The Puerto Princesa City Tourism Office (CTO) is working towards developing more local culinary and pasalubong products, hoping to add variety to the usual cashew and hopia that the city is known for.
City tourism officer Demetrio Alvior, Jr. said they also plan to launch these new food products during the Ironman 70.3 challenge in November to take advantage of the large volume of arriving tourists comprised of participants and spectators. He added that these tourists will surely look for products, particularly food, that are truly local to Puerto Princesa and not found in other tourist destinations.
“Ang kailangan nila is kung ano ang local na meron [ang isang lugar], para matikman naman nila, masarap pala ang ganito. ‘Yong local delicacy, ‘yon ang nauubos talaga,” Alvior said in an interview on Monday.
He added that during the Ironman event, they are expecting around 4,000 tourists since the estimated 1,600 participants may bring around three joiners each. Alvior said that they want to make food products with ingredients that come from local farmers, so the farming industry can also benefit from the project.
“Usually, mga food talaga. Kung ano ang meron tayo, ‘yon ang i-capitalize natin para kumita ang mga farmers natin,” he added.
Alvior stated that they still have yet to decide on what specific products they want to develop.
“Mag-iisip talaga [kami] kung ano kasi ‘yong existing natin hindi enough. Ang kilala tayo is more on sa kasoy, but kasoy seasonal ‘yan. Ang pangalawa, sa hopia, but ang hopia is not originally from Puerto Princesa,” he said.
“Since November pa naman ito, may enough time pa naman tayo to develop ‘yong mga local delicacy,” he added.
Alvior stated that these products need to comply with standards of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and that these products also need to be sustainable, with a steady supply of local raw materials.
“Kailangan natin ng sustainable, ibig sabihin may steady supply ka, may source ng local materials. Ang maganda talaga ‘yong locally produced natin. Para ‘yong farmers naman natin kumikita rin,” he said.