MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In a celebration of culinary diplomacy, the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines (TPB), in collaboration with the Embassy of Malaysia, recently orchestrated the “Halal Journey Through Philippine-Malaysian Flavors” at the Residence of His Excellency Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino, Ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines on November 28, 2023.
This culinary endeavor featured a meticulously curated Halal menu, embodying the rich cultural exchange between the Philippines and Malaysia. Renowned chefs, Chef Don Baldosano, Chef Edwin Loh, and Chef Ammaar Syafiq Ayob, worked in tandem to deliver a gastronomic fusion celebrating the distinct flavors of both countries. Beyond its culinary appeal, this initiative strategically supports the burgeoning Halal tourism in the Philippines, fostering mutual appreciation and understanding through the universal language of food. Destileria Limtuaco & Co. also sponsored the cocktail hour with a unique mix of Filipino-inspired drinks before the dinner.
“By understanding the changing dynamics of our Muslim tourists, we can adapt our offerings and create exceptional travel experiences that resonate with their desires. Together, we harness the potential of Halal tourism and showcase the Philippines as a welcoming and inclusive destination for all travelers,” said TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Margarita Montemayor Nograles.
The event was attended by esteemed guests, including Brunei Ambassador Megawati Mana, Director General of the Islamic Tourism Centre Malaysia Mr. Nizran bin Noordin, and Director of the Office of the Secretary – Halal Industry Development Mr. Aleem Siddiqui M. Guipal. Key Philippine tourism players from both the public and private sectors, including Department of Budget Management (DBM) Sec. Amenah Pangandaman, Department of Tourism (DOT) Usec Atty. Shereen Gail Yu-Pamintuan, DOT Usec. Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Usec. Aliah Dimaporo, and Vogue Philippines’ Rhoda Campos-Aldanese, graced the occasion among others.
The Malaysian Embassy also organized a Halal Tourism Forum that facilitated engaging discussions among tourism stakeholders. The objectives encompassed showcasing Filipino cuisine to the Malaysian tourist market and exploring potential developments in Muslim-friendly tourism products and facilities. This forum marked a significant stride towards the mutual promotion of both countries’ culinary delights, encouraging Philippine tourism stakeholders to tap into the vast Muslim tourist demography by fostering collaborations and setting the stage for future advancements in this dynamic sector.