PANAY CUISINE. Department of Tourism (DOT) and local government unit officials kick off the "Kain Na!” culinary and travel festival on Friday (Dec. 6, 2019). Lawyer Edwin Enrile, DOT’s undersecretary, stressed the potential of Panay on-farm and culinary tourism as it has fresh ingredients direct from farms. (Photo courtesy of Iloilo City Mayor's Office

ILOILO CITY -- Known for its fresh local farm products and ingredients, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is promoting Panay’s potential on-farm and culinary skills.

DOT’s “Kain Na!” culinary and travel festival gathers together the local dishes prepared by local chefs, farm tourism sites and their products, and other cultural performances at The Shops at Atria, Ayala Malls in Mandurriao district here.

The three-day event, which opened on Friday night, is participated in by the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Iloilo City.

In an interview, lawyer Edwin Enrile, DOT’s undersecretary, said Iloilo has a variety of food available that is supported by its rich farms.

Tourists keep coming back in Western Visayas and Iloilo because of its culture and the cuisine, he noted.

“Agriculture is really big here in Iloilo, especially with the Jalaur (river) dam. Next year, we will focus on promoting farm tourism here and in Panay because of the farms,” Enrile said.

He said farm products are reflected by the dishes served or the farm-to-table cuisine.

“For Iloilo and Panay, you have the freshest ingredients, from seafood and all that,” he said.

Enrile said the cuisine in Iloilo and Western Visayas are also appreciated by foreigners.

“It is something to be proud of. It reflects our identity and I think more and more now, the world appreciates the Filipino cuisine,” he said.

The “Kain Na!”, a centerpiece program of the DOT, has visited Alabang, Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and Baguio this year, he said. (PNA