Tourism and local officials join Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas (center) at the opening of Kain Na!, a food festival shopwcasing the cuisine of Western Visayas.
Iloilo celebrates ASEAN award, hosts Kain Na!
(The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2020 - 12:00am

The three-day culinary experience served as a long table for the community of locals and tourists in Iloilo to bask in the gastronomic offerings of Western Visayas at the fifth edition of the Department of Tourism (DOT)’s Kain Na!

“The greeting ‘Kain na’ is the Filipino’s way of showing hospitality and respect to our guests. It also indicates that food is always central to Philippine culture and always brings together people in the Philippines,” said DOT Undersecretary Edwin Enrile.

Enrile, together with Assistant Secretary Verna Buensuceso, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and other officials shared the stage to toss the ingredients of Iloilo’s signature sour soup dish called KBL or KaDios, Baboy and Langka into a cauldron to open the food fair.

Regional chefs were featured, including chef Jian Ong who cooked chicken inasal bahn mi, an Ilonggo-Vietnamese fusion dish inspired by the childhood dishes he has grown accustomed to; father-son tandem Mayor Treñas and chef Miguel who dished out the city-province’s heirloom lengua recipe; and chef Pauline Banusig who served farm-to-table goodness.

“One of the many things that we can be proud of as Ilonggos beyond our famed Dinagyang festival (scheduled for Jan. 24-26), century-old churches and majestic heritage mansions, is our unique Ilonggo cuisine. Aside from delicacies such as batchoy, pancit molo, butterscotch and biscotcho, we also have our kansi, KBL and laswa that are loved by many tourists,” said Treñas.

Previous Kain Na! events were held in Parañaque, Baguio, Alabang and Cagayan de Oro.

Meanwhile, Iloilo keeps reaping accolades with its recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Clean Tourist City Standard (ACTCS) Award 2020-2022, to be formally conferred on Jan. 16 in Brunei.

The recognition is given to cities with quality standards on environmental and waste management; environmental protection awareness; green spaces; health and urban safety and security; and tourism infrastructure and facilities. Completing the three ACTCS awardees in the country are Baguio City and San Carlos City in Negros Occidental.

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