Improving the culinary attractiveness of Bohol can bring more tourists, according to Rep, Rene Relampagos who used to chair the House Committee on Tourism.
He issued the statement after seeing the potential of becoming one of the top culinary destinations in the region stressing that we can make Filipino food one of the countryâ€™s main selling points to attract more tourists.
He toldÂ The ChronicleÂ that the Philippine team bagged last April the top regional prize, besting 20 teams from other Asian countries, at the Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) culinary challenge in Singapore. The team brought home the overall prize, Best Culinary Establishment. It was in 2007 when the Philippines last won the competition. This is in addition to the individual gold, silver and bronze medals won in individual categories participated by the Philippines.
Rep. Relampagos cited the on-going International Fusion Nights at Plaza Rizal which is part of the Sandugo Festival. He urged the Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants (BAHRR) to enhance further this event. He suggested to hold the event in a bigger place with vast parking area for vehicles.
The solon cited a report called the Future of Food, which stated that Filipino dishes are included in a list of cuisines which â€œdefies conventional classification, and where dishes are inflected by mismatched ingredients or prepared in ways that question traditional techniques.”
Relampagos said each province in the Philippines has its own unique flavors and food stories to tell. He added that the diversity to our cuisineâ€”unique mixture of tastes and texturesâ€”is what makes Filipino food special.
â€œFood is one of the reasons why travelers keep coming back to the Philippines. We must take advantage of this by organizing tours or creating itineraries guided by foodâ€” from preparation to introducing culinary traditionsâ€”in order to make travel experience more interesting and to further boost our tourism industry,â€ Relampagos stressed.
The lawmaker stressed that Filipino cuisine can be the countryâ€™s major economic driver particularly in the provinces as it creates linkages among agriculture, heritage and tourism. Research shows that revenue generated by community-based tourism comes from tourists spending on food.
Filipino food is getting more recognized around the world through the Madrid FusiÃ³n Manila, the first and only Asian edition of Madrid Fusion and the brainchild of the Department of Tourism (DOT) with the goal of promoting the Philippines as an Asian gastronomic hub, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture.
Relampagos is positive that Filipino food especially our very ownÂ Adobo,Â SisigÂ orÂ DinuguanÂ will be the next big thing in the global culinary scene in the years to come. He also hopes that local delicacies such asÂ kalamayÂ and peanut kisses will become international favorites.