For the eighth time, Philippine Harvest at Central Square celebrated and promoted the richness of Philippine agriculture through “Philippine Harvest: Celebration of Philippine Food Destinations.” The four-day food fair was organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT), in partnership with the SSI (Stores Specialists, Inc.) Group and Central Square.
The event highlighted the culinary gems of well-known food destinations like Bicol, Negros Occidental, Cebu and Davao. It allowed visitors to buy, bring home and enjoy organic, artisanal, natural and indigenous products. “While I was still with the Department of Agriculture (DA), I was very keen on learning about food and its origins,” says tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, formerly agriculture undersecretary for Agribusiness and Marketing Regional Engagement. “So almost always, my technical trips to the farms would include meeting the stakeholder farmers, relishing the local cuisine and enjoying their farming stories. Every trip was a learning experience with different landscapes, quaint farm sites and interesting traditions. These farm sites are must-visit tourist destinations that we encourage everyone to experience.”
At the recent Philippine Harvest, local produce from over 40 local food exhibitors were bannered, including Alavar sauce from Zamboanga, dried fish from Bantayan Island, chili peppers for the hot dessert siling labuyo ice cream of Bicol, El Union Coffee from La Union, quail eggs, miki noodles, and pork belly for the noodle dishes Pancit Cabagan and Pancit Batil Patong from the province of Isabela, among others. Agri-tourism farm camps such as Milea Bee Farms in Batangas and Costales Nature Farm and Forest Wood Garden in Laguna also participated in the trade fair.
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