Iloilo City named UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy

The first Philippine city to be recognized in the category

Iloilo City achieved a remarkable milestone by being named UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, becoming the first city in the country to receive this distinction. 

"I share this award with the Ilonggos, like me, who love to cook our Ilonggo food. Now, we can be proud to say Ilonggo cuisine is taking the stage in the international gastronomy scene," said Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.

This prestigious recognition was announced on World Cities Day, Oct. 31, 2023, marking a significant moment in the city's cultural and culinary heritage.

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Iloilo’s La Paz Batchoy and Pancit Molo (Photos courtesy of the Department of Tourism)

Iloilo City now joins the ranks of 350 cities in over 100 countries as a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), focusing on various creative fields, including crafts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music.

“The cities in our Creative Cities Network are leading the way when it comes to enhancing access to culture and galvanizing the power of creativity for urban resilience and development,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in a statement.

Iloilo now stands alongside other Philippine cities such as Baguio and Cebu, which have also earned UNESCO's Creative City status for their contributions in fields of craft and folk art, and design, respectively.

The cities recently appointed as Creative Cities have been invited to join the 2024 UCCN Annual Conference, scheduled from July 1 to 5, 2024, in Braga, Portugal, with the theme "Bringing Youth to the table for the next generation."