Pampanga sets first-ever Manyaman Festival
IN an effort to boost its food tourism and heritage cuisine, the province of Pampanga will hold in December its first-ever province-organized festival to celebrate its gastronomic fame, a historical cultural milestone that is foreseen to grow bigger and more extravagant and delicious in the coming years.
The festivity is aptly dubbed the Manyaman Festival, which is the Kapampangan word for delicious or mouthwatering. Preparations for the week-long celebration will be headed by Board Member Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, who is the chairperson of the festival’s Executive Committee and the head of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan’s Committee on Arts, Culture and Education.
The event will kick off on December 4, at the provincial capitol grounds in San Fernando City, Pampanga. It will be divided into two parts – a three-day food fair/expo and a two-day cook-off among the province’s best home cooks.
The food fair will be held at the Events Center in SM City Pampanga from December 4 to 6. It will feature iconic dishes from the province’s 19 municipalities and three cities, as well as their best food products and delicacies.
There will also be 20 Christmas-decorated booths, with matching sellers in yuletide attire, that will feature notable Pampanga restaurants. Judges will pick the best booth and costumes. There will likewise be cultural performances during the gastronomic festivity.
On December 5 and 6, the best home cooks from the province’s 22 local government units will have a series of cook-offs for the much-awaited gold in the Best Heirloom/Iconic Dishes, Best Arobu, and Best Kapampangan Dishes categories. The cooking competition will also feature a separate category for senior high school and culinary/HRM students.
The competition will be capped by a cooking demonstration at the Benigno Aquino Hall in the Capitol Grounds that will feature celebrated chefs in Pampanga. The culinary experts are expected to include innovation and present cuisine fusion to Kapampangan dishes.
Prior to the Manyaman Festival, the province will launch the Mutya Ning Kapampangan 2023 that will feature Pampanga’s most beautiful ladies. A pre-pageant show will be held on November 22 at SM City Pampanga’s Events Center, while the coronation night will be on December 10 at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center.
The provincial government will award the Most Outstanding Kapampangan (MOKA) on December 11 at the Kingsborough International Convention Center in San Fernando City to close the seven-day celebration.
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