It was four years ago when I thought of the idea of creating a public food tour of Pampanga. Known for its good food and delightful delicacies, not to mention intriguing culinary history, Pampanga has this treasure that would be such a waste if not shared. So I talked with Tracey of Travel Tales Inc. (then Alquimista Trails) and pitched the idea to her. After 10 seconds, she said, “Lets do it!”. We tapped Kong Willie Carpio and presented our little project to him. A week later, we found ourselves eating in Pampanga, we went to different food places, restaurants, hole in the walls, carinderias, pasalubong places, families, just to get a sample of what Pampanga had to offer.
We finally came to the conclusion. We wanted a tour that had value to those who will attend it. If we asked people to join a tour that they can do themselves, then the value wouldnt be that significant. We wanted to give people not just a taste of cuisine but of culture. We also wanted a tour that would help the community, because without them, there would be no such culture. As we were doing our own little tour, we discovered something..
We discovered that the reason Kapampangan cuisine is delectable, is that there is much effort put to it. Most of the time, the preparations won’t just take hours, it takes days, and there is a big difference between meals cooked at restaurants vs those at home.
The secret is in the family recipes. And so it was final. We were to create Viajeng Cucinang Matua, or Old Kitchen tours. We will bring people to the heart of Kapampangan Cuisine – the good old family recipes. So when you do join the tour, the focus is taking you to families and how they created the recipes. You will eat under their roof or their back yard and know what it was like. We had over 30 participants during our first run, a few of which were media. We created a hype out of it.
From then on, other operators joined the bandwagon. Hey its business for them so why not. No one’s stopping them. But what was just an idea, became reality.
This is Viajeng Cucinang Matua – my brainchild. I’m not operating it anymore but hey, its still running, and it allowed others to run their own. And what’s important, despite all critiques, we were able to help an industry, more so promote culture. To me, that is gold.
And so 4 years has passed and Viajeng Cucinang Matua is still running. To celebrate its fourth year, Travel Tales is offering it at the original price of Php2000 only on April 16 so do grab this opportunity. As for me, I could only wish to be there since I’ll be in Guimaras enjoying those delightfully sweet mangoes.
Viajeng Cucinang Matua is brought to you by Travel Tales Inc.