By Annette A. Ferrer
Sometimes, it takes an outsider to show us how central food is to Filipino culture. A roommate of mine, doing an internship in the Philippines, once told me after his string of meetings, “Boy, you Filipinos just LOVE to eat, don’t you?!” And it was then that I realized that hardly any Filipino meeting will not have food at the center of it. Meetings at offices will have some sort of merienda; other meetings at restaurants will have food; and of course, when one meets at one’s house – professional or personal – the host will always have something prepared to munch on.
Indeed, not having food at whatever function or gathering would be considered out-of-character of the Filipino.
Food is how we show hospitality, care, and attention. Go to even the poorest villages and the hosts will scrounge around for the best that they can offer to guests. And here we see the generosity of the Filipino heart. It is the same generosity of heart and richness of culture that Matabungkay Beach Hotel celebrates each year through food and drink with the Batangas Food Festival (BFF).
Now on it’s 4th year, the food festival promises to be the best yet. Batangas Food Festival 2018 compiles many of the best dishes it has served in previous BFFs such as Chef Nancy Lumen’s Rodrigo’s Roast made especially for the hotel – a pork belly roast with adobo spices and crusted with brown sugar, just the savory-sweet Filipinos love. Chef Jaja Andal’s Bulalo with Grilled Bone Marrow also is a comeback dish – a deconstructed bulalo served almost in a French style. Then there is Crispy Adobong Manok sa Barako that features the strong and robust coffee flavor that Batangas is known for. The BFF will also feature cocktails such as Silabuyo-eh, a spicy twist on a mojito and Buracho de Azucar that pays homage to the sugar cane fields and refineries in the area.
Other additions to the menu are Bistek Tagalong Crostini, Ginataang Sinaing na Bangus Belly, Tapang Taal with Calaca Atsara (from the Calaca, Batangas area), and Chef Jaja Andal’s Barakomisu Tiramisu Ala Eh!, a Batangueño version of the classic Italian dessert.
There is much to look forward to at the Batangas Food Festival 2018 launching in a Grand Buffet this November 10, 2018, Saturday at 12 noon at the Matabungkay Beach Hotel. Don’t miss the deliciousness of the food and the warmth of potential new friendships!