“This 'Mangan Taku' is a Cordilleran food fair really focused on food as a value-added tourism experience because visitors always look and find for something new,” said Jovita Ganongan, DOT-CAR officer-in-charge, on the sidelines of the opening program on Monday.
Jointly organized by the DOT, the Department of Agriculture and the city government, the event was participated in by Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, bringing all the different indigenous food of their localities -- some in the original way they are cooked and some with a twist and fusion to adapt to the modern taste.
Abra is showcasing its pancit miki, masa podrida, goloria and patupat which are being made by the indigenous people of their province. The hot soup made hotter with chili sauce, making the cold breeze at the park more enjoyable.
They also have the 'inladit'- a cracker laced with honey, and the "kornik" (dried corn kernels).
Apayao's "binanayan", "pinalatan" and "pinaltit" pizza plus their appetizer called "abraw" made with pickled coconut and mixed with crabs and sea shells is selling like hotcake as people lined up and placed orders to make sure they get to bring their share home on the same day.
The Benguet booth showcased the smoked meat, locally called "kini-ing", which is served the modern way like the kini-ing siopao, with Tuba town's ava (yam) flour for the dough. They also have the kini-ing burger, kini-ing carbonara, kini-ing shanghai, and kini-ing shawarma.
Kalinga province showcased its "diket" or their heirloom glutinous rice delicacies called "inanchila", "kinalloray" and "sapurado", which are served during special occasions.
Ifugao offers the "pinunnog" or their smoked longganisa while Mountain Province is serving its version of the "pinikpikan", "bukku" or the camote flour and their best-selling bugnay (fruit) wine.
Other booths of restaurants in Baguio that serve native delicacies also showcase native Cordillera cuisine the "restaurant way", giving a twist to the native food experience.
"These are the best indigenous food every provinces want to offer in this Mangan Taku food fair, and to let locals and tourists experience a different kind of taste and indulgence in the City of pines, which they can also find when they visit the Cordillera provinces," Ganongan said.
City Tourism Officer, Aloysius Mapayo, said the event is the region's way of calling on visitors and friends all over the country to visit Baguio City and the rest of the Cordillera.
He said it is everybody’s chance to try the different cuisines in the region by just dropping by Baguio, and it is not just to showcase products but also to discover more of the Cordilleran food.
"We have several tourists in Baguio and we want them to taste the food from the provinces for them to be enticed and see the other parts of the region," he said.
Mangan Taku will run until April 14. (With reports from Aiza Caramto, OJT/PNA)
By Liza Agoot