Eleventh Hour: A celebration of plant-powered living at VegFest Pilipinas 2023

By Peachie Dioquino-Valera and Trexy Pauline De Los Santos 


Vegfest Pilipinas returns with a culinary explosion this 2023 with a vibrant celebration of plant-based cuisine. Save the dates for 18-19 November as this year’s installment promises to be the most sensational yet, transforming The Spine, Blue Bay Walk into a haven of gastronomic delights for vegan and non-vegan enthusiasts alike.

This year’s festival is championing a compelling message of sustainability and climate action. With the theme “Heal the World with Compassion and Climate Action,” the two-day festival will bring together a diverse group of renowned speakers and passionate advocates, all committed to furthering the cause of veganism whilst fighting climate change.In the middle of a climate catastrophe, young people are boggled with the question of what they should be doing, especially in a vulnerable country like the Philippines, where climate change-induced disasters like floods and droughts have become the norm.

Renowned nutrition scientist Dr. Christian Koeder will grace the VegTalk segment, addressing burning questions about veganism and nutrition. Dr. Koeder’s extensive contributions to vegan nutrition include numerous publications in books and journals, and he will delve into the practicalities of healthy vegan diets in the context of the Philippines. His insights will prove invaluable to Filipino consumers, food advocates, manufacturers, students, and health professionals interested in embracing plant-based eating.

Joining the food festival are local vendors who embody the same philosophy, showcasing their diverse array of plant-based products and services.  

A little throwback in time

VegFest is a global event that started in Canada in 1985. It is where food, educational seminars, and other means are used to promote the vegan way of life. It showcases films, performances, and goods.

Since 2018, VegFest Pilipinas has proudly held the title of Asia’s largest and longest-running vegan festival. The Philippine vegan festival traces its roots back to Vegans of Manila back in 2016. The festival is purely volunteer-run and non-profit. One hundred percent (100%) of its profits go directly to its beneficiaries and for this year: SIF Care Foundation, Mobility Awards, and Philippine Animal Rescue Team (PART).

On a mission to make a difference

Vegfest aims to motivate and inspire people from all walks of life to consider adopting a vegan diet. This shift can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the protection of animal life. Our food choices play a crucial role in addressing today’s global challenges, particularly the climate crisis and ecosystem collapse. 

Vegfest serves as both a call to action and a celebration. It offers a platform for learning, interaction, and informed decision-making that can positively impact the world.

This year’s event is proudly partnered with Philippine Alliance for Sustainable Solutions (PASS) Forward, a coalition of social enterprises dedicated to fostering sustainability within our economic system and businesses through zero-waste and circular economy practices.

GreenSpace PH will collect food and other organic waste for composting using their Bokashi technology. The resulting compost will be donated to partner farms and community gardens.

EcoNest PH, a local producer of compostable food implements, will showcase its products, including cassava biobags, bagasse containers, bamboo utensils, kraft cups, and straws made from coffee grounds. These eco-friendly alternatives will be widely used by merchants at the festival, and Greenspace PH will ensure their proper composting after use.

Sentinel Upcycling Technologies will collect unavoidable (not single-use) plastic waste generated during the event. This waste will be sorted, cleaned, and upcycled into various products.

Wasto Waste Solutions will showcase examples of upcycled plastic products such as kiosks, folding tables, benches, and chairs.

These PASS Forward partners will also present during their segment titled “The Zero Waste Hour,” highlighting the connection between waste mismanagement and its detrimental effects on ecosystems and non-human species.

In recognition of the power of storytelling and education, this year’s VegFest has partnered with Goethe Institut Philippines. 

The festival guests will have the opportunity to watch ten short international documentary films from the institute’s Science Film Festival (SFF) Philippines 2023. The film festival is an official supporting partner of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Just like VegFest, SFF is advocating for the protection and revival of ecosystems worldwide. This involves assisting in the recovery of degraded or destroyed ecosystems and conserving those that remain intact. By doing so, we safeguard the survival, protection, and longevity of the species and non-human beings living on our planet.

See you at The Spine, Blue Bay Walk, on November 18 and 19

This year’s Vegfest is more than just a gathering; it’s a testament to the unwavering commitment of those who believe in protecting our planet and its inhabitants. We hope you can join us!

We promise two days filled with delicious food, diverse vegan products, thought-provoking conversations, fun family activities, a Climate Emergency concert, and an opportunity to be part of a movement that promotes peace and planetary justice.

Let’s come together and make a difference, one plant-based meal at a time. See you there!



Peachie Dioquino-Valera is a Climate Reality Leader and a co-organizer of VegFest Pilipinas. Her social media platform Peachie Keen & Green is where she showcases everything green, sustainable, eco-spiritual, and regenerative.

Trexy Pauline De Los Santos is a third-year student currently pursuing her studies in Advertising and Public Relations at Assumption College. Outside of her academic life, she enjoys being surrounded by nature and finds joy in outdoor adventures. She is keen to cross a few important hikes off her limited but meaningful hiking list.


This article was originally published on the November 11, 2023 print issue of the Manila Bulletin.

Eleventh Hour at the Manila Bulletin serves a digital space to discuss our organization’s work on supporting the country’s just transition into a clean, affordable, and self-sufficient energy system; advancing sustainable urban mobility to highlight the issues of equity and democracy; and raising public awareness about the need to phase out single-use plastics. It also serves as a platform for Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders to share your stories, promote your climate initiatives, and provide critical insights to issues that matter to climate action, environmental protection, and sustainable development.