Despite reports in February that the 2019 World Street Food Congress (WSFC) will be returning to Manila this October, the much-awaited event has just been cancelled. 

The WSFC wrote on Facebook Tuesday that “no reason nor rhyme was given and this, was after 6 months of legwork the WSFC did in curating and accommodating the TPB [Tourism Promotions Board] and DOT [Department of Tourism] ideals for the event.” The six-month legwork consists of invitations to chefs, cooks, and vendors from 14 countries and collaborations with local culinary colleges.

“This in unbecoming of the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and Department of Tourism (DOT), but we doubt this is personal as we have a good working relationship with the ground team. We apologize to the scores of local and international food fans and entrepreneurs who have already placed their interest in this year’s event in BGC,” the WSFC added. 

This is the second time the event has been cancelled, the first time being last year, when the event organizers reported to having “experienced more changes than usual.” Before these cancellations, the Philippines hosted the WSFC for two consecutive years. The chef and writer Anthony Bourdain even made an appearance in the 2017 edition of the event. 

The TBP and DOT have yet to comment on the matter. 

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