Sustainable Farm Tourism in Region 10

26 August 2018

The Department of Tourism, in partnership with SSI Group, Inc., officially launched the Philippines Harvest, held at Central Square, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. With the theme "Sustainable Living, Food and Travel, the three-day event aims to promote local, indigenous, artisanal, organic, and natural food products of local farmers and agriprenuers.

(Official launching of the Second Edition of Philippine Harvest, held at the Central Square Mall in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig)

With more than 40 exhibitors from all around the country took part in the second edition of the Philippine Harvest from August 24 to 26 at the Central Square Mall in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The event aims to continue to promote the richness of the country's farm and food tourism. With the theme, "Sustainable Living, Food, and Travel", the Philippine Harvest formally opened with a ceremonial toast led by Senator Nancy Binay, DOT Usec. Benito Bengzon, Jr. and SSI Group President Antony T. Huang.

(Sen. Loren Legarda, together with Sen. Nancy Binay advocates the need to promote sustainable farm tourism)

In partnership with Central Square Mall, the Store Specialists Incorporated (SSI) Group and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the event brought together DOT-accredited farms, travel agencies, food exhibitors, and DOT Regional offices across the country. The three-day food and travel expo also presented mini-lectures on sustainable tourism and sustainable dining, organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

(Sen. Loren Legarda visits Region 10's booth at the Philippine Harvest)

In line with this, the Department of Tourism - Region 10 joins the Philippine Harvest, displaying the best local, and organic products of the Region. Local produce from the Region was exhibited in the food show. These include coffee, organic rice, tableya, vinaigrette, turmeric and mangosteen teas, dried herbs and banana chips, among others.

"What's unique in our Region is that we have fresh produce like the Ulam Pineapple, which others say is the sweetest pineapple they have ever tasted and you can eat the whole thing. It is one of heirloom products. We also have Adlai from Bukidnon, Suman from Misamis Occidental which is so unique because we have over 16 flavors of Suman. We have also brought award-winning coffee brands from Bukidnon like Kape Napalit and Hineleban Coffee. We really want to showcase to the world our products. All our products came from local farmers and producers." says DOT 10 Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan.

According to Unchuan, the Region currently focuses on the inventory of farms for farm tourism accreditation. "With our Secretary being strong on farm tourism, we are really working on the implementation of farm tourism. The challenge is how to develop the farms and the facilities for tourists. But slowly we are helping them, giving seminars so they can develop farm tourism in the Region.", says Unchuan.