By JC BELLO RUIZ
LONDON, England – Filipino businessmen here urged the Philippine government to invest more on food tourism with Filipino food fast gaining popularity among Europeans.
With the government’s help, Filipino businessmen couple Felix and Tess Peñas said Filipino dishes like “bistek tagalog,“ “Bicol Express,“ “afritada,“ and the iconic “adobo“ could lure more tourists to the Philippines based on their own experience as restaurant owners.
Tess said Filipino cuisine, if given support by the government, could compete with Thai, Chinese, and Indian dishes that are very popular among foreigners.
If given the opportunity to talk to President Benigno S. Aquino III during his official visit here from June 4-6, Tess said that she would appeal for support for restaurant owners like them maybe by extending loans.
“Oh, I would like to tell the President to help us, we’re in the restaurant business, and we want a big backup from way back, back home. We would like him to support us in his way, his own way or maybe the government could put some, I don’t know ha, if I say this, put some funding for the Filipinos it’s because it’s happening…
it’s helping their people like…to put up different restaurants just to promote their cuisine,“ she said.
The couple who put up a Filipino restaurant three years ago in an exclusive village in Kensington Olympia said that they would love to branch out and even want Filipino food in the shelves of supermarkets in London.
“They have Chinese, Thai, Indian, maybe next time, they see adobo Filipino adobo in the su permarkets. And afritada. That’s our dream,“ Tess said, noting how their customers of different nationalities love Filipino food that they even want to travel to the Philippines and try out other dishes.
“Yeah, I believe in that because we’ve tried it here and it worked already. A lot of people said that Filipino food is good and they want to go to the Philippines to taste some more food. So in a way, we’re promoting also the Philippines,“ Felix said.
“They’re really, do you know the bistek Tagalog … and they were surprised when they said oh my God, and they always come back, they like the bistek Tagalog,“ his wife added.
Their British customers were surprised how good Filipino food is. “They wanted us to go out in the high street,“ Felix said.
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