FOOD TOURISM. Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat delivers her speech during the launch of the "Eats. More Fun in the Philippines" campaign at Islas Pinas in Pasay City on Saturday (Aug. 31, 2019). Romulo-Puyat is confident the campaign will boost the country's budding food tourism. (Photo by Gil Calinga)
MANILA -- Giving a twist to the country's tourism slogan, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and popular food brand Jollibee have partnered to promote the unique Filipino cuisines and flavors under the new "Eats More Fun in the Philippines" campaign.
In an interview, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she is confident the campaign will boost the country's budding food tourism.
"Filipinos, we like sweet spaghetti and fried chicken, but this campaign is not only promoting Jollibee products it's also promoting Filipino cuisines -- the adobo, lechon, and halo-halo," she told reporters on the sidelines of the campaign launch at the Islas Pinas in Pasay Saturday.
"Whenever you travel, you travel really for food. It's actually the biggest campaign of the DOT -- Eats. More Fun in the Philippines -- because you're not only promoting the sun and beach but also the cuisine," she added.
The food tourism campaign is a series of promotions inviting local and foreign tourists to explore the gastronomic treats the country has to offer aside from the beautiful destinations it is widely known for.
The Tourism chief said Jollibee and the DOT agreed to run the campaign for three years, which will be segmented in phases.  
"This is the start and we're now talking about the next steps on how to promote Filipino cuisine from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Jollibee funded everything," she shared. 

With this campaign, Romulo-Puyat is also optimistic that more people will have a sense of awareness about the myriad of local delicacy in the country and that each of these cuisines is unique to the region serving the food.

"Like the Batil Patung, what people don't know is, each province has its own pancit, like in Tuguegarao there's the Batil Patung, in Isabela they have the Pancit Cabagan. Even lechon, you have different kinds of it. So it's for people to discover the different kinds of Filipino cuisine," she said.

Secretary Romulo-Puyat together with Jollibee Food Corporation officials Ernesto Tanmantiong, Joseph Tanbuntiong, JJ Alano, and Francis Flores indulge in the Filipino boodle feast (DOT photo)

During the launch, DOT and Jollibee also introduced "The Pinoy’s Table", a mini-documentary which headlines notable chefs JP Anglo, Filipino-American celebrity chef Jordan Andino, and YouTuber creator and comedian Mikey Bustos.
In the video, Anglo and Andino underlined the unique Filipino food and the dining experience that goes along with it. 
“I would say that Filipino cuisine and the Filipino dining experience gives more soul than most countries," Andino said.
"When you eat Filipino food, you taste love, family, and tradition, and that happens in every recipe, in every restaurant. Not a lot of cultures are able to do that,” he added.
Speaking about the country's food as a fusion of flavors, Anglo invited local and foreign foodies to taste the "stand-out delicacies" Philippines has to offer.
“Our lechon is exceptional -- we’re one of the countries that do the roasting technique really well. Our grilled chicken, the inasal, it is also so excellent and can definitely go against other grilled chickens in the world,” he said.
“I look up to the street vendors like the guy who’s been making batchoy for two decades in a market in Iloilo. I think we should celebrate them more and give them a venue. These guys are the real deal and as chefs, we get our inspiration from them,” he shared. (PNA)