QC Food Festival 2014: The Food, or the Lack Thereof

It was a massacre.

Do you think I should go on with this entry? The first line pretty much summarizes everything and yes, nobody died but I’m willing to bet the money I don’t have that somebody else out there thinks that it is close to what could go down in history as the most food-less food festival.

The anticipation leading up to this day was amazing. For someone who frequented the Maginhawa food spot, I was excited that loads of people will be introduced to this place.

food fest my ass

The food festival (and I will keep on italicizing it until the sarcasm gets old) is a good way to promote this place. I thought that maybe, if more people tried it, the more friends I’d be able to lure with me when I spend my weekends here.

Oh, what a disaster it was.

Yours truly, along with three other friends Anna, Nica, and Cha, went to Maginhawa to experience Quezon City’s idea of a food a festival. It is, after all, the city’s 75th anniversary–and the whole idea of food and people everywhere is both terrifying and exciting. The food festival along Maginhawa is already a brilliant idea in itself.

We arrived around five in the afternoon. The posters say the whole event is from 9AM to 12mn; you’d anticipate that the supply will be enough for what kind of demand it could possibly entail. A whole day of food tripping? That’s my thing.

The Gang.
The Gang.

Needless to say, loads of people came. We were practically among an entire horde of people coming in.  They closed the street from end to end to make way for food stalls and chairs and tables.

It was exciting.

Sights
The Scene

But the excitement only lasted up until the first store we visited whose owner only gave us a sad smile saying, “Ubos na po, eh,” meaning they’ve already ran out of whatever they were selling.

That was sort of funny to me but I took it as a good sign. I mean, it’s not even six yet and you’re already sold out, I mean man, good for you.

The shocker was the next booth we visited said the same thing, as did the next store and the next one after that.

That’s when I started to realize that maybe, most of these stores/food stalls weren’t able to anticipate the amount of people that came.

I mean, come on, it was a lot. Like, seriously, loads of people I know announced via Facebook that they were going–and there are so many of them that I could practically announce a spontaneous reunion and everyone will be present.

When you hear some girl scream, “Oh my God,” it usually means they saw someone from college or high school and believe me, there were a lot of oh my Gods. 

It was a good thing that I was with my super fun friends who made funny of the already-bad situation. We were tired of walking–and most of all we were tired of vendors saying they’ve ran out of stock.

I didn’t mind the walking but it was the shortage that bothered me. It’s a food festival–there should be food available in every turn of my neck but that time, I was certain that even if I did an exorcist-esque 360 head turn, I still won’t find anything to eat.

After an hour and a half of walking and trying not to punch someone in the face, we found a small sisig stall somewhere. Spent P39 on a small meal that passed as dinner–which, okay was good.

We realized we’re right in the middle of the street and maybe, not a lot of people have come in there so we were able to actually buy something.

We started to walk again, heading to one of my favorite places in the area (The Sweet Spot). And the following scene surprised all of us:

IMG_6340
The Legendary Stage.

A stage… facing the building–when the crowd is on the street.

Do you still need me to, like, elaborate why this is wrong on so many levels?

I mean, I get that the one who sponsored the whole live band thing is probably the owner of the restaurants in the building but COME THE EFF ON! Seriously?

We were laughing our asses off when we found a table that we could, finally–after 486465 years, properly sit by and have some more food.

We went inside The Sweet Spot, got some caffeinated drinks and some dessert and then went on with our lives. The only consolation for not being able to try another restaurant because of the people situation was the fact that we had a good time–but that’s mostly because we’re a funny bunch. I almost cried laughing because everything was just so random and funny; and I was saying things like red velvel and wardrobe marfarncshion.

Highlight of the night was our Mariah Carey discussion–and that’s saying something ’cause we should be talking about the damn food festival.

We tried to fool ourselves into trying to do some more but eventually resigned for the day at 11PM. I asked my friends what their verdict was and I think, the long and uncomfortable silence that followed pretty much summarized it.

Quezon City “Food Festival” was a complete and utter failure.

I wouldn’t  say it was a waste of time because I had fun with my friends–but we were having fun at the expense of the whole event being a joke.

There weren’t enough food stalls for a crowd of about 2, 000 or more–and who are we going to blame for this?

Certainly not the people who thought that the word festival meant there’s a festive thing somewhere; and certainly not the people who thought that when you say day-long food festival there’d actually be enough food for a day.

Writing this blog, I’m still rolling my eyes at how ironic it was.

Sure, it’s a first time thing but hey, don’t make promises you can’t fulfill and certainly DO NOT say it’s a festival when it’s really just a small lineup of food stalls, with owners secretly wishing no one would throw a fit because we all know what hunger and frustration do to people. And good news, no one got hurt–probably just feelings, but that’s a story for another day.

If they’re planning to make this an annual event, let’s just hope that next year, the organizers would run analytics on the likes and retweets because hey, that usually means all those people are planning to go and maybe we could use this to anticipate the crowd and warn the vendors about the shit-ton of people looking for something to eat.

I mean, damn.

Pictures to mask the fact that we are tired and hungry.
Pictures to mask the fact that we are tired and hungry.

We ended up spending the night at my house because hey, my home may not be as festive but at least I have enough supply for the demand.

Food festival my ass.

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