110,000 foodies pig out at Toronto’s ‘Taste of Manila’ | Global News
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110,000 foodies pig out at Toronto’s ‘Taste of Manila’

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Delicious smells wafting from the food stalls draw hungry patrons. PHOTOS BY MARISA ROQUE

TORONTO, Ontario — Filipinos adore fiestas no matter what part of the world they happen to be in, and Taste of Manila 2015 was one tremendously successful fiesta for sure.

The heady combination of hot summer sun, enticing cooking aromas and cool Filipino music was just the magnet for drawing record numbers of festival goers to the Bathurst and Wilson corridor in Toronto’s North York area.

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For two gorgeous summer days (August 22 and 23), Taste of Manila 2015 was a gourmand’s paradise for over 110,000 foodies of every shape, size and ethnicity.

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Mayumi Abubu from Ilocos Norte (left) and Relly and Mike Gomez from Pampanga, wait patiently for star Jericho Rosales to make his entrance.

More than 200 colorful tents housed food vendors and merchants of Filipino products, not to mention service providers that cater to the Filipino Canadian, such as banks, money remittance companies, immigration consultants, education providers and door-to-door balikbayan box delivery services.

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The food vendors drew the most queues, and attendees chewed and guzzled, chomped and slurped their way from one end of the festival route, the intersection of Bathurst and Wilson, and north on Bathurst to Laurelcrest four blocks away.  Both the north and southbound lanes on Bathurst were closed to traffic, and most of the side streets were blocked off so festival goers could park and walk to the event.

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Fans cheer performer Jericho Rosales.

“Imported” Filipino heartthrob Jericho Rosales drew screams of adulation from the crowd when he finally strode onto the stage around 5 p.m. Sunday.  Echo, a TFC mainstay, appealed to both young and old, and one tiny white-haired lady commented that the crush of adoring fans reminded her of the Nazareno procession in Quiapo, “Pero kulang na lang ng lubid” (Only the ropes are missing).

Taste of Manila 2015 may only be a memory now, but attendees are already looking forward to coming back next year.  In the meantime, those craving the flavors of the islands may visit their favorite food providers at their actual locations:  Cusina, Kabalen, Jollytops, Marcelina’s, Via Kitchenette, Atin Ito, Bella’s Lechon, Lola’s Kakanin, Ilocandia, Asian Core, Jolly’s Grill, Super Bakers, Panago, Suero Enterprises, Mokshia Restaurant, Kapitbahay and Max’s, among others.

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Rafael Fabregas (left), PRO of Universityy of the Philippines Alumni Association of Toronto and Fred Gamboa, last year’s UPAAT president, are glad that UP alumni festival goers have been flocking to the UPAAT tent to register and become members of the association.

Sponsors and participating merchants included TFC, TD Bank, Rogers Cable, Cornerstone College, Serendra, Global RESP Corporation, World Financial Group, Sunlife, SM Development Corporation, iRemit, PNB Remittance, LBC, Cannex Immigration, First Elite Business International, Avex Express, and ABC Documents.

Taste of Manila 2015 was organized by the Philippine Cultural Community Centre (PCCC) in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General of Toronto.

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TAGS: Asian Core, Atin Ito, Bella's Lechon, Cusina, Filipino food festival Toronto, Ilocandia, Jericho Rosales, Jolly's Grill, Jollytops, Kabalen, Kapitbahay, Lola's Kakanin, Marcelina's, Max's, Mokshia Restaurant, Panago, Philippine Consulate General of Toronto, Philippine Cultural Community Centre (PCCC), Suero Enterprises, Super Bakers, Taste of Manila 2015, Via Kitchenette
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