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We can disagree on politics, but can always be one on food – Berna

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LEGAZPI CITY — Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat emphasized the importance of food in promoting tourism and in contributing to the local economy and development.

“We can disagree on politics but we can always go along on meals,” Puyat said when she graced the launch of the three-day “Kain Na!” (Let’s Eat!) food-travel festival at the Ayala Malls-Legazpi Friday.

Citing DOT data that food comprised one-third of the expenditures of travelers, Puyat said food was a daily part of travel itineraries.

“Now that I am in DOT, I’d like to continue our advocacy in promoting local Filipino cuisine, for food will always be one of the things considered in the places you visit. I’m excited to taste samples from the Bicol region,” she said.

“Local chefs made this possible. Try out the different cuisine and delicacies of the different provinces, travel around the country, make it to the top of your bucket list, tag it to your friends and we can see that it is more fun to eat here in the Philippines,” she added.

Puyat said she has been promoting food tourism for more than a decade and that she would continue to pursue this as Tourism Secretary.

Selected chefs from prominent restaurants and hotels in Bicol participated in the food-travel festival and served their best recipes.

Among them were Andhei Nacion of The Oriental Hotel who prepared Bicol Express in a Cup and Pansit Dinuguan; Bong Aspe of First Colonial Grill, who created a “Giant Ice Cream” with six flavors; and Marica Buenaflor of Biggs, Inc. who served Laing Paella and Laing Longganiza.

“Kain Na!” was also participated in by exhibitors from regional farm tourism associations, DOT-accredited farm tour operators, farm cooperatives, and the academe. (PNA)