Destination eating turned competitive as K-pop heartthrobs Nichkhun of 2PM and Alexander “Xander” Lee, former member of U-Kiss, together with celebrity cousins Danica Sotto-Pingris and Ciara Sotto, talked about their four-episode segment on the upcoming second season of tvN Asia’s One Night Food Trip – International Edition at a recent press conference at City of Dreams Manila.
The 48-hour food frenzy will once again take celebrity pairs on separate routes around the Philippines to complete different missions. Completing missions will grant a number of stamps for the coveted Golden Passport, but as an added twist, it also lets one team send special challenges to the other group. One Night Food Trip – International Edition will fly exclusively with Cebu Pacific for the entire second season. The Philippine segment is in partnership with the Tourism Promotions Board, an attached agency of the Department of Tourism.
From left: Ms. Anne Chan, Chief Operating Officer of CJ E&M HK ; Ms. Charo Lagamon, Director for Corporate Communications, Cebu Pacific; Nichkhun, actor and songwriter from K-pop boy band 2PM; Alexander “Xander” Lee, actor and singer formerly of K-pop boy band U-KISS; Ciara Sotto, singer and actress; Danica Sotto-Pingris, television host and celebrity chef; Mr. Kevin Benning, Senior Vice President & Chief Operation Officer, City of Dreams Manila; and Mr. Joselito Gregorio, OIC, Corporate Affairs, Tourism Promotions Board
“The fun thing about this format is it’s not just about eating,” actor-songwriter Nichkhun said. “If we passed missions, we had the chance to either gain something or give something really bad to the other team.”
The ladies “gave us the worse,” singer-actor Xander Lee said as he teased the cousins. Television host and celebrity chef Danica also joked about how the boys “gave us a hard time,” with singer-actress Ciara saying how the other pair sent them a challenge that “made it hard for us to eat.”
“I would love you guys to do a handstand while eating,” Ciara told the K-pop pair in jest at the press conference.
From sisig to spicy ice cream
Unlike in Season 1, the K-pop team got to try international cuisines such as Spanish and Chinese dishes in their trip from Cebu to Pampanga. Still, there were a few local delicacies that did not get past their palate.
“We tried sisig, and that was actually good. I loved it,” Nichkhun said. “I had it with rice and a hot chili pepper in one hand. I’m pretty sure the 2PM members would love it.”
As for the ladies, the trip was mostly about local flavors, including plenty of seafood in Coron, Palawan. However, it was spicy ice cream in Legaspi, Albay, that topped the experience: “The chili was like ‘volcano level’, the siling labuyo? They made us eat level eight chili ice cream,” Danica shared. “It felt like my throat was on fire.” On the other hand, Ciara enjoyed the rare treat as a fan of spicy food.
Over land and sea
No food tour is complete without the challenges that come with travelling. The K-pop team definitely had their share when their trip was met with heavy rains.
“We were in the car for five hours because it started flooding from Pampanga to Manila, and it was only 81 kilometers,” Nichkhun recalled.
It was a different story on air. “Cebu Pacific made it very easy for us and very comfortable. They took very good care of us,” Ciara told the audience.
The other team agreed. “We actually flew a lot, and we were in the car a lot, but it was good,” Nichkhun said. The two also thanked City of Dreams Manila for the accommodations, as well as the Tourism Promotions Board for their itinerary and Cebu Pacific for their flight. “No traffic, no flooding in the sky,” Xander followed up in jest.
One for the memory
Beyond food, the show left a lasting impression on both teams: “When we were in Cebu, there was a moment where we were talking to each other and it was very peaceful,” Xander described one unforgettable experience while “floating in the sky” with his teammate for one mission.
“It was the same for me,” Nichkhun added. “We thought it would all be scary, but when we were up there, it was really nice.”
“For me it’s the bonding with my cousin, creating more memories with her, and just getting to go around the Philippines and be able to appreciate your country more,” Danica said. “I am a Filipina, but I just fell in love with the Philippines even more.”
Ciara shared the same sentiment, “It’s a shame because we’re Filipinos and we’ve never been there, we’ve never seen those beautiful places. It’s such a blessing.”
Based on the popular Korean food variety show One Night Food Trip, the international edition brings K-pop idols across Asia including the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, and Malaysia to face off against local celebrities over missions involving local flavors, culture and attractions.
One Night Food Trip – International Edition 2will premiere exclusively on tvN in Asia on 30 July (Monday) at 18:30 (GMT+8). tvN is available in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka, with subtitles in English, Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, and Thai. tvN, where fun takes off!
Follow One Night Food Trip – International Edition 2 on social media with hashtags #OneNightFoodTripIntl2, #ONFTIntl2, and #tvNAsia. Learn more about tvN Asia on Facebook @Ch.tvNAsia, Instagram @tvNAsia, and Twitter @tvN_Asia.