Filipino cuisine is the eclectic offspring of a centuries-old union between Eastern and Western influences, long before “fusion” ever became a part of today’s gourmet lexicon. The country’s indigenous population embraced the culinary traditions of early Chinese and Malay settlers and, later, those of the Spanish conquerors. Passed on from one generation to the next, this extraordinary combination of contrasting influences has metamorphosed into a uniquely Filipino cuisine, reflecting the country’s geographical milieu and its agricultural way of life. This tour of the Philippine islands will give visitors a first-hand experience of the country’s culinary traditions — from cutting-edge gastronomic delights to dining off banana leaves with your hands in the traditional manner. Learn about distinct regional dishes and how to utilize the fresh herbs and ingredients that make Filipino food so memorable. Begin and end your journey in Manila, with its full range of international and regional cooking styles. In between, visit Laoag in the picturesque northern Luzon and, of course, the famed rice terraces of Banaue, a testament to engineering and ingenuity in food cultivation. Next, spend two relaxing nights at Boracay, where the beaches are idyllic expanses of pure white sand and crystal blue waters, and the restaurants offer a range of international cuisine and abundance of fresh seafood. From Boracay, visit Tagaytay, with sublime views overlooking Lake Taal, one of Asia’s most stunning volcanic lakes, before returning to Manila.
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