Our country boasts a smorgasbord of fine food items—from indigenous to organic to artisanal—grown and manufactured in our very own backyard.
Local food once again took the spotlight at the recently concluded Philippine Harvest held at Central Square in Bonifacio Global City on Aug 24-26.
In its second edition under the helm of the Department of Tourism, the three-day food and travel fair paid homage to the people who produce good food by highlighting farm tourism, local food, and tourist destinations around the country.
“At the core of our programs and projects in the department is our sustainable and responsible tourism advocacy which we aim to promote with this edition of Philippine Harvest,” Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
In earlier statements, Puyat, who was a former undersecretary of the Agriculture department, said she’s planning to focus on farm tourism.
“We hope to develop sustainable farm tourism as a dependable source of income for Filipinos in line with implementation of the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016, which serves as one of our strategies for countryside development,” added Puyat.
Specialty retailer Stores Specialists, Inc. Group and Central Square, in partnership with the DoT and the Tourism Promotions Board brought together DoT-accredited farm sites across the different regions together with selected travel agencies and 30 local food exhibitors.
Among the Luzon-based farm tour operators that participated were Terra Verde Eco Farm from Maragondon, Cavite; Layog Country Farm from Mountain Province; Amancio’s Dairy and Produce Farm from Cordon, Isabela; Tam-An Eco-Tourism Farm from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; The FarmHouse by EDL from Capas, Tarlac; and Amadeo Nurture Farmacy from Cavite.
The Visayas and Mindanao contingents included Sonrisa Farm from Magarao, Camarines Sur; Ephrathah Farms Corp. from Iloilo; BinahonAgroforesty Farm from Lantapan, Bukidnon; and Mariano’s Blooming Agri-Tourism Park from Tupi, South Cotabato.
Fair goers had a chance to sample and purchase local produce such as dried seafood, coffee, heirloom rice, chocolate, craft beers, fruit wines, fresh fruits, and local sausages, among others.
Staging the recent Philippine Harvest was, SSI Group president Anton Huang said, a way to create more awareness on Philippines’ finest flavors as well as how traveling impacts our planet.
“Travel has become a big part of all of our lives and this is our way of practicing this advocacy here in our own backyard, and presenting Filipino travelers with options and ideas,” said Huang.
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