Posted on: Wednesday September 18, 2019

CamSur launches the first Bicol Express Festival
“Bicol Express is recognized as our local delicacy in the Bicol Region, but where in Bicol? It is about time to help identify Bicol Express as something that originated from Camarines Sur. Since we have no food festival here, let us do that by creating this,” shared Vice Governor Imelda Papin during the press conference when she was asked about what inspired her in making the event possible.

Upon the approval of the resolution proposing the Bicol Express Food Festival to be one of the major festivals celebrated in Camarines Sur, the first Bicol Express Festival was officially launched last September 17, 2019 at Sangguniang Panlalawigan through the initiative of Vice Governor Imelda Papin and with the support of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur under the administration of Governor Migz Villafuerte.


As part of its soft launching, a Bicol Express cooking competition was held and participated by representatives from the offices of the Sangguninang Panlalawigan. Papin expressed her plans on holding the festival in a larger scale next year by opening the competition to all municipalities in the province. Camarines Sur plans to be a big part of the global gastronomical map by showcasing and promoting the diverse culinary expertise of the Bicolanos, the Bicol Express which is our authentic local delicacy that has helped in defining our Bicolano culture and love for spicy food.

A cuisine is not just an ordinary food. It is heritage, culture, and history. This spicy cuisine was once said to be the food being brought and sold at the train station decades ago. It was later coined “Bicol Express” by Cely Kalaw and naming it after the passenger train service traveling from Manila to Bicol. Pork, chillies, coconut milk, shrimp paste, onion, and garlic are the usual key ingredients in creating traditional Bicol Express. The Bicol Express Food Festival welcomes the innovations and flavor of a diversified taste to our Bicol Express.

 “It is the food that completed the tourism experience. In a profound way like all the senses are involved. You see, smell, feel, hear and taste the food,” said Rommel Natanauan, the Chief of Tourism Development Regulations Division of the Department of Tourism Region V in his message.


“Let the guest draw upon seeing its preparation, let them feel the texture of different ingredients, smell its aroma and satisfy their taste in a way that they crave for more because that is what gastronomic tourism all about.” He furthered as he highlighted the vital role of culinary tourism in leaving a satisfying impact to tourists that would create demand for whatever resources we have and be able to contribute to the creation of job and livelihood for the constituents. 

The Bicol Express Food Festival will be celebrated every September alongside the celebration of Penafrancia Festival. The Provincial Government of Camarines Sur is looking forward in implementing the festival with the commitment in boosting the province’s food tourism industry and to be recognized as Bicol Region’s food capital hub.

Written By: Kyna De Castro

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