This year, summertime in the Philippines becomes even more special because, after two years of being cooped up in the safety of their home, Filipinos can now go to places much like how it was during the pre-pandemic time. And for the tourism and hospitality industries, the best way to meet these revenge travelers, local or international, is by putting Filipino culture in the spotlight.
That is what Megaworld Hotels and Resorts (MHR) as it partners with the Department of Tourism United Kingdom (UK) through its MEGA European Familiarization Tour 2022 held at Savoy Hotel Manila in Newport City Pasay last April 21. The business-to-business (B2B) networking event gathered major destination management companies to connect with some of the biggest travel tour operators from Spain, Italy, and the UK as they get a potent dose of Filipino heritage.
“Meeting everyone face to face is in itself a huge step towards embracing the return of better business and tourism for the Philippines” said Lynette Ermac, group director of Sales and Marketing for Megaworld Hotels and Resorts. “Seeing partners present like Baron Travel, Intas Destination Management, Travelexperts, Shroff International Travel Care Inc., Travelite Travel and Tours Co., Blue Horizons Travel and Tours, Uni-Orient Travel and Tours, Annset Holidays, Ark Travel Express, Marsman Drysdale along with other European based tour operators similar to Social Trinity, Anywhere We Roam, Flight Centre, Dial-A-Flight, Tru Travel, Bamboo Travel, and Moresand is a confident representation that the industry needs right now for it to get back on its feet.”
Lynette Ermac, Group Director of Sales and Marketing for Megaworld Hotels and Resorts
Carrying the pride for quintessential Filipino Hospitality, the event showcased what makes any trip always more fun in the Philippines. “Allowing our partners to rediscover our nation in the new normal and all that it has to offer will work wonders for larger traveling groups to keep us part of their itinerary,” Ermac suggested.
During the event, the guests were welcomed by the loud roars of festival drums with ushers donning modern Filipiniana. They were also treated with harana (live serenade) of original Filipino ballads and a visual journey with an exhibit by Nami Art Gallery featuring masterpieces by local artists Ojing Señara, Doy Kastilyo, Christian Regis, and Fidel Sarmiento curated by Nami Art Gallery. The fiesta spirit continues with the performance by Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival Street Dancers.
Members of the Destination Management Companies, International media from Spain, Italy and United Kingdom, Philippine Department of Tourism, and top executives of Megaworld Hotels and Resorts
The Philippines on a plate
This kind of festivity will, of course, not be complete without a banquet filled with delectable eats and drinks. Guests went on a truly Flipino gastronomic journey with a serving of classic street-side treats from sorbetes, halo-halo, and taho to fish ball and mani. Brining a celebration of Filipino flavors is the 360° grazing table that displayed artisan cheese and local charcuterie, dried fruits, whole salmon tinapa, and even a market-style local fruit stand featuring endemic produce from around the Philippines. Guests also fell in love with decadent champorado cakes and Bulacan’s best chicharron brittle, macapuno balls, and the must try espasol pralines. The spread also included a carving station that paid tribute to the country’s rich seafood offers like tuna sashimi and Aklan’s oyster shacklings that were best paired with sinamak vinegar, sago small, guso seaweeds, pomelo, and pako. The Lechon Batangas was also a crowd getter especially when dipped in bringhe, pinakurat vinegar, or coffee sauce. Just like a true fiesta, Lechon Baka or US Prime Rib served with mangosteen jam made it all a cultural gustatory delight that everyone enjoyed.
Raising a toast and officially opening the event in hopes of a more progressive tourism industry (from left) Pura Molintas, Tead Head for Northern and Southern Europe, Mediterranean and Oceania, Nerissa Del Fierro-Juan, Head of Europe Division International Promotions Department, Glen Agustin, Chief for Market Development, Cleofe Albiso, Managing Director of MHR, Hon. Leo Lim, Ambassador of Denmark, Sharlene Zabala-Batin, MPA DOT Regional Director for NCR, Gerry Pangan DOT Attache’-Europe.
To keep everyone in high spirit, a mixology 101 courtesy of Emperador Distillers Inc. showed them how to concoct new cocktail mixes like the Palamig, which makes use of anise, honey, calamansi, and soda; Presko with mango, basil, calamansi and sprite; Guava Empire mixing guava, mango, lime and sprite; and Canadian Screw prepared with whisky and orange.
Rekindle the joys of traveling with no less than the biggest homegrown hotel chain operator in the Philippines, Megaworld Hotels and Resorts. For more information about its properties simply visit www.megaworldhotels.com or connect with them through any of its hotels’ official social media pages.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph