MAFBEX, or Manila Foods and Beverage Expo has been an annual event for a decade now, but it was this year (June 8) that I was able to experience it, thanks to my sister who invited me.
Though not really my first time to attend a food expo, I am still very much excited to see different food products from all over the Philippines. Ticket price was 100 pesos, but they have special rates for students and senior citizens. Attendees also get a free MAFBEX eco bag, but one has to surrender their ticket and fill up a form before getting the bag.
The World Trade Center is a very huge place, so they were able to hold different food demos simultaneously, given that they were very far apart. These food demos were sponsored by different products, and those who attended were able to get free recipes and food tasting. Sadly, my sister and I didn't really sit down to watch a full demo as we already got there 1pm and we had to leave before 5pm to avoid the traffic rush.
So many things related to food were available during the expo. Aside from these pictures I shared, there were also concessionaires selling dining sets and utensils, some selling cookwares, different kinds of equipment for home and restaurant, even delivery trucks! If you own a business related to food, I highly recommend you check out different food expos.
As we were just ordinary foodies, sister and I took time checking different stalls for food products. Some of the concessionaires were known and their products available everywhere, but there were also some that were new to us. Most of these stalls offer free taste, but be prepared to have a little bit of competition with other attendees. My sister and I experienced being hit in the shoulders and elbows, but it was part of the experience. Looking back, it was actually kinda funny.
So many good food, and I felt really bad that I didn't bring proper bags for this event as I truly want to buy the Cabanatuan Longganisa and some of those ingredients for hot pot...but given the distance and the travel time, it would be risky to buy such kinds of food. Next time, I might take the effort of bringing a small cooler or insulated bag.
Some products that stood out - the potato products (especially the potato nuggets) from Lutosa, the pork-mushroom balls by Wei-Wei, and the Mr. Ube fresh noodles by Eng Bee Tin.
My sister walked and walked around, without stopping to sit and rest in between. Being surrounded with so much life, we didn't feel tired actually... but one interesting thing was that, even if we got to taste different kinds of food, we still wanted to eat a proper meal (as we didn't get to eat lunch). Good thing, there were a few carinderia offering meals. From this stall, I decided to go for fried rice with chopseuy, and my sister had regular steamed rice and sisig. The food was a little expensive - 70 pesos for my meal and 100 for my sister's, but the food was so good and very delicious!
At 4:30pm, this was the first time we sat down, and while eating, we recalled the food we saw and tasted, deciding which ones to buy and take home. We bought:
At 65 pesos each, they were priced just right given the size. My sister said the Ube Ensaymada didn't pass her taste, but mom and I loved the Ham and Cheese Ensaymada.
Taiwanese Instant Noodles
At 10 pesos per pack, it made us risk our money, and it turned out good. We already got to taste the Pork and Mushroom as well as the Soy Chicken flavors, and both were better tasting noodles compared the locally produced one.
Fruit and Vegetable Drinks
The seller was honest upfront saying these don't taste good as each bottle had garlic extract added to it, but he was passionate about the product, which made us buy some. Mom already drank her Guyabano Juice, and she said that the garlic had a not-so-good aftertaste, but it wasn't as bad she expected it to be.
Joey Prats Cake Mixes
My siblings and I are part of a Facebook community dedicated to all things baking, and many members raved about the Joey Prats mixes. When we saw one selling the products, we inquired about it and they let us taste different products made using the mixes. The brownie was the kind I wanted, and the chocolate cake had more depth in the taste. For the event, they offer the mixes for 170 pesos each (SRP is 190 - 200 pesos), but should one buy three mixes, they further reduce the price to 490 pesos. Not bad.
Super Q Pancit
We love pancit, we miss eating misua, and we wanted to cook Palabok at home again, so we bought this. The whole lot cost 100 pesos. Heavy and bulky to carry, but the money saved was worth it.
A healthy alternative to junk food.
Overall, it has been a wonderful experience. There were a few regrets and it sure was difficult to budget especially that we didn't have a lot of money to begin with, but we are now looking forward to the next food expo.