OVER the course of 2017, the Indonesian Consulate in Davao City has organized a series of programs that highlights and introduces their culture to the Dabawenyos.

One of the programs that bannered this year's cultural-related activities is the five Indonesian Cooking Lessons that were held on May, June, October, and November. The first to third lessons were held from May to June while the fourth was on October 25 and the latest, the fifth, was on November 29.

All the cooking lessons were held at the Residence of the Consul General at the consulate compound.

"These events do not only try to introduce the Indonesian cuisine to the Philippines’ market, but also to open opportunity and access for Indonesian food in the Philippines’ market, especially for Mindanao. We expect that Indonesian food and beverage to be more recognized and sellable in the restaurant, store, hotels, malls, and food court all over Mindanao," the consular office said.

The office, in their overview, said the lessons provided a valuable insight on how to prepare some Indonesian food.

"By learning about the process on how to prepare the dishes, the guest would encouraged to practice and flourish their knowledge about Indonesian cuisine and how to prepare them, and at the end, they will put the dishes on their menu," the office said.

Among the dishes that were prepared were the Sate Ayam Madura; Ikan Bumbu Acar Kuning; and Kue Nagasari.

Sate Ayam Madura is simply chicken satay with peanut sauce, a popular dish throughout the archipelago. The Ikan Bumbu Acar Kuning is fish sprinkled with yellow pickle seasoning and topped with carrots, cucumbers, or pineapple.

Lastly, the Kue Nagasari is a traditional cake from Java Island. The steamed cake is wrapped in banana leaves made from rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and filled with banana.

Last November 24 to 26, the Indonesian consulate office here staged the first Indonesian Fashion Expo at the Abreea Mall.

The expo showcased Indonesia's potential clothing products, bags, shoes, and fashion accessories that can be marketed in the Philippines. The expo was participated by 24 Indonesian fashion designers and business owners.

One of the designers, Dra. Murni Yanti of Enling Galeri, showcased various hand painted dresses that were different from one another.

"I paint all of my dresses all by myself and because these each dress is a limited edition. Only one design for one blouse or dress," Yanti said, adding that she spends at least five hours to hand paint a dress.

Sari Soentoro showcased bags and accessories that she designed.

"When I started, I was just selling necklaces but later on I started selling bags too," Soentoro said, adding that she just started this year after she left her job as a flight attendant.

Sendy Deka Saputra S.Ikom of Sendy Leather showcased various leather products like bag, wallets, and jackets.

"Our designs follow the current trend. Mostly we use cow leather for the product but in the expo we also brought crocodile and snake leather," he said.

Consul General Berlian Napitupulu said the fashion expo highlights the diverse and rich culture of Indonesia.

"Indonesia's culture is very diverse because of its various ethnic groups. With around 17,000 islands, every island has its own culture, including the language," Napitupulu said.

He added, "The designs you will find here are unique and are masterpieces... Indonesian fashion, represents its culture."

From the beginning of the year up until now, the Indonesian Consulate in Davao City has stepped up its efforts to really showcase their culture and help the Filipinos understand the Indonesian culture better be it through food or fashion.