8 Local Food Festivals to Plan Your VLs Around
You don't even have to go too far to travel for food.
by Shen Mascariñas | February 08, 2016
There are very few things that can top the awesome combo of food and travel. Isn’t this what almost every VL aims to achieve? Leave cramming for some other project; start planning your food adventures now! Get friendly with your boss (and HR), plot the dates and sweat off some room for these local food festivals.
Leave all your tight-fitting clothes behind, and get ready to explore these beautiful places in the best way possible—through their best food forward, of course.
February: Suman Festival in Baler, Aurora
Suman isn’t only considered comfort food for many Pinoys, it’s also known to signify prosperity for the locals of Baler. Every February, they offer bundles of suman to San Isidro and throw pieces of suman from their balconies as the image of San Isidro passes their houses.
This festival is basically free suman heaven for you, coupled with awesome surfing that Baler’s very popular for. The date may vary, but keep the 19th on your radar.
March: Kesong Puti Festival in Santa Cruz, Laguna
Forget about Parmesan, Brie and Gouda this coming March. Kesong Puti will be the star in Santa Cruz, Laguna and rightfully so. This delicious native cheese is definitely a must-try if you haven’t and a must-pig-out if you have. Look forward to cooking showdowns featuring this wonderful ingredient and tons of other great activities.
April: Manggahan Festival in Guimaras, Iloilo
If you’re already smitten with the sweet-tart mangoes you source from your suki, then prepare to have your mango expectations leveled up in Guimaras. Known as the city with one of the sweetest mangoes in the Philippines and even in the world, experiencing Guimaras should really be a requirement for every mango-loving Pinoy.
May: Bawang Festival in Sinait, Ilocos Sur
Ditch the typical #Laboracay plan for Ilocos Sur’s fragrant and scrumptious Bawang festival, happening in May 1. Just imagine all the garlic-glorified dishes that you can indulge on instead of the dieting you have to do to maintain that (hypothetical) Bora bod.
June: Lechon Festival in Balayan, Batangas
This might be your best chance at spotting Anthony Bourdain, eating his heart out in Balayan’s lechon festival. Just kidding. With or without Bourdain’s presence though, how can you say no to unlimited servings of beautiful lechon? That’s right, the answer is you shouldn’t.
July: Alimango Festival in Santa Margarita, Samar
Seafood-lovers, alimango-enthusiasts especially, this festival is definitely for you! Head to Samar’s Santa Margarita for full appreciation of alimango in various ways, may it be through cook-offs, parades and even crab-racing.
August: Dinagat-Bakasi at Cordova, Cebu
If you have the palate for something different and more adventurous than usual seafood, try Dinagat-Bakasi. This refers to exotic eel that Cordova’s waters are wealthy with. For your first encounter, it’s definitely a good idea to time it in August for Cebu’s festival. Aside from adding something new to your seafood favorites, you can also enjoy peculiar dances, cooking contests and various other fun activities.
September: Tuna Festival at General Santos, South Cotabato
Ditch the canned version for the real deal this September in gorgeous General Santos. Not only is this city the home of Manny Pacquiao, General Santos is also known as one the world’s top exporters of incredibly-fresh, sashimi-grade tuna. You’ve never eaten tuna sashimi properly if you’ve never eaten it from General Santos.
Any other local food festivals that every food-loving Pinoy must experience? Sound off with your best food adventures below!