August 15, 2011
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, chair of the Senate Commitee on Agriculture and Food, recommends a stronger push for Filipino cuisine as a driver of both tourism and agriculture.
The lawmaker, speaking after the resignation of erstwhile tourism chief Alberto Lim, says, “The promotion of Philippine native cuisine and delicacies will give a strong shot in the arm for our agriculture and fisheries sector and for the food industry that directly springs from agri and fisheries.”
“Twenty years ago, Thai and Vietnamese food were unknown in major cities worldwide. That isn’t the case today. What Vietnam and Thailand achieved in the last twenty years the Philippines can do in the next twenty years. Placing Philippine native cuisine in the world map isn’t far-fetched.”
Pangilinan, who was formerly the chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, adds: “Philippine seafood is arguably the best in the world. Our lobsters, oysters, shrimps, mussels, fish, and crabs are better tasting than those produced elsewhere. The next DOT chief must place food in the centerpiece of the Philippine tourist experience.
The senator also points out that, in spite of the presence of large Filipino communities around the world, Filipino cuisine hasn’t yet broken out into the global marketplace–at least not the way the cuisine of its neighbors have captivated global tastebuds.
“It’s time for us to show the world that Filipino cuisine, just like our beaches and our people, is truly world-class.”