It has always been somehow a ritual already for Mama Sita, a premier global Filipino food brand, to invite members of the press to food trips to showcase not only their products, but also the Philippine’s own beautiful places and delicacies.
As for their most recent food trip last May 17, 2012, it was tagged “Piknikan sa Manggahan ala Mama Sita” and it was held in Rosa Farms, a mango orchard in San Marcelino, Zambales.
And now, shall we start we how the event went? *drumroll*
So, the day and night before the actual event, Mama Sita and Rosa Farms already prepared everything. Mama Sita staffs were setting up their booths, and preparing food ingredients to be cooked the next day.
Rosa Farms’ booth which showcased their processed products; fruit wines, organic soaps, bagoong, souvenir items, etc. They’ll be opening an online store soon where you can order these stuff, and fresh mangoes too. Watch out for that!
These mangoes were flawless! Not to mention the ripe ones were really sweet! Had lots of the sweet ones for dessert when we were there. I swear I could eat them alone, no need for rice and viands. They are enough for me!
Mama Sita products.
And the guests finally arrived! They were media people from different publications; newspapers, magazines, bloggers, there were even restaurateurs.
They were all greeted by these high school kids dancing our folk dances….
…to the beat these musicians were playing.
They were immediately served this fresh mango juice.
I got to taste fresh mango shake too, and it was really delicious and refreshing. Those fruit shakes made from powdered juices we have here in the city were nothing to compared to it!
Then, there was a mini-farm tour lead by farm owner Mr. Zulueta.
First, there was the Material Recovery Facility where they process and mill things to turn them into organic fertilizers.
They let things decompose here beneath the leaves.
And eventually, after some time, they would be ready fertilizers and used for the plants. They also sell these organic fertilizers per sack.
It’s a pretty familiar thing for me, since I came from a school who values caring for the environment so much. And we had to do vermiculture hands-on on our Botany class. Weirdly, though, the time when were fixing our bin to spread the worms at the school’s composting area, there came people from the local morning news who were doing a segment on vermiculture and they were taking footages of us at work. Suddenly, Jam and I were on tv (though only for a very short time)! Hahahaha!
Mr. Zulueta was showing everyone how to properly pick a mango.
Like this, there has to be a little stem left on the fruit or else the acid in it would spill. I think it would ripe better with the stem still intact.
These media people, their DSLRs, their lenses! Oh, gosh! I’m envious! (Note to self: if you want one, save!!!!)
Okay, why did they had to explain how to properly pick a mango aside for mere knowledge and mere trivia? Because they had a mango-picking game! They were divided into two groups and they had to pick mangoes weighing at least ninety kilos. And if they picked mangoes without the stem, it won’t be considered. And I tell you, ninety kilos of mangoes were a lot! It would be a waste to disqualify even just one mango.
Because the mango trees were several meters from the starting point, plus the sun was scorching hot, and for the province-feel of it all, there was a karomata, a wagon usually drawn by a carabao or cow, to carry those who didn’t want to run.
These bags weren’t even ninety kilos yet. Told you, ninety kilos were a lot! With more than ten people on each team, they still had to make two trips.
And finally, lunch.
The unprepared buffet table, which when was already prepared, everyone was gathered around, no, not even with their plates in hand, but their cameras in hand first, taking photos of the food served.
This was the best I could take halfway through lunch when I could make way to the buffet table already and the long line had died down.
The best part: my lunch!
I had rice, bagoong, kare-kareng gulay, fish, and I forgot the other dish. Hehehehehe~
And the better part of my lunch, the big shrimps! I love seafood!
And the BEST part of my lunch, the dessert! Mango sherbet with really big mango bits. It was so delicious, I think I got five servings or so. Seriously. Everyone just kept coming back for it!
After lunch there was a short food demonstration on how to make Kinilaw na Puso ng Saging.
After which was the siesta time. And it was time for the winning group to claim their prize from the mango picking game. Their price was free massage! How relaxing! By the way, the ladies refused to be photographed.
These kids spent the idle hours playing around and climbing the trees. I’m envious. I have never ever climbed a tree in my whole life. I have no childhood. Hahahaha! My father grew up in the province and always told me stories how they used to climb trees and ride on carabaos. I spent my childhood in front of the television. Why oh why.
Anyway, they decided to play Pinoy Henyo.
And farm owners Mr. and Mrs. Zulueta won with the shortest time of seven seconds! How fast! Their prize was this basket.
Okay, see how big that mango Mr. Zulueta was holding?! This is the Golden Queen mango variety.
There was also a kite-flying contest. And this was one of the kites, a very prettily-done one. They called it charing-gola.
Group shot first before trying to fly the kites.
Kite flying! Sorry, I couldn’t fit in the frame the flying kites. Anyway, instead these were people running around trying to fly their kites. Hehehehehe.
Next activity, one of our beloved folk dance: Tinikling!
After the Tinikling performance, they also asked the audience to dance with them. There were a lot of volunteers!
The kite flying and Tinikling were tiring, right? Therefore, it’s time for some merienda! And it was no simple merienda, it was another cooking demonstration. A really fun one!
My merienda; Arroz Caldo with lots of garlic!
and banana flambéed in rum with muscovado sugar.
Yes, you heard that, flambé. Such an elite and gourmet sounding word. For me, it was putting food on fire using rum. Hahahaha!
Mama Sita’s executive chef, Chef Andro Paderangga, made an actual demonstration on flambéing the bananas.
And the best part, I got to try it, twice! Wheeeeee! Though when I tried it the fire wasn’t as big but it was fine. And Chef Andro gave me some pointers that instead of banana, I could try flambéing ripe mangoes, just make sure it’s hot enough before I put in the rum or it won’t fire up. Now, that’s something I have to try at home!
Finally, and sadly, it was time to wrap everything up. Closing remarks.
Before going home, though, everyone was asked to share their day’s experiences and what it reminded them of. Most said it reminded them of their home province and their childhood. With all the technology and gadgets we have now, kids surely are missing a lot of these fun outdoor activities.
It’s a wrap!
And since I was there for three days, could I skip photographing the nature around it? Of course not! The frustrated nature photographer in me is always in search of pretty pieces of nature to photograph and preserve in photos. I shall put all the nature photos in another post. Watch out for it!