ILOILO CITY – This city is the official candidate of the Philippines for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network (UCCN) under the field of gastronomy.
“Hopefully we get it because we are the nominee of our country. We do not know the contenders from other countries so we need all the help that we can get. We are happy that the national government is supporting us through the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry),” said Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas in an interview on Wednesday.
Treñas said the city will continue to push for more innovations, such as introducing the metro as a global gastronomic hot pot as “prevalent in the Ilonggo culture and tradition” like in fiestas and other celebrations.
Salvador Sarabia Jr., director of Iloilo City’s Meetings, Incentives, Travel, Conference, Convention, Exhibitions, Events (MICE) Center, said the main objective of UNESCO is to make gastronomy as an instrument of development and economic progress.
“It is not going to be just a paper chase; it has to be an instrument of progress and economic development. Progress is more of the inclusivity of the approach of this very noble project,” he said in a separate interview.
Sarabia said winning the title will mean showcasing and promoting the city globally, which is an opportunity of a lifetime.
“We are broadcasted, we are promoted. With the UNESCO, we will be promoted and marketed globally,” he added.
The DTI provided consultants who reviewed and helped enhance the city’s application, he said.
There will also be a virtual meeting with UNESCO Creative Cities for Gastronomy in Malaysia and San Antonio, Texas for additional pointers on Thursday.
Maria Victoria Lara of the Iloilo City Local Economic and Investments Promotion Office (LEIPO), in a previous interview, said an area that is declared a creative city for gastronomy showcases how food has made an impact on the culture and lives of its people.
The UCCN was launched in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. (PNA)
SOURCE: PHILIPPINE NEWS AGENCY