More than 40 exhibitors are taking part in the second edition of the Philippine Harvest under the helm of Department of Tourism (DOT) from August 24 to 26 at the Central Square Mall in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig to continue to promote the richness of the country’s farm and food tourism.
The food and travel fair with the theme, “Sustainable Living, Food, and Travel”, formally opened with a ceremonial toast led by Senator Nancy Binay, DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr. and SSI Group President Antony T. Huang today.
Among the destinations proudly represented are: CARAGA, Cagayan Valley, Laguna, Bicol, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Cavite, Tarlac, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Ilolilo, Leyte, General Santos and Davao.
“In line with the implementation the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016, this serves as our vehicle to further introduce this tourism product to the public, its contribution to countryside development, and to emphasize the importance of environmental protection in tourism development,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Due to high turnout, Bengzon revealed that Department is looking at creating similar platforms across the country so that the appreciation for culinary and farm tourism becomes stronger.
“We are very happy with the turnout today and there have been an improvement in terms of the number of exhibitors and the profile of visitors,” he said.
Senator Nancy Binay, chairman of the Senate Committee on Tourism, said that farm tourism has “dual” effect on farmers.
“Yung effect ng farm tourism is more on the grassroots, kumbaga dual purpose. We’ll be helping our farmers, not just plant but to earn through tourism,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, about nine DOT-accredited agri-tourism sites participated in the trade fair, namely the Layog Country Farm and Cosmic Farm in Benguet; Tam-an Eco-Tourism Farm in Nueva Ecija, The FarmHouse by EDL in Tarlac; Terra Verde Eco Farm in Cavite; Sonrisa Farm in Camarines Sur; Villa Conzoilo Farms in Leyte; Lao Integrated Farms in Davao del Sur and Felicidad Orchard Garden & Organics
The event likewise featured a wide range of local produce including delicacies like: dried fish from Cebu; chocolate bars of Davao City; Pili products of Albay; craft beers and fruit wines of Manila and siling labuyo ice cream of Bicol.
Also showcased are coconut derivatives, adlai, heirloom rice, organic colored rice, artisanal chocolates, dairy products, honey cacao, coffee, tabon-tabon, sua and organic meat.