Filipinos are very sentimental about celebrations. What makes celebrations special, aside from the candid and bonding moments with family and friends, is the preparation and variety of food served in Christmas parties and, especially, during the Noche Buena.
Taking from Eden's Misa De Gallo 2009 celebration of 9 mornings with 9 Filipino festive dishes, earlier this year Eden has launched the Sarap ng Pasko 100 Days of Christmas inviting 100 towns to come up with 100 unique recipes. This places the Philippines on top of having the longest Christmas celebration ever! A nationwide vote made way for the top 9 dishes to be shared with the community in a Keso de Gallo feast.
This unique celebration brings Filipino culinary creativity and food tourism to the next level. Ms Anna Sapitan, Kraft Eden's Senior Brand Manager, shares that she is very happy that the event "unified the nation as a whole and made the Philippines proud with this campaign."
I started the day early with a visit to my hometown: Mandaluyong City. Two years ago my family and I went to Policarpio Street to see the enchanting holiday display of the neighborhood. My son enjoyed looking at the house adorned with different versions of Santa Claus. This year, I returned to visit the memorable San Felipe Neri Church.
After Simbang Gabi, churchgoers were greeted by the live broadcast of Umagang Kay Ganda at the Church grounds. As part of Eden's Keso de Gallo celebration, the last of 9 winning entries to the Sarap ng Pasko contest was awarded. Ms Gloria Sevilla, who came up with the recipe, won the 9th place with Trio Cheese Delight.
The recipe is a healthy and unique alternative to the usual Turon we see in almost every local community. It is made richer with vegetables and added with cheese as an additional source of calcium. My son will definitely like this!
|Nayon ng Kabataan kids and staff|
|NK kids with their Kraft giveaways|
Alex Tacderas, Kraft Category Marketing Manager, gives insight on Kraft's future plan for next year's Christmas celebration. He says they may have a different twist "depending on what meaningful need we see next year." They were "more importantly moved by the community spirit" when they visited the different towns who participated in the contest. "We were touched by people we do not even know who were giving help in terms of performers, venue, and food. This is more than we were looking for." The winners coordinated with charitable institutions to identify beneficiaries for the Keso de Gallo feast, which served as a feeding program.
I have always enjoyed spending time with kids. Once again, this was an enlightening experience to see the simple joys of children. I hope that even after Christmas, more will share their blessings to our kababayans. Let's help each other grow and together be enriched with God's bounty. Merry Christmas!