The Department of Tourism recently partnered with various agencies to signify support for the celebration of the Filipino Food Month or Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino.
Among the partners of the tourism agency in ramping up the country’s culinary tourism include the Department of Agriculture (DA), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM).
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that these agencies with the help of the DOT’s regional and overseas offices are committed to collaborating to keep Filipino culinary traditions appreciated, preserved, and promoted.
Puyat said that by doing so, the future generations will likewise uphold various industries, food tourism stakeholders, farmers and agri-communities.
As she seeks to boost the country’s food tourism, Puyat stressed that this sector has been identified as an important protector of cultural heritage as it helps create opportunities and livelihood, especially in rural destinations in the Philippines.
She said this year echoes this year’s theme “Pagkaing Pilipino, susi sa pag-unlad at pagbabago.”
“Among the biggest desires of tourists today is the need to make a deeper, more meaningful connection with the places they visit, and one of the best ways to broaden tourists’ appreciation for a place is through food,” Puyat said during the opening ceremony at the newly renovated Metropolitan Theater in Manila early this month.
“In the DOT, we have been championing food as one of our key tourism products, ascribing to the principles of sustainability as guided by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The UNWTO recognizes that gastronomy is about much more than food. The organization also acknowledges the role of gastronomy as a way of promoting understanding among different cultures, and bringing people and traditions closer together,” Puyat added.
Meanwhile, April of every year is declared as the “Filipino Food Month.” President Rodrigo Duterte made the declaration through Presidential Proclamation no. 469, signed in 2018.
To further boost the country’s food tourism, the DOT prepared tourism packages and activities, also in line with the celebration of food month.
Food tourism packages
The DOT and group operators named the Philippine Tourism exhibited Biyahe Na, Kain Na! the following food tourism packages:
- Pampanga Day Tours available at Php 4,150/person;
- Bulacan Day Tours at Php 4,250/person;
- CALABARZON Day Tours at Php 4,900/person;
- Overnight tours featuring Baguio and Benguet, Laguna and Rizal Art and Crafts Loop, and
- Subic-Clark Bubble at Php 9,999/person;
- 3 days 2 nights tours like the Benguet to La Union, Ilocos Trail, and Cordillera Trail at Php 16,300/person, and
- Day trip Sit-In-Coach Tours featuring San Fernando-Angeles-Clark Loop every Tuesday and Sunday at Php 4,150, and
- Tayo Na Sa Rizal every Wednesday and Sundays at Php 4,900.
Food and gastronomy projects (online and onsite activities)
- Fun Philippine Finds Pop-Up Store at the 21st World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit from April 20 to 22
- Mangan Taku (Let’s Eat) 2022 with DOT Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in cooperation with the City Government of Baguio, CAR provinces, and the Department of Agriculture CAR from April 21 to 24.
- Sustainable Diner Series with WWF Philippines hosted by DOT Region IV-A on April 18, 20. This series was also staged on April 6, 11 and 13.
- Slow Food Webinar for FEU Cavite on April 22
- Punsyunan: Showcase of CALABARZON Cuisine on April 29
- A three-day event called Namit!: A Celebration of the Filipino Food Month organized by DOT Region 6 together with the Provincial Government of Iloilo from April 25 to 30.
- Virtual food crawl of Cagayan de Oro City on April 17 and 24 after two runs on April 3 and 10. This was prepared by the DOT Region, local virtual lifestyle show “Hello CdeO.”
Puyat said there are also a number of regional tourism circuits designed to include immersive food and farm experiences as the highlight of travel itineraries.
Food fairs such as Kain Na! and Philippine Harvest are likewise continuously running to support the country’s food and farm tourism stakeholders.
Aside from these events, DOT foreign offices will also support the following celebrations overseas:
Filipino Restaurant Month celebrations in Canada through the DOT San Francisco;
Philippine Food Fair at the Imperial Hotel with DOT Tokyo Office;
Virtual Philippine Food Tour with DOT Australia;
Publicity support for the opening of Reyna Restaurant in Paris with DOT Frankfurt
Stories on Philippine food and gastronomy will be featured on the local media platforms of DOT Beijing, and a special feature on China’s social media platforms WeChat, Weibo and Daoyuin will be conducted by DOT Shanghai to highlight Philippine gastronomic offerings.