My hometown never fails to surprise me with its flourishing food industry. Every time I move around the area, I would discover emerging food joints. Lilac Street in SSS Village for instance used to be a quiet residential site for the middle class. Today, every street has something unique to offer.  Gil Fernando St. is another case. What used to be a site filled with grassroots, vacant lot and the city government's engineering facility is now a growing food strip. Years ago, no one had probably predicted that my hometown, also known as one of the flood prone areas in the Philippines, will transform to one of the popular food hubs.

Recently, I noticed a growing trend of food parks. It started with the popular weekend food bazaars such as Banchetto and Mercato. (Are those still existing?) After some time, we had our own experience of food trucks. Although the idea didn't sustain in my hometown. Years after, the concept of food parks emerged. It started with Crave Park, which I blogged here. Followed by The Truck Park, I have yet to see. I also saw a smaller version, #FoodTrip Marikina along Gil Fernando area as well. Then late last year, I discovered Carnival Food Park.

The bright lights, cheerful atmosphere, and nostalgic vibe of old school carnival can easily capture anyone's attention. Hence, expect a traffic build up within this area. Apart from diners, passerbys can't help but check out the place.

I went with my friend AK last Sunday. I felt it was quite a mistake going on a weekend because as you can see, jampacked. It was hard to secure seats. Lines are long in most food establishments. I would suggest taking 3 companions to distribute the task of looking for seats and ordering meals. I only have my friend AK with me so we ended with two different orders. AK bought honey chicken wings from Chicken Ways. I took the long lines to try the popular nachos of SeƱorita Fil-Mex Cantina. Of two dishes we tried, we would recommend Chicken Ways. Senorito's nachos was just average. It's something I can skip if I will visit again. AK also tried Milkshake Lab, which surpassed her expectations.

Setting aside the Sunday night crowd, I had a good experience with Carnival Food Park. But as mentioned, I will probably visit the place on weekdays. I just hope that all establishments are open even on off peak weekdays. 

P.S. I noticed a number of netizens seeking the easiest way to reach the place. Here are my recommendations.

With Own Vehicle 

Option 1 - Using Waze
Some netizens complained that Carnival Food Park is not yet existing in the application. In case the place remains unrecognized, pin your destination to Tata Motors along Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue instead. The place is across this establishment.

Option 2 - Without Waze
Drive towards Marcos Highway bound to Antipolo, Masinag or Cogeo area.
Make a u-turn after Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall.
Take the street after Yellow Cab Pizza / PS Bank, the street starts the long area of Gil Fernando.

Via Commute

Option 1 - Estimated Cost : around Php 35
Take the LRT 2 and exit on Santolan Station
Take any jeepney bound to Montalban / San Mateo. These routes directly pass along Gil Fernando St., where Carnival Park is located.

Option 2 - Estimated cost : around Php 55
From Cubao (Gateway Mall) or Katipunan (Katipunan LRT Station), take the UV express bound to Marikina (routes of Parang or SSS Village
Alight near the Marikina Sports Center.
Take any tricycle (brown, beige or green) and tell the driver to take you in Gil Fernando St, Carnival Food Park.

Option 3 - Estimated Cost  around: Php 55
From Gateway Mall, take the UV express bound to Antipolo, Masinag or Cogeo.
Alight at Robinsons Metroeast.
From the overpass, you can easily see the light brown / cream tricycles that can take you to the area.