So I went to Carnival Food Park in Marikina City last Thursday to join GMA Artist Center’s Food Pairing Challenge along with other lifestyle bloggers and actor-host-blogger MIKAEL DAEZ as judge, jury and executioner.

Bottom line is our team lost, but we really had a great time!

It was not my first time in Marikina, but it was my first time at the Carnival Food Park which is located along Mayor Gil Fernando avenue in the town of San Roque. It is situated right beside a Shell Gas Station, so that’s going to be your land mark if you decide to go there as well.

I actually got lost and walked from Shoe Avenue all the way to the Food Park under the heat of the summer sun.

I rode a Jeepney right in front of¬†Katipunan LRT 2 Station and clearly asked the driver if he’s going to pass by the Carnival Food Park – apparently I got duped. You get to encounter people like that once in a while – so c’est la vie.

The route that I should’ve taken was the one at Sta. Lucia because there are Jeepneys there with the signboard “Marikina Bayan” that can take you straight to the Food Park. Lesson learned!


Anyway, the Carnival Food Park in Marikina resembles a “carnival” hence the name – minus the attractions (carnival games and rides) – what it has a lot of are stalls of different kinds of food! 26 stalls to be exact plus two container vans built as airconditioned KTV rooms that can accommodate up to 20 people.

It houses various new food concepts from Asian Fusion to good’ol western comfort food. Here are some of the stalls found inside the Carnival Food Park:

  • Kuxina
  • Tori Joint
  • Hungry Heroes
  • Brewskie Pasta Hub
  • Chicken Way
  • Chix PH
  • KarneVal
  • Grillax Flame Hut
  • Senorita Fil Mex Cantina
  • Sizzling Daddy
  • Planet Sausage
  • Rustic Box Steakhouse
  • Milkshake Lab
  • Sushirrito
  • Hip On
  • Dips N’ Fry
  • It’s A Wrap
  • Ice Box
  • Piggin’ Out
  • The Amazing Churros
  • Fantastic Dips

These stores are open from 4PM to 12MN – when the sun sets the food party at Carnival Food Park begins!


Now for our challenge, I was paired with fellow blogger RM Marcelo. We were all tasked to go around the Carnival Food Park to scout for the best pair of food that we can find with a budget of only 500 Pesos.

MIKAEL DAEZ will taste everything and announce his top choices.

We decided to go Asian Fusion – our idea was to give him hybrid Asian delicacies and we found this pasta called “Saranghaeyo” at Brewskie which has Korean Barbecue and Kimchi and a Lechon Kawali Maki at Sushirrito.

Lechon Kawali Maki

Apparently, Mikael is a bit traditional when it comes to his Japanese Makis – needless to say, our fusion idea didn’t work and we lost the challenge.

Here’s a video of what happened during the Food Challenge:

The winning pair was the one brought him a tapa meal from Kuxina. Bloggers Jing and Edward, brings home the trophy!

But like I said we all had a lot of fun!


We also got a chance to talk to Mikael a bit and ask him about his current projects and plans.

As far as schedules¬†are concerned – well, he has a full one! In fact, he hasn’t had a decent sleep yet when he went to our Food Challenge event.

He’s currently doing Legally Blind (which is on overtime now) together with Janine Gutierrez, Lauren Young and Marc Abaya. He still has his lifestyle and food segment in Saksi “Midnight Express” – it’s his five years already as host of the segment. And then an upcoming “trippy” comedy series on GMA News TV called ALEX and AMY.

Mikael also shared a few tips on video blogging and editing.

Here’s a video of our interview with Mikael:

Mikael Daez is a talent of GMA Artist Center. He has been with the Kapuso Network since 2011 and has starred in the shows Amaya, My Beloved, Blood In Dispute and many others.

Marikina Carnival Food Park Challenge with Mikael Daez

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