PIAYA, a truly Negros Occidental product, was among the best culinary offerings of the country showcased during this year's Philippine Harvest at Central Square Mall in Taguig City.
Now on its ninth edition, the four-day activity highlighted different food destinations and local flavors across the country.
Piaya of Fresh Start Organics in Bacolod City was among the products from 40 local food exhibitors showcased during the food show.
Aside from piaya, cheese product of Casa del Formaggio, also from Bacolod City was also featured.
Others included Balangay’s Best dried pusit, dilis, and dangit from Bantayan Island, Cebu, C.O.P pili nuts from Albay province, El Union draft coffee from La Union, Oro Verde mangoes from Guimaras, Auro Chocolates from Davao, Kajuayan Coco water from Quezon, and Sweets for Ferann silvanas from Dumaguete City, among others.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, in a press statement, said the way to promote a country is through its culinary tourism.
Romulo-Puyat said people, through Philippine Harvest, can go around and taste the food from all over the country in just one place.
Farmers, fisherfolk, and farm practitioners were also invited for an interactive dialogue and local food exhibition.
"Farms now are tourist spots. More and more people want to visit farms, plant, harvest, and to experience farming," she said, adding that "we already have accredited farms that tourists can go to and experience agriculture."
The annual Philippine Harvest is a joint collaboration of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Stores Specialists Inc. (SSI).
For his part, SSI President Anton Huang said: "we have given local farmers and agripreneurs a channel to showcase the country's finest flavors and ingredients."
Huang was along with diplomats from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Spain, Venezuela, France, and Nigeria during the opening ceremonies.
Their presence is in support to farm tourism and indigenous Philippine products, the press statement said.
Romulo-Puyat, who is the former undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture, further said that a good number of the diplomatic corps have not been able to go around the country to taste its food.
They are so happy that they are able to finally taste the best of Filipino food which they can find in different culinary destinations, Romulo-Puyat said.
"When you visit another country, you also look for great food. It is always part of the itinerary," she added.