Iloilo City Receives UNESCO Recognition as Creative City of Gastronomy

Iloilo City Receives UNESCO Recognition as Creative City of Gastronomy

Iloilo City has achieved a remarkable historical milestone by being recognized as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, making it the first city in the Philippines to achieve such honor.

In its statement, UNESCO said that recognition is given to cities that demonstrate a strong commitment to harnessing cultural and creative potential as key elements in their development strategies. These cities are also recognized for demonstrating innovative practices in people-centered urban planning.

This city, along with 54 others worldwide, has been recognized by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), a flagship initiative launched by UNESCO in 2004. This prestigious honor was announced by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on World Cities Day, October 31, 2023, marking a significant event in the city's cultural and culinary richness.

Cities recently recognized as Creative Cities will be invited to participate in the 2024 UCCN Annual Conference, to be held in Braga, Portugal, from July 1 to 5, 2024, with the theme "Bringing Youth to the Table for the Next Generation".

Other cities recognized for their culinary creativity include Battambang, Cambodia; Chaozhou, China; Fribourg, Switzerland; Gangneung, South Korea; Herakleion, Greece; and Nkongsamba, Cameroon.

In 2021, Iloilo City applied to be recognized as a UCCN Creative City in the field of gastronomy and its official candidate status was announced in May 2023.

Iloilo City, a major commercial center in Panay, is known for its delicious dishes influenced by cultural diversity, including the famous La Paz batchoy, pancit molo and biscocho. Aside from its reputation as a culinary destination, Iloilo City is also known for its internationally recognized Dinagyang Festival and Paraw Regatta.

Mayor Jerry Treñas said this recognition reflects the city's determination to harness cultural and creative potentials as critical elements in its development planning. Earlier, Treñas emphasized the city's rich culinary heritage, highlighting the unique flavors that make it an exceptional gastronomic experience.

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda expressed that Iloilo City's inclusion in the list is an honor and a source of pride for the Philippines.

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