President Marcos pushes ‘chibog’ tourism

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
President Marcos pushes �chibog� tourism
Marcos talked about gastronomic tourism in his latest vlog titled “Chibog,” posted on his YouTube channel on Sunday. Chibog is Filipino slang for “eat.”
Bongbong Marcos / Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines — Apart from its famous tourist attractions, the Philippines should make the most of its rich and diverse cuisine to attract more foreign visitors to the country, President Marcos said.

Marcos talked about gastronomic tourism in his latest vlog titled “Chibog,” posted on his YouTube channel on Sunday. Chibog is Filipino slang for “eat.”

The President, who considers himself a “foodie,” noted that many Filipino dishes have gained popularity not only among the locals, but also foreign influencers.

“Our dishes are famous all over the world,” Marcos said in the six-minute video.

He cited Filipino dishes that have made it to the list of online food database, TasteAtlas, including sinigang, a Filipino soup characterized by its sour and savory taste.

TasteAtlas’ latest survey ranked Filipino cuisine as the 33rd best in the world, with sinigang as the 97th best dish.

Marcos said pork sinigang is one of his children’s go-to Filipino dishes.

He also mentioned famous dishes from his home region of Ilocos Norte, such as bagnet, Ilocos empanada and dinardaraan – the Ilocano version of dinuguan, a stew made of pork, pig’s blood, vinegar and spices.

The Chief Executive said these Filipino dishes deserve the Michelin star, a rating given to a restaurant having a quality menu with cuisine prepared at a consistently high standard.

He added there are more dishes from different regions in the country that both local and foreign tourists have yet to try.

Asked what his favorite street food is, the 66-year-old Marcos said balut, a Filipino delicacy made from incubated duck eggs.

Balut, however, was among the world’s worst-rated dishes based on the recent survey by TasteAtlas.

Marcos urged Filipinos, especially overseas Filipino workers (OFW), to support the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises engaged in the food business.

“To our OFWs, let our foreign friends try Filipino food, then invite them to visit here the Philippines,” he said.

Marcos said the best thing to give foreign visitors is good food.

“Food does not just feed the stomach, it also feeds the soul,” the President said.

The Department of Tourism is prioritizing culinary tourism as among the country’s multidimensional tourism product offerings.

Before concluding his vlog, Marcos asked his viewers to comment on what food he should try on his next food trip.

He mentioned pares eateries that recently went viral on social media. Pares refers to Filipino braised beef stew usually served with fried rice.

“It (pares) looks delicious, let’s see,” Marcos said.

On April 21, the President shared photos with his wife, First Lady Liza Marcos, enjoying Jollibee staples like ChickenJoy, palabok and Champ. He and the First Lady received a commemorative doll and a thank you letter from the fast-food chain.

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