Chefs Buddy Valastro, also known as "Cake Boss", and Luke Nguyen were joined by Filipino celebrities at the TLC Festival 2017. IMAGE / TLC Southeast Asia on Facebook

TLC Festival 2017: Of great bites, sound trips and business tips

— by Mikael Angelo Francisco

TAGUIG CITY — That Saturday, the rainfall was intermittent, but the lines of people weren’t.

Held at Bonifacio High Street in Taguig last November 4, the much-anticipated TLC Festival 2017 shined the spotlight on the best of local talent, culture and taste bud adventures. With “Go Lokal” as its theme and one’s desire to be there as the only entrance fee, the Festival celebrated all things Filipino.

Zoning in

One might think that an open-area event catering to various local niches could easily devolve into an unruly, unwieldy mess. Fortunately, this wasn’t the local TLC Festival organizers’ first rodeo; this year, in fact, marks the third in the series.

The venue was fully utilized, with High Street divided into three specific interest zones. Each area featured its own special attractions and activities, and attendees were encouraged to participate in as many of them as possible to obtain a special reward from TLC.

The Kanto Kultura zone, which focused on music, delighted audiences with excellent sounds from some of today’s best local musical acts.

Meanwhile, festival attendees were able to scratch their shopping itch at the Byaheng Bayan zone, where they were able to browse and purchase unique product offerings from local sellers and creators.

Lastly, the Filipino’s love for food was certainly evident at the Street Sarap zone, where various food entrepreneurs and culinary enthusiasts were able to showcase and share their gastronomic creations with a much wider audience.

Along with excellent tastes, tunes, and trinkets, the Festival also unleashed an incredible line-up of celebrities upon Taguig. TLC’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro and “Street Food King” Luke Nguyen took the time to be in Manila, displaying their expertise and engaging with their loyal fans.

Local entertainment superstars Ramon Bautista, RA Rivera, Jun Sabayton, Lourd De Veyra and Angel Rivero were also present at the event, as well as actor/host Troy Montero and musician Ely Buendia, who capped off the night with a special live performance.

A space for music lovers and the business-minded

Starting the day off on the right note, ASPACE invited Teacher Tryon de Guzman of UKE BOX CAFFÉ to hold a ukelele jamming and tutorial session at its Pop-Up Coworking booth.

When the Tambayan Tunes open mic jamming session rolled in, it served as a welcome breather for attendees after participating in the various events all over the festival. The music didn’t stop there, though, as performances from Paolo Mallari, I Belong To The Zoo, Basti Artadi and Pauline Villanueva of Carousel Casualties filled the air until the late afternoon.


Thanks for having me @tlc @aspacemanila ! #tlcfest2017

A post shared by Paolo Mallari (@paolomallari) on

Using wireless headphones, Festival attendees were also able to tune in to ASPACE’s _TALKS: Foodpreneur101, a mini-seminar where successful startup owners shared their insights on the various aspects and challenges that comprise the local food industry.

Over the airwaves, Kimmi Siu Dewar of Swinging Chairs Establishments Inc., and Ace Espiritu of Souper Bowl Noodles and The Burger Joint gave valuable tips on relevant topics such as breaking into the business, the importance of having reliable customer service and even dealing with the unexpected.

All in all, TLC Festival 2017 was undoubtedly a resounding success — and ASPACE’s presence in the event proved that, much like in coworking spaces, work and play don’t have to be mutually exclusive. ◙

Mikael Angelo Francisco is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of local science website, a contributing writer for GMA News Online’s SciTech and Lifestyle sections, and an aspiring comic book writer.

The master shares his secrets

— by Dani Austria

A day earlier, Valastro gave a cupcake masterclass to a select few at Shangri-La at The Fort. TLC’s friends from the media, bloggers and small business owners in the food industry were given a front-row seat to how the boss works.

“Now you know it’s no camera trick,” he said while demonstrating the art of icing and subsequently dropping a cupcake. He showed the excited audience, a mix of professionals and non-bakers, how to pipe flowers. Valastro then went around to encourage and personally guide the eager learners with their piping.

During the workshop, he also talked about his mother, Mary, who passed away in June after an eight-year battle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). He says losing her was such “a hard thing”, but he felt that he owed it to the fans who loved her to keep going.

In other interviews, Valastro has praised Filipinos’ work ethic — particularly of OFWs, whom he has a few employed at Carlo’s Bakery. ◙

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