The Filipinos’ penchant for something new, something borrowed or something traditional in food was not upended by the global crisis. Filipinos continue to yearn for culinary possibilities within the diversity of the regions.
In the third instalment of the government’s “Kain Na” campaign—one of the flagship programs of the Department of Tourism, local concoctions were brought to prominence—a cool reboot to the stalled industry.
The program, launched this year on an online platform, celebrates Filipino appetite for beverages which have been a part of Filipino tradition for centuries. Tsokolate, kape and tsaa, featured a virtual event, is a toast to farmers, producers, local chefs, tourism attractions and tour operators who have painstakingly labored to promote local flavors, according to Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
“Over the past two years, 12 on ground festivals have been mounted all over the country bringing together the flavors of our 16 regions to celebrate the richness and diversity of the Philippine culinary landscape. This year, we have reconfigured Kain Na into a virtual event. And in doing so, we are actually expanding our platform, and will now be able to reach out to an even wider audience online,” she said.
In partnership with the Ayala Malls, the home of Kain Na in the last three years, the Philippines continues to position itself as a food and gastronomy hub and as a delectable center of culinary pursuits through local and foreign tourism.
Kain Na 2020 will highlight different dimensions of Philippine cuisine over the next four months from chocolate, coffee and tea, food trips and Christmas cravings.
“We have crafted this year’s program to be responsive to the needs of our stakeholders. Kain Na 2020 endeavors to prepare our stakeholders for the transition to the new normal. Through the Department of Trade and industry’s Control Biz Reboot Tourism Now program, we have lined up online learning modules on e-commerce to help food and farm tourism sector suppliers migrate or expand their businesses to online platforms,” Puyat said.
One of the attractions of Kain Na 2020 was the Kain Na Trading Post—an online store that serves as a platform for food and farm tourism partners to showcase offerings to potential business partners and sell their products directly to consumers. The online store will go live at www.kainnastore.com for a month.
Ayala Malls have been Kain Na’s base since the first year. Now in its third year, the food fest continues to spark enthusiasm from the private sector partner.
“In October, we are hosting the succeeding on ground legs of Kain Na at the Baguio Techno Hub In November, and Christmas cravings in Ayala Mall Solenad in December. We all endeavor to survive and thrive during this very trying time with grace and persistence. We are committed to help the tourism industry, an industry that we are an integral part of to forge ahead,” said Ayala Land Malls Inc. president Jennynlle Tupaz.
As home to Kain Na, 13 Ayala malls across Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao have proudly hosted the regional campaign since 2018.
Ayala Malls’ official virtual lifestyle platform Pasyal TV and Pasyal.ph showcased Kain Na 2020, a promotional campaign to reach out to a wider set of audience to encourage participation in development activities that generate livelihood for Filipinos in these difficult times.
“We understand the struggles, the challenges of the heroes of our tourism industry, our regional partners, and even our local tourists who are now longing for respite and a chance to visit and explore beautiful islands. Once again, we’re working together and reaching our consumers with this project. We hope to be able to help jumpstart the promotion of our local tourism,” Tupaz said.
Filipino products highlighted the launch of the virtual festival’s thematic approach in partnership with Ayala Malls. Virtual symposiums during the Sept. 15 to 18 Food Tourism Exchange featured some of the most prominent chocolatiers, inspiring coffee entrepreneurs and new and relaxing tea experiences around the country.
With Kain Na, the tourism industry looks forward to increasing awareness and interest in food and the sector in general to help establishments slowly open up the country’s beautiful destinations.
“I have been inspired about how communities have rallied together around food during the pandemic from hosting quarantine cooking videos that celebrate our culinary heritage to donating meals to our front liners and supporting farmers, small entrepreneurs and restaurants, by ordering for home delivery,” said Puyat.
While virtual launches are now the in thing, industry stakeholders and the government are raring to bring back the live events in the near future when on ground activities and domestic travel are already possible.
“We hope that Kain Na will inspire you to discover all the flavors of the Philippines and whet your appetite for the future. We will take together eat as one and together we will heal as one,” she said.
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