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Iloilo is Now Part of UNESCO City of Gastronomy

Iloilo City recently bagged a spot on UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.

If you and the family have been to Iloilo many times, then there is a reason again to keep coming back. UNESCO announced last October 31 that Iloilo has been awarded as one of the Creatives Cities under the Gastronomy category.

Iloilo is among 54 new cities that were added in UNESCO’s Creative Cities for various categories. Joining Iloilo under the Gastronomy is Battambang from Cambodia, China’s Chaozhou City, Fribourg in Switzerland, Gangneung in South Korea, Herakleion in Greece, and Nkongsamba in Cameroon.

In a press release, Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, explained about the Creative Cities recognition.

“The cities in our Creative Cities Network are leading the way when it comes to enhancing access to culture and galvanizing the power of creativity for urban resilience and development,” she said.

Iloilo is the first city from the Philippines to make it to the gastronomy category. The city has been vying for the spot since 2021.

Proud moment for Ilonggos

In a statement, Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas is proud their gastronomy is thriving.

“Ilonggos once again celebrate an incredible achievement for Iloilo City being named by UNESCO as a Creative City of Gastronomy!” he wrote on Facebook. “This prestigious recognition reflects our rich culinary heritage, from mouthwatering seafood to the iconic batchoy, KBL, and more. Our city’s love for food, innovation, and culture shines brightly. Let’s savor this moment, share our culinary treasures, and keep our gastronomic traditions thriving!”

He also acknowledged the efforts of those who made it possible for Iloilo to be part of the list.

“The UNESCO Creative City Network on Gastronomy recognition for Iloilo City is the product of the community effort by the LGU, academe, NCCA, DTI, and several nameless persons who worked hard to prepare the documentation required, the videos, and other submissions. This recognition is not only for one person or for a group of persons. This is for all Ilonggos — whether you are from the city or the province. Let us all be proud to be Ilonggos!!!”

Earlier this year, the city has been promoting its gastronomy by publishing cookbooks such as The Flavors of Iloilo.

Iloilo, along with the other new designated cities, are invited to participate in the Creative Cities Network in Braga, Portugal happening from July 1 to 5, 2024 with the theme “Bringing Youth to the Table for the Next Decade.”

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