The inclusion of Iloilo in the list of creative cities for gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a “well-deserved recognition,” according to Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr.

“This remarkable achievement is a testament to our rich culinary heritage and our dedication to preserving and promoting the art of gastronomy,” he said in a statement.

Iloilo is the first city in the Philippines to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of gastronomy.

“Iloilo City has always been a culinary gem, celebrated for its delectable cuisine, from La Paz Batchoy to fresh seafood dishes, and everything in between. Our community’s commitment to nurturing and showcasing our unique food culture is truly commendable, and it is wonderful to see our efforts being acknowledged on a global scale,” Defensor said.

“This UNESCO designation not only highlights the delectable flavors that Iloilo City has to offer but also acknowledges the deep-rooted cultural traditions and culinary innovations that have shaped our city’s identity,” he added.

The governor expects that the Creative City tag will lure more visitors and attention the Iloilo’s vibrant food scene.

“Iloilo City’s journey as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy is an inspiration to cities worldwide. May we continue to explore, create, and share our culinary treasures with the world, enriching not only your local community but also the global gastronomic landscape,” Defensor said.

Iloilo is now among the 350 cities in UCCN representing various creative fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music.IMT