Standout Bicol Food and Drinks in Madrid Fusion Manila 2017

Bicol’s third-year participation in Madrid Fusion Manila was so far the most productive.

DOT Representatives
National and regional DOT representatives with Renato Jao

Renato Jao, Albay’s ambassador for culinary, said this year people already knew what to expect [from the region]. “The optics also shifted to B2B as they showed interests in the products we showcased,” he added.

This MFM 2017 the region placed the spotlight on Daraga, Albay, as three sister cafes and restaurants – Tyler’s + Boulangerie and Cafe, 528 Ilawod and Balay Cena Una – joined the event. Each showcased specialty food and drinks specially made for MFM.

Roasted Coconut Creme Brulee


Tyler’s smoky dessert is tinutungan-inspired as it used roasted coconut instead of the traditional cream. As you bite, the smoky feels hovered around your mouth then settled in your tongue. Masiram! (Delicious)

Bunguran Banana Bread with Pili Nuts

Bunguran Banana Bread

It was moist, not too sweet and didn’t have a bitter aftertaste, perfect for the mocha chili 528 Ilawod was serving. Adrian Ocampo, a part-time videographer based in Manila, said it looked like an ordinary bread until you tasted it. “Fresh, fruity flavors erupts in your mouth.”

The Mainstays 


The Oriental Hotel showcased bicol express and pinangat, two most popular dishes of the region. It also introduced kinunot, kalo-ko and rice cake with Guinobatan longaniza.

Kalo-ko is a dessert made from taro shell filled with sweetened taro flesh.

A reporter that visited the booth said his ultimate favorite was pinangat, while another visitor wanted kalo-ko to be sweeter.

students who tried Bicol's Best products
The students enjoyed Bicol’s Best products, especially the Bicol express tinapa.

The tinapa bicol express from Bicol’s Best was also a crowd  favorite, from students to young professionals to working moms. The pure pinagat pleased those who liked it not spicy.

Puto with longganisa
Rice cake with Guinobatan Longaniza.

The table next to it displayed bite-sized Guinobatan longaniza. Made of chopped pork meat and lots of garlic, but brown sugar toned it down. Every bite was packed with flavor, thanks to one of its secret ingredients – gin?

Varieties of pili candies completed Bicol’s showcased products, from starters to meals to desserts and drinks.

On the second day, the display box for the bestseller Mazapan (pili nut bar) was empty. “Visitors couldn’t help but get a handful,” said the owner’s sister-in-law.

The choices for spicy drinks and refreshment were Choose Philippines best dessert, the sili ice cream; Da Vinci’s chili garden, and Ilawod’s new cocktail, hablom

Brewing Machine
528 Ilawod’s beautiful corner

Incidentally, we met Rachel from Goldilocks. She ranked Bicol as one of her top picks, along with Nestle and Philippine Airlines.

“Why,  was it because the person you’re talking with is from Bicol?” I teased.

“It was filling and familiar (being also a Bicolana)  and the delicacies are to die for, especially the creme brulee,  Guinobatan longaniza and Bicol express tinapa.

Catch these authentic and specialty Bicol cuisines and more when you visit the region. In the meantime, enjoy these beautiful creations from ShelMed.

Until the next Madrid Fusion Manila! 🙂

Photos courtesy of Adrian Ocampo