By Jules Vivas and Dom Galeon
Images by Noel Pabalate
Regionalism in the Philippines is a thing of the past, as more people have begun to explore cultures outside their own provinces. A great factor breaking this mentality? Love. More specifically, it’s love for food.
Once again, food brought Filipinos together, with the second edition of Philippine Harvest, themed this year with “Sustainable, Living, Food, and Travel.” Made possible by the Department of Tourism (DOT), in collaboration with the Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) Group and Central Square, the food and travel fair was held at the atrium of Central Square, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, last weekend.
By gathering DOT-accredited farm sites, selected travel agencies, and 30 local food exhibitors, the event served as a medium to introduce tourism products to the public, its contribution to countryside development, to emphasize the importance of environmental protection and tourism growth, and as a way to promote food tourism in the regions. SSI and the DOT organizes Philippine Harvest more than once every year.
“Philippine Harvest now takes on a new and more exciting phase as we showcase the best travel destinations our country has to offer,” SSI Group president Anton Huang said in a speech at the fair’s opening day. “We at SSI Group will continue to support and be the avenue for local farmers, Pinoy entrepreneurs, and now, the regional tourism offices, to showcase our country’s finest flavors and wanderlust experiences.”
Philippine Harvest now takes on a new and more exciting phase as we showcase the best travel destinations our country has to offer.
Apart from performances that featured regional dances, talent, and skill, last week’s Philippine Harvest had organic, artisanal, natural, and indigenous products for mallgoers to enjoy, for an experience that was as filling as it was educational. People got to taste and learn about what the various provinces have to offer.
Local produce from partner booths were also presented in a food show. These included dried seafood, coffee, heirloom rice, chocolate, craft beers, fruit wines, fresh fruits, and local sausages.
“A true testament to the SSI Group’s thrust to continuously enrich the lives of our customers, this edition of Philippine Harvest allows them to experience and appreciate the different varieties of Philippine products, marvel at our country’s famed local destinations, as well as learn from industry experts on sustainable tourism and dining,” Anton explained, adding that they look forward to more partnerships with the DOT in the future, “as we unite in our goal to promote responsible tourism through curated lifestyle experiences.”