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Manila, Philippines—Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco welcomes President Ferdinand R. Marcos’ endorsement to push the country’s gastronomy tourism, emphasizing in his latest vlog the importance of regional cuisines and the role of food in the world-renowned Filipino brand.

“Gastronomy tourism kung tawagin dahil nagdadala talaga ng turista pagkain. Food is not just in the stomach, ika nga, dahil nagdadala talaga ng turista ang pagkain. Mahilig tayo sa ganun. We are very hospitable. Yung pinakamagandang regalo mo sa bisita ay masarap na pagkain. Pag-alis nga, yung hindi nakain ay ibabalot nyo pa para meron silang baon. Yan ang ugali ng Pilipino, that’s why yung cuisine at yung hospitality have become such an important part of our lives,” the President said in his latest vlog.

Stressing the role of gastronomy in the Filipino culture, the President then encouraged the public to patronize and support local Filipino products: “Patuloy po nating suportahan ang ating mga lokal na pagkain at produkto. Suportahan natin ang ating mga MSMEs. Para sa mga OFWs, ipasubok pa natin ang pagkaing Pilipino sa mga kaibigan tapos ay imbitahin na natin dito sa Pilipinas. Mabuhay ang pagkain at panlasang Pinoy!”

For her part, Secretary Frasco thanked the President for his remark stressing that an endorsement from the country’s chief executive is a big boost in helping promote the Philippines’ gastronomy scene both in the domestic and international markets.

“Kami po sa Department of Tourism ay masayang masaya sapagkat mismong ang ating Presidente Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. ang nagpapatunay sa buong mundo kung gaano kasarap ang pagkain natin sa Pilipinas. Tama po si PBBM sa pagsasabi na “ang pinakamagandang regalo mo sa bisita ay masarap na pagkain.”  After all, food is the Filipinos’ language of Love. Katunayan, hindi kailangan na may okasyon o kapistahan to showcase our love to our visitors dahil natural sa mga Pilipino ang ipagmalaki ang mga masasarap na pagkain natin na malaking bahagi ng ating kultura,” enthused Secretary Frasco.

“Embracing the diverse flavors of our nation is not just about satisfying palates; it’s about unlocking the rich tapestry of culture, history, and tradition that defines us. In promoting food tourism, we invite the world to embark on a culinary journey through the Philippines, where every dish tells a story and every meal fosters connections. Sama sama po tayo, together let us savor and share our culinary heritage, for in doing so, we not only tantalize taste buds but also cultivate sustainable tourism and celebrate the soul of our nation through food,” the tourism chief added.

The approved National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, also known as the blueprint of the tourism industry identifies Food tourism as a priority product of the DOT.


Hosting of the 1st United Nations Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific

“On the directive of the President, we at the DOT have been actively promoting gastronomy tourism as part of our expanded tourism portfolio, the tourism chief added noting the various efforts of the Tourism Department to beef up this product such as the hosting of the First United Nations Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific which will take place from June 26 to 27 in Cebu.”

“Our goal is to showcase how significant food is to our culture, and highlight our gastronomic delights and the Filipinos who excel in this craft. As the international event will bring together destinations and international experts for knowledge exchange, we also aim to create a platform to celebrate the transformative power of gastronomy tourism and how it benefits local communities and the environment,” the tourism chief said.

The said forum will serve as a platform to celebrate the power of gastronomy tourism and bring together destinations and international experts to exchange knowledge and best practices, to harness its transformative power, especially for the benefit of local communities and the environment. This event will be held as a prelude to the country’s hosting of the 36th Joint Commission Meeting for East Asia & the Pacific and South Asia on June 28, 2024.


The Philippine Eastperience

Under Secretary Frasco’s helm, the DOT likewise ventured into other gastronomic programs such as the Philippine Eatsperience, a component of the DOT’s flagship project, the Philippine Experience Program (PEP), that recognizes the pivotal role of food and gastronomy in shaping the country’s tourism landscape. The Philippine Eastperience strives to offer travelers an authentic taste of Filipino hospitality while visiting Intramuros and Rizal Park where the program was launched last month.

The Filipino concept of “salu-salo” is the modalities of the PEP program with regional launches completed in Davao Region, Calabarzon, the Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Ilocos Region, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Palawan, with more planned this year.


Halal Food

Halal Tourism was also elevated as a major product of the DOT under the current administration, especially after a milestone win at the Halal in Travel Awards 2023 as an Emerging Muslim-friendly Destination. Currently, the Department is working on staging the first-ever Halal Travel and Tourism Expo in Manila, while also developing a Muslim-friendly travelogue of the Philippines.

As a move to equalize and regionalize tourism efforts and opportunities, the DOT is also doing Halal orientations with its regional offices. It also aims to collaborate with RestoPH to provide more Muslim-friendly food and Halal-certified food in the metro.

“We hope that with the President’s endorsement, we will foster a stronger community that would champion our local cuisines, and above all, give employment to more Filipinos,” said Secretary Frasco.




FILE PHOTO: Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco leads the launching of Philippine Eatsperience, a component of the Philippine Experience Program (PEP) held in April at Rizal Park.

FILE PHOTO: Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco tries Filipino cuisine during the launch of the Philippine Eatsperience launch in Intramuros and Rizal Park in April.

FILE PHOTO: A concessionaire serves local food to Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and to foreign dignitaries during the launch of the Philippine Eatsperience in Intrramuros and Rizal Park in April.


Courtesy of:

Department of Tourism

Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy


Published:May 6, 2024

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