Independencia 2017: Cafe Marco's Flavors of Northern Philippines

Every June, Filipinos celebrate Independencia or Philippine Independence. And for the fourth year, Cafe Marco, Marco Polo Plaza's main restaurant, has been in the forefront of creating unique Filipino-themed gastronomic journeys for its guests and diners to savor. 

This year's Independencia will show the unique culinary diversity that can be found in the flavors of Northern Philippines.

Heritage cuisine guru, Ms. Jessica Avila, and the culinary team of Marco Polo Plaza traveled and spent considerable time in the various provinces of Luzon to be able to bring the authenticity of these signature dishes to Cafe Marco's discerning customers.

Ms. Jessica Avila and the Marco Polo Plaza Culinary Team.

Well-loved and choice dishes from Batangas, Ilocos, Bicol, Pampanga, and Bulacan (just to name a few of the places) were replicated to a tee by the talented culinary team. But there were also subtle hints of characterization that were added to the food presented. 

As someone who was born and bred in Luzon, every bite, every morsel of food that I tasted at the Independencia dinner felt like home. 

Being a composite of families from Pampanga and Bicol, I grew up eating meals that were well-prepared with great flavors. Everyday was an onslaught of sweet, salty, and sour flavor profiles. Sumptous food and eating well were not limited to fiestas or special occasions. It is tradition, part of your DNA. 

All of these thoughts and emotions came running through my head when I was partaking of the food that was prepared for us during the event. I wouldn't mind going back to Cafe Marco to feel all of these sensation again.

Cafe Marco's offerings for Independencia: Flavors of Northern Philippines provides a venue for Cebuanos to discover these scrumptious food from Luzon.

From June 8-15, journey through the appetizing cuisine of Luzon. The Independencia promotion is available for lunch and dinner. A special lunch rate of PHP 880 net per person when you dine on a weekday. 

Feast your eyes on this delightful food gallery. 


Appetizers are good for sharing. There is a blurred distinction on what Filipino dish can be considered Appetizer since Filipino families don't follow course meals. We've always liked family-style presentations and servings.

Pork Jerky (baboy ramo)

Cotton fruit in coconut cream, mildly spiced

Shrimp and vegetable fritters

Tawilis is a freshwater fish found in Taal Lake. The salad also has salted duck egg (itlog na maalat).


Soup dishes are normally part of the Main Course. We love to drown our rice with savory soup. 

Beef shank and marrow soup.

Pangunahing Pagkain 

Main courses can be made up of a variety of meat dishes like Chicken, Pork, Beef, Seafood, and even Venison.

Vegetables are also part of the Filipino diet.

Stir-fried coconut meat. 

Stewed pork and siling labuyo in coconut cream. Bicol's signature dish.

Mixed seafood in peanut sauce and bagoong.

Fried freshwater catfish. There is an abundance of Hito in Central Luzon. 

Pampanga's version of Paella. Glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk with chorizo de bilbao, raisins, and boiled eggs.

Ilocos's favorite. Braised local vegetables with a dash of bagoong (fermented shrimp paste).

Twice-fried, crispy pork belly dipped in vinegar sauce.

Sauteed eggplant with tomatoes and onions.

The Philippines" staple chicken dish cooked inside a bamboo.

Thinly sliced beef in caramelized onions with fried camote on the side. 


The Filipino term for Dessert, and we all know how we love sweet things.

Made from rice flour and cooked in coconut cream.

Buko salad and Leche Flan

Pastillas and Polvoron, Bulacan's specialties.

A Bilao of Kakanin: puto cheese, kutsinta, pichi-pichi, tibok-tibok (sapin-sapin), and cassava cake.

For inquiries and reservations, you may call 63 32 253 1111 local 8249. You may also reach them via email at Like and follow them on their Facebook page ( and Twitter (@5StarInCebu).