IN PHOTOS: No meat, no dairy, yet delicious treats at VegFest Pilipinas 2017

Rhea Claire Madarang

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IN PHOTOS: No meat, no dairy, yet delicious treats at VegFest Pilipinas 2017
From well-loved meat dishes like burgers and ribs, to desserts like cakes and ice cream, and even cheese and flavorings like lechon sauce, everything is vegan!

Vegetables, or a vegetarian diet, usually bring up images of leafy green salads, and perhaps the ingredients you find in dishes like chopsuey or pinakbet. While the vegetables here are no doubt good for you and can be part of your diet, there are other exciting ways to eat healthy – and indulge, too. 

VegFest Pilipinas brings to life these possibilities. With cakes, ice cream, burgers, pizza, Pinoy dishes like lechon paksiw, and even spreads like cheese and butter, and flavorings like bagoong and oyster sauce – all meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free – VegFest is a dream for vegans and health buffs looking for guiltless indulgences. But with all the scrumptious, mouthwatering treats, VegFest is a feast for everyone, regardless of diet.     

DECADENT. Yes, this heavenly chocolate cake by Jertie’s Kitchen has no eggs or dairy in it. And you won’t be able to tell the difference when you taste it!

CREAMY. This chocolatey ice cream sold at The Superfood Grocer booth is as delicious as the usual version made with milk – perhaps, even more! And yes, there are many flavors, too! Photo courtesy of  Carmela Cancio


MEAT-FREE 'MEAT.' Yes, these ribs are not meat! But tender and savory all the same. This combo meal from The Superfood Grocer is P150. Photo courtesy of Carmela Cancio


VegFest Pilipinas brings together local businesses – usually small, home-based businesses – selling vegan products in one venue. The items sold are not just food, but also personal care products like soaps, oils, and makeup. There are also activities like health talks, recipe demonstrations, yoga, quiz shows, and more.

Now on its second year, VegFest Pilipinas’ first leg was held from November 18 to 19 in Eastwood and its last leg is this weekend, November 25 to 26.

Below is a video showing some of the funfare – with the different treats being sampled – the festival in Eastwood.



VEGAN BEAUTY. Aside from food, VegFest sells beauty and personal care products that are mostly locally made like soaps, scrubs, massage oils, and more.

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT TALKS. VegFest also has talks and other activities. This one is a talk by Khristine Tamayo of SIFCare (Science of Identity Foundation) on ending world hunger with shifting to a plant-based diet. SIFCare is also VegFest Pilipinas’ beneficiary this year. Photo courtesy of VegFest Pilipinas


We have a growing [vegan] community in the country and it’s about time to take it to the next level…meaning, take veganism to mainstream,” Lakapati Basa, one of VegFest’s organizers, said, recounting on how the festival began. “We also wanted to prove that the market is ready and it is.” 

Basa encourages everyone to know more about the vegan diet and lifestyle, and to try it. There are also helpful resources online, like getting the right nutritiondelicious Filipino recipes and finding vegan-friendly restaurants near you whenever you travel. She also encourages watching films that reveal some realities about the meat industry.

For support for those who want to try a vegan diet, Basa urges people to join the Manila Vegans group, where members can go on a 30-Day Vegan Challenge, with the help of a vegan mentor. 

BUDGET MEAL. This burger meal by Budget Vegan is affordably priced at P150.

VEGAN FLAVORS. You have vegan alternatives to condiments, too! These are from The Vegan Grocer.

SAUCY. Those alternatives include cooking sauces like these. Also from The Vegan Grocer

GOURMET. And vegan cheese can be this luxurious! Photo courtesy of In A Nutshell

SPREADABLE! And vegan cheese can be conveniently spreadable, too! Photo courtesy of The Real Happy Cow

VEGAN BUTTER. There’s spreadable butter, too!

Shifting to a plant-based or vegan diet, or at least cutting down on meat, is also good for the environment. Giving up beef, for example, would reduce your carbon footprint more than giving up your car. Also, meat releases more greenhouse gases and carbon in production, with beef in particular requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases than farm staples like rice and potatoes. 

Consciously eating a more plant-based diet is not a bad idea, considering the recent “warning to humanity” issued by scientists around the world, that the threats on the planet are worsening, which may be “catastrophic” in the future. The scientists strongly encouraged actions like shifting to a plant-based diet. (READ: 15,000 scientists say threats to planet now ‘far worse’)

Eating vegan treats at VegFest Pilipinas and buying from their partner businesses long after the festival is over, is a fun way to try the plant-based diet. Below are more photos from the festival. 


PINOY CLASSIC. At the VegFest, there are Pinoy classic dishes, too, like this lechon paksiw!

VEGAN MEXICAN. And, there’s Mexican cuisine, too!  This is Bulgogi and Spiced Purple Slaw in a cone and a taco sandwich. Antojito’s serves it in a cone, and thus calls it tacone, at the VegFest. Photo courtesy of Antojito’s

PINOY TWIST. This Mexican-Filipino snack is named after its chef. Photo courtesy of Antojito’s

CAKE FAVORITES.  Blueberry cheesecake and black forest cake get a vegan makeover at Dessert First.

PARTY CAKE. Delicielo designs and bakes gorgeous cakes for celebrations like birthdays and weddings.

GUILT-FREE. For those who want a healthier treat, or are allergic to gluten, these brownies by Earth Desserts are gluten-free.

DIABETIC-FRIENDLY. There are many ice creams sold at the VegFest, and this one is something even diabetics can eat.

RED. Among the burgers at the festival, this corned beet burger whose patty is made from mushrooms and red beet is arguably the most eye-catching.

CHICHARON. There’s vegan chicharon, too!

CHIPS. And healthy chips for snacking!

HANDCRAFTED. The vegan handcrafted beers and non-alcoholic beverages are a must-try!

KISSES. These vegan kisses are a great treat or gift.

FARM TO TABLE. There are good old veggies, particularly organic produce bought straight from the farmers. Good Food sells produce from farmers through subscriptions and deliveries to Metro Manila residents.

REFRESHING. There are fresh and healthy juices, too!


TRAIL MIX. There are trail mixes of fruits, nuts, and chocolate for energy boosts, too, especially when climbing mountains.

NATURAL SOAPS. There are also handcrafted soaps made from unique ingredients.

MAKE-UP. And vegan lipstick, gloss, eye shadow, and more, too!

MENSTRUAL CUP. There is also the locally made menstrual cup Sinaya, which lets you say goodbye to menstrual napkins!

ESSENTIALS. Zero Basics sells healthy vegan alternatives to the usual toothpastes, deodorants, and more.

REUSABLE STRAWS. GoZero sells reusable straws with cleaning brushes starting at P50 each. To carry your straw, you can also separately buy handwoven tikog pouches (P70) with materials sustainably sourced from Leyte.


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Rhea Claire Madarang

Claire Madarang is a traveler, writer, biodiversity communications practitioner, and facilitator of nature play activities. Follow her adventures, travel tips, and reflections on her blog Traveling Light and on her Instagram