Last June 24 – 26, the Royal Thai Embassy of Manila organized a Thailand Festival in Glorietta, Makati City. Our khruu (teacher) in Thai invited us to the festival in one of our make up classes. She told us what to expect in the festival which got us very excited and we agreed to meet up at 2PM on the festival’s second day.
Well, my classmates in Thai weren’t able to make it and I was an hour late (I had a financial literacy seminar before our agreed meet up time). My khruu was nowhere in sight when I arrived but she texted me that she was just eating with her asawa (She loves learning and using Filipino words).
The whole event wasn’t that big, it occupied probably half of Glorietta’s activity center. There were many things to see, taste, and experience in the Thailand Festival. Too bad that I wasn’t able to try the Thai massage being offered for free.
I roamed around the exhibit checking out each and every food booth. The most popular booth was Krung Thai’s. Krung Thai is a Thai restaurant in Marikina serving authentic Thai dishes. The owner of Krung Thai is a native Thai who is now living in the Philippines. I dropped by their booth but I wasn’t able to try out any of their offerings since there were too many people and I had limited time. Oh well, khruu said she’d be bringing us to their restaurant in Marikina anyway.
There were many booths selling snacks from Thailand. I gravitated towards the booths offering free tastes. One of the booths were selling… Tong Garden nuts! I’m a self-confessed nut addict. I love nuts – pistachios, cashews, almonds, peanuts, you name it! They had a promo wherein you get 1 free pack of nuts for every 3 packs that you buy. I just had to buy nuts! I bought honey almonds, roasted cashews, wasabi cashews and macadamia, salted almonds, and a pack of trail mix. Save for the trail mix which costs 65 PhP, all of them costs 35 PhP a pack.
Sadly (more like tragically), I wasn’t able to take note where they’re selling those Tong Garden nuts. Rawr. Oh well, I’m hoping that I’d stumble upon Tong Garden nuts during my next grocery day.
There’s also a booth selling Jeedjard Tamarind. Jeedjard Tamarind is like your usual tamarind candy but rather that being coated with salt or sugar, it’s coated with plum powder. I bought a pack (err, cup?) of Jeedjard and my friends and I loved it. It wasn’t overly sour and it didn’t have seeds. The person manning the booth told me that I can get them in Unimart. I now have a good reason to go to Greenhills. Haha!
The same booth sells Jornguan. Honestly, I’m not sure if I got the name right. Anyway, it’s jasmine rice crackers topped with pork floss. A pack costs one hundred PhP. The one in charge of the booth asked me to try it and I loved it so I bought a pack. I gave it to my mom and she loved it as well. Too bad that it’s a bit expensive. I would’ve bought more if only it were around 10 – 20 PhP cheaper.
Just beside the booth selling Jeedjard and Jornguan was a booth selling Thai iced tea. I think it is part of the booth selling various kinds of Thai sauces. I was pretty thirsty so I bought a cup of Thai iced tea. The person manning the booth asked me if I wanted milk with my iced tea and I said yes.
After buying a cup of Thai iced tea, I took a seat in front of the stage since it was announced that cultural presentations would start shortly. I prepared my camera so I could take videos of the performances. The program started at around 4 in the afternoon. There were two dance presentations from a Thai cultural dance troupe, a Thai Martial Arts exhibition, and a cooking show. In the middle of the dance presentations, someone tapped my back who happens to be Khruu Poi. She left after the last performance.
The cooking show was conducted by Chef Danai from the Thai Patio restaurant. He demonstrated how to cook Thai curry with pineapples and shrimps. He had an interpreter onstage since Chef Danai hardly speaks English.
After the cooking demonstration, I roamed around for one last time before finally texting Khruu Poi that I’d be leaving. I told her that I might come back the following day since Thai Airways would be raffling off a round trip ticket to Bangkok.
I really enjoyed the event. I got a brief look at Thai culture and I was able to sample some of their food. I’m looking forward to the Thai Festival to be organized by the Linguistics Department of UP Diliman in August. Yey!