What can be more exciting than feasting on a high-quality food that you can afford for a few bucks?
The recent Fusion Nights, a two-week food bazaar that ran during the Sandugo Festival from July 21 to 29, recently made it possible to feast on reasonably priced culinary treats from different restaurants and hotels in Bohol on a fraction of its original menu price.
“We wanted to showcase the best that we can offer to visitors, expats and guests,” said Maria Fe Dominise, head of Bohol Investment Promotion Center, organizer of the weeklong food festival. “The Fusion Nights was an opportunity to bring in an added attraction to the monthlong festivities, presenting a cultural parade and the exchange of the flavor, beauty and color.”
Fusion Nights, now on its fifth year, aims to bring people to a hub where they can taste the best offerings of hotels and restaurants in Bohol without having to spend too much. Featured in the food festival were international cuisines and Bohol’s versions of local authentic Filipino food.
Rommel Gonzales of Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR) and general manager of The Bellevue Resort said Fusion Nights gives the opportunity to showcase and promote hotels and restaurant through their respective food.
He said, “There are a lot of people who can’t go to Panglao and visit the resorts, so they come here for the opportunity to enjoy the food that now had become affordable.”
With over 20 concessionaires, including restaurants, hotels and start-up businesses, the Fusion Nights guaranteed foodies a price drop up to 50 percent of its original price tag.
Bringing back hope
Fusion Nights started way back in the 2014 Sandugo Festival, nine months following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Bohol in 2013. Dominise said that Gov. Edgar M. Chatto then posed a challenge to various sectors and communities to come up with projects that can bring back hope and excitement to Bohol’s Sandugo Festival despite the tragedy.
She said, “Food is the easiest way to attract people. The Fusion Nights boosted the morale of the community as we converged and worked together.”
With the high turnout of diners and visitors, more and more concessionaires were encouraged to participate in the event. Its annual increasing sales is a clear proof of its success.
Dominise noted a boost in sales from all concessionaires that started from P600,000 in its first year to over P1.5 million this year.
This year’s concessionaires included the following: Acacia de Bubu, Astoria Bohol, Belian Hotel, Bluewater Resort Panglao, Bringhouse Resto, Cake Garden, Chef Loy, Donatela Hotel, Fred’s Book Café, JJ’s Dimsum, Kew Hotel, Kitchen with Rose, Lola Lilia’s, Paeng’s Fried Chicken, Potato Twist, Reyna’s, Socorro’s, South Palms Resort, Wings St., and Wok Express.
AirAsia for Sandugo Festival
Held every July, Sandugo Festival is a yearly commemoration of the historical blood compact between local chieftain, Datu Sikatuna, and the Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565.
This year’s festivities centered on the theme “Legacy @ 30: The 30th year of Sandugo Festival,” with major activities that are spread the whole month such as the Sandugo Street Dancing Competition (Kuradang contest and reenactment), and the Fusion Nights.
Also a major highlight of the Sandugo Festival was the crowning of Miss Bohol, Raclaire Stephan Dinsay Cesar Trigo of Tagbilaran City.
Hailed as Miss AirAsia 2018, Trigo is set to encourage tourists to travel to Bohol and experience the local hospitality and fun adventures the island has to offer. AirAsia is a major and the only airline sponsor for this year’s Sandugo Festival.
The partnership signed in February by Bohol Provincial Gov. Edgar Chatto and the airline’s Chief Executive and Captain Dexter Comendador involved joint brand advertising, promotional activities and campaigns, familiarization trips for consumer and trade associations, media, travel agencies, greater tourism development and route network synergy, joint road shows to trade partners and many more.