body makes up the crowd favorite bibingka. Topped with cheese and butter, you can never go wrong with a Royal Bibingka.

Longganisang Iloko

If you’re a breakfast geek, Longganisang Iloko which is also branded as Vigan Longganisa among locals is the town’s own traditional version of a sausage. A bit plump, full of garlic, and seen as a bit yellowish compared to usual sausages but one small bite can change your life. Filipinos cook them in a pan with a bit of water. After the water evaporates, the longganisa is fried using its own fat and is further fried until it turns slightly brown. It brings out its best flavor when dipped in vinegar.

Empanada

Of course, if you’re in town, you shouldn’t miss out on this one. Found almost anywhere within the crowded plazas of Vigan, Empanada is something Vigan takes pride in. Combining the aforementioned Longganisang Iloko, beans, shredded cabbages, grated unripe papayas, onion, garlic and egg makes up the core of orange-colored Empanada. Sellers make it right before your very eyes which is also another interesting sight.

Bagnet

Traditionally dried under the sun, marinated then deep-fried to make it crisp and tender, Bagnet is recognized as the region’s delicacy symbol. This huge chunk of meat with crunchy golden skin that was fried to perfection can be eaten at any time of the day which is convenient for travelers as it is available basically everywhere. One bite and you’ll get hooked so be wary of this cholesterol-rich slice of heaven.

So, if you’re going to give in on the Filipino-Spanish nostalgia that comes with visiting beautiful Vigan, then we suggest you try these delicacies before packing up your bags to go back home! To learn more about Vigan, just click here!