If the nightly news stresses you out and the primetime dramas bore you to tears, there is an alternative and refreshing program called Cooltura, which airs every Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., on IBC 13.
Making sure that the episodes are hip and cool are its hosts Kevin Lapeña and Kris Tiffany Janson. The dynamic hosts are well-traveled individuals. Kevin was a former MYX VJ, lifestyle writer, and travel media professional. Kris, on the other hand, was a former beauty queen, environmental advocate and print, ramp and commercial model.
Janson shares, “As a former beauty queen and travel advocate, I had my fair share of going around the Philippines. My parents are from Mindanao and I grew up loving the beauty and bounty that can be found in that region.”
She carries on, “With Cooltura, we promise our audiences that we will show how beautiful our country and people are.”
Her top recommendation to adventurous travelers, “Well, I will entice to visit Mindanao and the Visayas. In these groups of islands, there are still many sandbars, vintage houses, of course, great food. For example, in Cebu, instead of just staying in Mactan, I will tell them to explore, Malaspascua and Bantayan.”
Janson, who has a supermodel figure, shares that her staple Pinoy dishes are sisig, sinigang and lechon. She swears, “I will never get tired of eating lechon, never get tired of lechon.”
Aside from our spectacular places and food, what Janson is most proud of as a Filipino are, “We were able to get best traits and practices of the many cultures that were in our country. I’m also proud of our close family ties. We are very communal. We are an embracing and welcoming culture and people.”
For Lapeña, what he usually suggests to his foreigner comrades to visit are, “Palawan, it is a primary destination. Davao, which happens to be a personal favorite because of its unique biodiversity. And Batanes, for its bucolic charm, laid-back living, which most foreigners and even us, do not regularly get to experience.”
For the Philippines’ national dish, Lapeña says, “I am trying my best to stay away from adobo because it is the common answer. Personally, it has to be sinigang, whether, pork, beef or fish, sinigang brings out so many lovely memories to most people. It is like an heirloom dish that always has a secret in the broth, in the choices of vegetables to put and how our lolas or moms make use of pampa-asim na tamang-tama lang. I also like our grilled fishes and kinilaw.”
Asked what is cool about Pinoy culture, Lapeña’s swift answer, “I suppose it is the mixture of different influences. They have affected our disposition, the manner we see things in a positive way. We are optimistic, tenacious and resilient. Binabagyo na, kuha pa ring ngumiti. We are spiritual, we know how to communicate and respect forces that are bigger than us. We go the extra mile to extra mile to befriend and take care of visitors.”
He promises, that Cooltura will highlight and zero in on, “Our cuisines. Beliefs and traditions, definitely. Our many festivals and peculiarities of the Pinoy. Kris and I immerse in the culture of a given culture community, experience their pamumuhay first hand, appreciate and enjoy their many stories.”
Kevin ends, “Cooltura is not the usual culture show that we are accustomed to, this is fun, dynamic, engaging and it will make the audiences proud of what we have, embrace what is our own, angat talaga ang kulturang Filipino.”