There is probably nothing as Pinoy as the carinderia, the local eatery found in every street corner offering traditional home cooked Filipino food. The carinderia is like the Pinoy version of fast food, albeit cheaper, healthier and tastier since they feature dishes that every mom cooks at home.
Unknown to some, there’s a carinderia expo that’s been going on since 2011. Judging from its positive feedback and support from various groups, the event’s organizer – Mary Lindbert International – had the good fortune of being backed up by Tourism Promotions Board for the 2018 staging of ‘Buhay Carinderia…Redefined.’ They even have celebrity cook and influencer Erwan Heussaff as the official content creator.
In photo: TPB Chief Operating Officer Cesar Montano, Marylindbert’s Linda Legaspi and Heussaff during the launch of Buhay Carinderia last April 11 at the Rizal Park Hotel.
On showcase at the launch were food representing typical carinderia fare such as kare-kare, pandit palabok, came and ginataang halo-halo, among others.
‘Buhay Carinderia…Redefined’ will search the Philippines for places representing the best of local cuisine.
First to be visited will be the areas of Northern Luzon—15 provinces that comprise Regions 1 and 2 as well as the Cordillera Administrative Region.
“From these cities and towns we will identify the best dishes, the individuals that prepared them, and the carinderias where they work for,” Legaspi noted.
Eventually the local culinarians will gather at Vigan Convention Center from June 28 to 29 where they will not only share their talent to everyone but also interact with chosen students of the area—through mentoring partnership—so they could also pass on their skills and experiences. The respective region’s best practices will be shared as well as discussions on availability of local ingredients. It is likewise an opportunity for cross selling of produce and talents.
“During this two-day exposition to showcase all the surrounding provinces’ culinary gems, we will also be searching for young individuals who will become our Philippine Tourism Millennial Ambassadors. They should be able to enlighten everyone of their
area’s deep and multicultural food history,” said Legaspi.
This same framework will be followed as “Buhay Carinderia… Redefined” explores Central Luzon (particularly Pampanga, regarded as one of the culinary capitals of the Philippines), the Bicol region, the Visayas region (Regions 6, 7 and 8) and finally,
the Mindanao region (Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13). Like what will happen in Vigan, there will also be a culminating 2-day event in San Fernando, Pampanga; in Naga; in Cebu; and finally in Davao City.
To cap off this nine-month-long culinary journey all over the Philippines, ‘Buhay Carinderia… Redefined’ will stage its biggest culinary exposition in November where all the regional bests under one roof will be showcased.
Legaspi expressed the belief that the carinderia culture is a potent symbol of the country’s heritage.
“And these days, tourists are not only looking for famous landmarks or attractions when they visit. They also want to have an idea of the local cuisine. Food is a universal need, and by developing our carinderia scene, we can give them the best of what we have to offer,” she noted.