Showcasing Davao's rich culture, gastronomic cuisine-A A +A
Thursday, September 26, 2013
THE Davao Cultural Festival was opened on September 9 with the Marco Polo Parkside General Manager Stanley Lau, Department of Tourism (DOT) Chief Tourism Operations officer Eden David, Cebu Pacific (CEB) Vice President for Marketing Candice Iyog and Celebrity Chef Gene Gonzales leading the guests to a toast.
Philippine Ambassador to China was represented by Minister and Consul Donna Rodriguez. With her were the officials from the Philippine Embassy and DOT-Beijing office represented by Warren Palacio.
The opening night was graced by the media, officials of Marco Polo, CEB officials and corporate guests of the said hotel.
Entertainment was provided by the Kalumon Performing Ensemble who will perform daily every lunch and dinner at the Cafe Marco at Marco Polo Parkside Hotel until September 27.
More than one hundred hotel guests that night from the invited partners to the regular diners tasted Davao cuisine prepared by team of the celebrity Chefs Gene and Gino Gonzalez.
Kinilaw (tuna with vinegar) and Pomelo Salad were the appetizers and followed by the Davao Malagos cheese as sidings to the dried shrimp. Lechon manok (roasted chicken) and grilled tuna panga (tuna jaw) were some of the main dishes at the Filipino buffet spread.
The Davao Cultural Festival is a joint project of the Department of Tourism with partners Marco Polo Parkside and Cebu Pacific. It is part of the DOT program on growing the Chinese awareness on Davao in Beijing and encourages them to visit Samal and Davao cities.
CEB thanked DOT and Marco Polo for the partnership which is the second time for the Davao Beijing promotions. "Thank you for making CEB part of this event."
DOT-Davao Region Director Art Boncato stressed on the importance of connectivity between Davao and China thus, a program on air routes is also being implemented by the DOT to connect the destinations to the market. "We are working closely with the airlines to connect Davao directly to our markets especially China."
The Davao Cultural Festival as not only on food diplomacy and promotions as well as the cultural performances, there were media and travel trade presentations on Davao tourism offerings which were both successfully held at the Marco Polo Parkside last September 10.
H.E. Erlinda Basillio also visited the Davao Cultural Festival last September 11 and invited a key Chinese business leader for a Filipino lunch. Xu Ningning of China-ASEAN business council executive secretary general has been invited by the Philippine Embassy to mount a business mission to Davao tentatively scheduled in November 2013.
"Just like in the previous year, during the first year of implementation, we gathered very good results as inventive groups came to visit Samal after the Davao Cultural Festival last June 2011. We are looking forward to more positive results this year and in the years to come," Boncato added.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 27, 2013.