They say Christmas in the Philippines is the longest of all – and most of the time, the season is packed with gatherings and reunions.
As companies close shop during the Christmas and New Year holidays, extended families take time to fill in one another on the year that has passed them by, almost always over sumptuous meals.
This is also the perfect time for the skilled cooks in the family to show off their skills and best recipes for everyone to enjoy.
With all the tempting dishes to indulge in, diets are cancelled, and plates are filled to overflowing for the sake of family togetherness and tradition. Despite dietary restrictions or other concerns, nobody really wants to be a killjoy when served a bounty.
Some families, however, take advantage of the extended non-working holidays to tour the country with their loved ones not only to see sights, but also to try the tastes.
The holidays are, after all, a time when diners add exciting offerings to their menu. It is also the best time to experience new and special things with those close to one's heart.
Here are some destinations around the country that are popular for their savory soups, succulent mains, and luscious desserts:
Kapampangan dishes have been praised for their diversity, and complex flavor. Often, dishes abound with spices and sauces, making them a treat for the palate.
Desserts also abound in Pampanga. Aside from unique rice cakes or kakanin, all-season favorite cold treat halo-halo is popular in Pampanga, with several restaurants giving it their own twist. Also found in Pampanga is the traditional cookie sanikulas, made famous by Atching Lilian Borromeo.
Another popular food is bobotung asan, a dish made from bangus (milk fish) that has been stuffed with a mixture of kamias, tomatoes, alagao leaves, onions, and soy sauce for a complex flavor best paired with rice.
Pampanga is also famous for its pork sisig, as well as the area’s version of dinuguan called quilayin.
Families who enjoy the waters may opt to travel to Cebu and visit Malapascua Island or Bantayan Island. Cebu offers an array of sweet treats, such as torta and otap, but surely not to be missed are export-quality dried mangoes, loved for their gumminess and sweet taste with a hint of tartness.
Families also enjoy the reputed Cebu lechon with its crispy skin and herb-laden flavor, and the salty, crunchy danggit.
With roast pig as popular as it is in the area, chicharon or crispy fried pork skin—especially from Carcar—is also highly prized.
Families can also do food crawling in some of the finest restaurants in Davao City.
Among the local dishes that can be tried is tuna pakfry. 'Pakfry' is combination of 'paksiw' and fry, which is how the dish was cooked. First it was cooked with vinegar and spices, eliciting a distinct sour flavor, then it was deep fried for a crispy texture.
Families can also enjoy top-quality durian and marang, and chocolates.
4. Quezon City
Families who want to stay in the metro can visit a wide range of restaurants offering a taste of different cultures – be that sweet Pinoy dishes, spicy Korean and Thai dishes, or tomato-based Italian dishes.
There is also an abundance of desserts and ice cream parlors in the area. These offer a variety of flavors ranging from the traditional to surprisingly decadent cold versions of dishes not typically made into ice cream such as tomato soup or broccoli mash.
In Albay, families can get the chance to see the perfect cone shape of Mayon and indulge in some of the country’s chilliest dishes.
Elsewhere in the country, a dessert might mean something sweet, but in Albay, one can bite into a scoop of cold and spicy sili ice cream.
Albay is also notable for its fiery Bicol Express, pork slices cooked in coconut milk and chili pepper, as well as pinangat, meat or fish wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut milk and chili.
During gastronomic tours, it is not unlikely to have a family member or two who'll have to wince in pain due some gum problem and sensitive teeth.
To make each holiday as memorable and indulgent as can be, it is best to for those with gum problems and sensitive teeth to protect themselves from being overwhelmed by the country's deliciously diverse culinary offerings.
Lamoiyan Corporation, makers of Hapee toothpaste, formulated a toothpaste that caters specifically to those who are bothered by these problems.
Gumtect offers Gumtect Gum Care for over-all gum care and Gumtect Sensitive toothpaste and mouthwash for those with sensitive teeth.
Gumtect is packed with GUMSHIELD+ technology that contains Allantoin, a compound that helps improve gum condition; Vitamin E, which moisturizes gums; and triclean formula, which helps reduce formation of plaque and shields against harmful mouth bacteria. Gumtect Gum Care and Gumtect Sensitive also ensure fresh breath and strong teeth enamel that is protected from cavities.
Gumtect Sensitive toothpaste and mouthwash come with Dynamic Desensitizing System that helps provide relief from tooth sensitivity. Gumtect Sensitive mouthwash enables to access hard-to-reach areas of your mouth and is also alcohol-free.
Family reunions, may it be at home or in top destinations around the country, are always the highlight of the season in the Philippines. Let not gum problems and sensitive teeth interrupt the happy holidays!
To learn more about the importance of overall gum health, check out Gumtect on Facebook.
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