NAMIT! Iloilo’s Culinary Tradition

By Bombette Golez Marin

Culinary tourism is a growing trend as more local government units all over the Philippines strive to present their local cuisine as an artistic expression of their culture.

Culinary tourism experience is every experience in which one not only consumes authentic local food, but also appreciates and learns about local culture. And as people are becoming more open-minded about trying new cuisines, the food tourism market keeps growing.

Food tourism is on the rise as people become more interested in experiences rather than simple sightseeing.

Food tourism can bring economic and cultural benefits to the province;

Food tourism is an intangible UNESCO World Heritage;

Food tourism is a great way for tourists and locals to interact in a low-pressure setting. Farm stays, cooking classes, and walking tours all facilitate real interaction. We all share through food.

Food tourism helps to combat over-tourism by spreading out visitors and making them focus on the culture and people of a place.

The emerging trend of Culinary Tourism can be surveyed and studied as most of our tourist destinations have made a great effort to promote their local cuisines. There is a growing awareness of the importance of food as a culture and heritage component for Iloilo and we consider it as a valuable source to attract tourists.

Iloilo Province has a very rich culinary heritage and its people are very passionate about it and are very much willing to offer their culinary specialties to its visitors. Apart from the natural wonders, historical and cultural richness of its destinations food is what will promote the province as its new offering.

NAMIT! a culinary tradition of Iloilo is an offshoot of Kain Na! a project of the Department of Tourism in support of culinary tourism which introduces the specialties, as well as new dishes that mostly highlight every region’s culinary produce. This culinary tourism project is an annual celebration in the calendar of events to celebrate Food Month every April and is organized by the Provincial Culture, Arts, History and Tourism Office.

The event highlights cooking demonstrations, culinary lectures, cooking competition, and exhibits.


The culinary tourism forum will tackle about Western Visayas Heritage Cuisine, Slow Food Community and the Ark of Taste in Western Visayas, and Traditional Ilonggo Heritage Cooking to be discussed by food stylist and chef Armando Hisuan Jr., Slow Food Negros President Reena Gamboa, and Ilonggo Heritage Cuisine advocate Chef Rafael Jardeleza Jr, respectively.

Food and culture are interwoven. The processes involved in preparing, serving and sharing certain foods and drinks might appear simple, but they often carry important social and cultural significance. And recipes can be used to transmit knowledge from one generation to the next.

Making and eating certain foods as part of a celebration can solidify social bonds. For travelers, getting to know the local food scene and joining in with culinary traditions is one of the best ways to deepen your knowledge and enrich your experience.