Blue skies and a pleasant weather, with just the right amount of wind blowing in from the bay, ushered in over 1,500 participants to the very first TIKIM Filipino Food Fun Run presented by TFC Live on Mother’s Day at the Coyote Point Recreation Area.
TIKIM’s distinct trait as a run lies in the tasting stations placed at every kilometer mark, showcasing Filipino cuisine offered in tiny bites that runners could grab and take with them. Head of Global Events Ricky Resurreccion admits that it was the Wild and Mild stations that put the fun in the run. “A lot of the feedback we received are saying it was the Filipino food at every mark that piqued their interest. That was the unique hook of TIKIM. Among the myriad of runs and races in the U.S., so far, there is nothing specific to an ethnicity of a region-specific cuisine. TIKIM is the only Filipino food fun run.”
The 5K was a great excuse to bring people from all walks of life together. Aside from being a great practice for serious runners prepping for more difficult runs, the park provided beautiful views and smooth trails that was perfect for running or walking.
A sumptuous food festival welcomed runners at the end of the course. A stage was set-up for games and entertainment, surrounded by food trucks and vendor booths serving various Filipino food, from savory staples like lumpia, adobo, sinigang (sour soup), to sweet treats like sorbetes (Filipino ice cream), halo-halo, ube-flavored silvanas, ensaymada and polvoron, to name a few. It was a real feast and a community garden party served up with Filipino flavors.
ABS-CBN Managing Director for North and Latin America Jun del Rosario said that “This is a good proof of concept that the community can come together and do an activity that is relevant – it pits part of our culture which is food, out there in the market.” Del Rosario added that he was very pleased with the turnout. “It was within the expected level. I’m a lot happier that I’m seeing a lot more of the younger people. Beyond the turnout, it’s how the younger generation has embraced this. That for me is more important.”
TIKIM entrants were joined at the starting line by Filipino celebrities who are runners themselves: actress/singer/ host Kim Chiu, actor/model Jake Cuenca, actor/singer Inigo Pascual, and Star Patrol Anchor Gretchen Fullido.
Cuenca enjoyed TIKIM. “It’s a good day to spend a Sunday. The people who were really runners took it seriously. But the people who just wanted to spend this Mother’s Day had so much fun walking the 5K and having a food tour. So, it’s amazing.”
Pascual shared “I’m glad I am here with my mom. Filipinos are very family oriented, and this is a way we can bond for Mother’s Day. I see foreigners as well which is super cool. So, we can share our culture through this event, our food, and that healthy lifestyle.”
Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco commended the activity saying, “The ability to bond together with the entire community, make friends, run with your family, your kids, your wife, and the entire Filipino American community is such a joy! Pinoy ako. Proud ako. (I am Filipino. I am proud.)
Resurreccion said that “I think we hit a good recipe in TIKIM with four critical ingredients: (1) Health — attracting this very large active community of runners; (2) Culture was a major ingredient by riding on the wave of interest for Filipino cuisine. It was a strong hook whether you’re 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-gen Pinoy or even if you’re non-Filipino. (3) A good amount of entertainment to spice up the core market; and equally important was adding a little bit of (4) Heart into the program – this event aimed to raise money to prepare 15,000 meals, in support of Bantay Bata’s (Child Watch) feeding program in the Philippines.”
According to ABS-CBN Global COO Olivia De Jesus, “I was pleased that TIKIM caught the interest of the Filipinos in the Bay Area. It’s different from the usual concerts that TFC mounts so we were not sure people would come. But it now seems that food, a fun run and community coming together is a great formula for an event.”
When asked if TIKIM will take place again, Resurreccion is confident in saying that “With a turn-out that surpassed our expectations, and the positive feedback we’re getting from participants, we definitely see this expanding in geographical footprint and we envision an explosion of participation from a much wider base of customer.”
De Jesus said, “Without a doubt. We plan to engage more communities, not just in the Bay Area, but also in other parts of the U.S. and even around the world, with the TIKIM experience. It will definitely get bigger and better.”
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