Bacolod City is gearing up to display its rich culinary heritage during the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) upcoming Philippine Experience: Culture, Heritage, and Arts Program (PEP). On November 29, DOT Secretary Christina Frasco attended the event, which aims to celebrate and promote the distinctive flavors and cuisine that Bacolod is famous for.

City Council's Tourism Committee Chairman, Councilor Jason Villarosa, shared insights on the preparations, highlighting the city's commitment to expanding its food tourism beyond the famous chicken inasal. "Our focus is not just on chicken inasal but on a broader spectrum of local delicacies. We aim to elevate our food tourism to new heights, following the success of MassKanamit during the MassKara Festival," he said.

The PEP launch in Bacolod will feature a showcase of local delicacies at Bantug Lake Ranch in Barangay Alangilan and an additional event at the Government Center. These venues will become stages where the richness of Bacolod's cuisine, from appetizers to desserts, will be on full display, offering both traditional Filipino dishes and specialties from Western Visayas.

Set to run from November 29 to December 31, Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are key locations in the Western Visayas' initial leg of the PEP. This program is DOT's latest endeavor to spotlight the Filipino Brand and identity across various travel experiences, encapsulating four themes: Hain/Salo-Salo, Kalinaw, Paman, and Likha.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez emphasized the city's culinary offerings as a cornerstone of its tourist appeal. "Visitors often leave Bacolod with lasting memories of our food. That's why we're keen on developing our food tourism further," he said. The mayor also expressed plans to enhance the culinary aspect of the MassKara Festival, particularly through the MassKanamit Culinary Showdown.

Looking ahead, Mayor Benitez envisions a grander and more exhilarating food festival for the next year's MassKara Festival, centering Bacolod’s tourism allure around its gastronomic experiences. "We see a lot of potential in enhancing MassKanamit. Our goal is to create a food festival that truly captures the heart and soul of Bacolod’s rich culinary scene," he added.