Among Filipinos, the question, “Kumain ka na ba? (Have you eaten?)” is always present in almost all conversations. Filipinos love to eat, and it doesn’t matter when or where they are – in the comforts of their homes, or in restaurants and food parks; they are always having fun seeking the latest food trend or the next dish most available for an Instagram photo.
Eating is an integral part of the Filipino’s daily life, and dining out, given higher dispensable incomes and fast-paced city living has become an almost daily habit. In fact, spending on restaurants and hotels is one of the top reasons why Filipinos shell out money.
Food tourism: The Filipino dining public and local cuisine trend
Among one of Southeast Asia’s booming economies, Filipinos are now more willing to spend on experiencing the taste of delicious new dishes, subscribing to ready-to-eat food delivery services, and checking out every new restaurant they see on their social media feed.
Remember the global craze about the humble ube? Even the local cuisine is gaining ground on the international stage! A rising trend, Filipino cuisine has been highlighted as one of the top reasons why people visit the country.
Combining this with the fact that Filipinos are adventurous diners who are willing to try out almost anything, the local dining industry has become very vital to the country’s growing tourism industry.
This fascination for food does not come without any negatives, however. Food wastage is constantly a problem – Filipinos waste up to 308,000 tons of rice every year. Ironically, however, 2.7 million Filipino families have also reported going hungry in the first quarter of the current year. Due to high demand for certain ingredients, sourcing practices are also becoming more commercial, with less regard for where food comes from.
As Filipinos continue to enjoy dining out in the years to come, they have to ensure that as responsible diners, the choices that they make will help the food service industry become more sustainable – so they can continue to enjoy the delicious food that they enjoy today.
“The Sustainable Diner: The Key to Sustainable Tourism” initiative kick-off
WWF-Philippines is working with the Filipino dining public, the government, and the foodservice industry in leading the food industry towards sustainability. Since dining choices have the power to positively impact the food service industry, WWF-Philippines has launched its pioneer project on sustainable consumption and production, “The Sustainable Diner: A Key Ingredient for Sustainable Tourism”, last September 26, 2017, at Seda Vertis North, a hotel in Quezon City.
Supported by the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building, and Nuclear Safety, and together with representatives from the government and the foodservice sector, Filipino diners and members of the media got to witness commitments of partnerships made by WWF’s three partner cities: Quezon City, Tagaytay City, and Cebu City.
Invited guests were called to participate in the panel and focus group discussions where they were able to share their personal dining experiences and suggestions on how to make the foodservice industry more environmentally friendly.
“With The Sustainable Diner project, WWF-Philippines hopes to connect the Filipino dining public with government and food service industry stakeholders so we can all have a productive and collaborative discussion on the changes we can implement in order to make the local dining scene more sustainable,” says Joel Palma, President, and CEO of WWF-Philippines.
“The choices that Filipino diners make are now more important than ever, and if we want to transform both the food service industry and the tourism industry, they are the key ingredients towards achieving a more sustainable Philippines.”
By giving a platform for Filipino diners to participate in making the local food service industry more sustainable and engage with government and food service stakeholders, WWF-Philippines believes that together, it is possible to reduce food wastage, continue stimulating economic growth, and protecting the natural resources that enable us to savor every plate.
Watch this video for the workshop coverage last September 26, 2017, in Quezon City.
Should you wish to pledge interest in this program, you may contact the World Wide Fund for Nature – Philippines (WWF-PH) at JBD Plaza, 65 Mindanao Avenue, Bagong Pag-asa, 1128 Quezon City. YOu can also call them through (+63 2) 920 7923/26.
You can check their website at www.wwf.org.ph today for more details.
About the WWF-PH Food Tourism Program and Initiative
The Sustainable Diner project, under WWF-Philippines’ Sustainable Consumption and Production, is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
Note: CebuFinest.com was chosen by the World Wide Fund for Nature – Philippines, along with other online media bloggers, and selected personnel and members of the City Government of Cebu to participate in this workshop event in Quezon City.