"Kapampangan cuisine is highly regarded as one of the most delicious variety in the Philippines. Discover the secrets of the locals and explore the rich culture of Pampanga through this one of a kind cultural culinary experience."
We joined the second run of the Viajeng Cusinang Matua last May 5, 2007. I will blog about the entire experience in the Viajeng Cusinang Matua Blog Series (5 posts), to give you a virtual tour of what this Viajeng Cusinang Matua is all about. Before you sign in for the 3rd run on June 9, 2007, let me give you our perspective about this tour.
Top 10 Things You Should Know About Viajeng Cusinang Matua
1. Viajeng Cusinang Matua literally translated as Tour Kitchen Old which means tour of the home-cooked kapampangan cuisines. The tour changes every time so that one could join the tour as many times as possible. It is also a good excuse to refine the tour to weed out what doesn't work and improve it over time.
2. The people behind the tour are Karlo De Leon, one of the travel bloggers in our country and Tracey Santiago, Alquimista, Inc. a Pasig Jaycee who conducts tours and field trips for schools and institution. Both are not Kapampangans, so they have to work with their Kapampangan consultants: Lilian Borromeo: Cooking Show host and Famous Kapampangan Culinary Expert; Karen Shih, Kapampangan Food Blogger (The Pilgrim's Pots and Pans) who lives in Sta. Rita, Pampanga: and Willie Carpio, Restaurateur in Sta. Rita Pampanga.
3. It is great that the tour is designed to go into the old houses of Kapampangans and you cannot go there on your own. This is one of my motivation to join the tour. I wanted to really know what Kapampangan food taste like because I truly believe it is one of the best if not, the Filipino food of the Philippines. If you have been reading my blog for a while, this is my 4th culinary tour of Pampanga. Also, we were excited to check out the famous Sta. Rita Sansrival.
Related Post: Pampanga Food Trip- A Culinary Tour of Pampanga 1.0
4. Overall, it was a very good experience but there's a lot of improvement areas. We thought that it was not well researched and the highlight of the tour is eating and the church / furniture visits seems like a good excuse to pass the time between food stops. It was a long tour and at the end of the day, you'll feel physically full but intellectually lacking of information. We would have like to know more of why the Kapampangan food are very tasty and much known. They should have explained the Kapampangans do not scrimp on ingredients because they want it to be a rich culinary experience.
5. Unfortunately, it did not deliver its promise of a delicious Kapampangan Cuisine. The food served are high-end Kapampangan food which is not your usual kapampangan comfort food like the ones you'll taste in Abe, Serendra or the Sisig of Pampanga. We missed eating the famous pampanga Sisig, or the Inihaw na Hito with Buro or the exotic Camaro of Pampanga. The only memorable food are the Kilayin of Lilian Borromeo, and the Cocido and Almondigas at the Gosioco house. And we love the buco sherbet during lunch! We had several servings of it and it was almost bottomless! It is a good thing that in their 3rd tour, they are putting in Everybody's Cafe to serve the everyday comfort food of Pampanga. Check out my previous post What a Spankadventure: The Very Best of Pampanga Cuisine!
6. The first run was mostly a media tour so expect great rave reviews about the tour. The second tour was a mixed reaction and just based on conversations from people in the tour, there was a mismatched in the expectation of what Kapampangan food should taste like. (For the tour participants -- please post your raves and reviews in the comments)
7. Don't be caught up by the marketing gimiks like the cost really is just P2,200 and the 500 discount is a good marketing ploy to give you a sense that it is a good deal. Each tour is a special edition because it changes everytime and they made sure that it is somehow unique from the previous ones. The testimonials in the poster above comes from media and the PR agencies who never paid for their tour.
8. Finally we were able to taste the famous Sta. Rita Sansrival by Ocampo-Lansang Delicacies. It was a disappointment because it taste like butter with a coconut twist. Good thing the other sweet treats like pastillas with dayap, uraro, and turrones de casoy were really good.
9. The tour was not really child-friendly but I'm glad that they let Aidan joined for free because we always bring him with our adventures. Some suggestions: they should have a kids rate P500 perhaps; there should be a kids friendly menu (simple comfort food); and probably availability of high chairs.
10. Overall, I would recommend it. Remember to interact with the other tour participants because the value of tours like this is not only in exploring the culinary tour of Pampanga but meeting wonderful people who share the same interest. Get a chance to interview the organizers and the culinary consultants -- they are wonderful individuals. We thought that P2,200 is just the right price because if you were to do it on your own, you will spend this amount for just the gas anyway.
(See the details of the June 9 Tour below)
Part III VIAJENG CUSINANG MATUA: Special Ed
Yes folks, after much waiting, we finally decided to do another go - the third run of Viajeng Cucinang Matua will be on June 9, 2007 . This time around, we will have side trips to some of Pampanga's pasalubong and delicacies stores.
The Kapampangan cuisine is highly regarded as one of the most delicious variety in the Philippines. Discover the secrets of the locals and explore the rich culture of Pampanga through this one of a kind cultural culinary experience.
On June 9, 2007, we will bring you to an extra special tour..
...we bring YOU to the some of the old kitchens of Pampanga...because the best Kapampangan dishes are made at home. As a special treat, we will also take you to some of Pampanga's Pasalubong stops so that next time you drop by, you know where to go for delicacies and delights.
RESERVE NOW. Limited slots only.
Departure from M.M. (6:30)
Breakfast - Cucina ng Atching Lillian Borromeo
Merienda - Kabigtings Halohalo
Lunch - Everybody's Cafe - Home of Authentic Kapampangan Cuisine
A Glimpse of Betis Church - The Sistine Chapel of the Philippines
Merienda - Betis Crafts
Dinner - Cucina nang Atching May qng Gosioco House
Departure from Pampanga
Arrival M.M. (10:00PM)
Get a P500 discount and pay only P2200 if you reserve on or before May 31, 2007. Tour fee is P2700 from June 1 - 6. Last day of payment and registration is on June 6.
The tour fee includes:
Transportation to and from Pampanga
Set and buffet dishes (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Meriendas)
5:40AM - Starbucks Greenbelt 1 (in front of AIM)
6:10AM - McDonald's El Pueblo
6:25AM McDonald's Edsa-QAve (near Quezon Ave MRT Station)
For those interested, please Email me for reservations. For those who have joined us before, it would be great if you could forward this to your friends :)
Hurry Hurry Hurry! We have limited slots :)
Karlo De Leon, The Sleepy Traveler
Tracey Santiago, Alquimista, Inc.