Iloilo City, tagged as the Philippines’ food haven, has been designated as a Creative City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Known for its batchoy,  pancit molo, and kansi, Iloilo is the first city in the country to make it to the list of UNESCO for gastronomy.

It joined Chaozhou, China; Gangneung, South Korea; Nkongsamba, Cameroon; Herakleion, Greece; Fribourg, Switzerland; and Battambang, Cambodia in the field of gastronomy.

According to City Mayor Jerry Treñas, Iloilo’s inclusion in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is the result of “teamwork of our hardworking city officials and employees and consultants.”

“I share this award with the Ilonggos, like me, who love to cook our Ilonggo Food. Now, we can be proud to say Ilonggo cuisine is taking the stage in the international gastronomy scene,” he said.

Iloilo and 54 other newly designated creative cities around the world “will cooperate with Network members to strengthen their resilience in the face of evolving threats such as climate change, rising inequality, as well as rapid urbanization, with 68% of the world’s population projected to live in urban areas by 2050.”

“The newly designated Creative Cities are invited to participate in the 2024 UCCN Annual Conference [in Braga, Portugal on July 1 – 5, 2024],” UNESCO said.IMT