With the support of the Department of Tourism’s New York Office, the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, Canada showed off Philippine tourist destinations as well as an assortment of Philippine crafts and food products at the First Ottawa International Expo (OIE) – International Food and Drink Soirée on Oct.14, at the Ottawa Convention Centre.Organized by Events by Starfish, the Expo spotlighted food, beverage and crafts from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.
Smartly put together, the Philippine booth displayed iconic images of Bohol, Palawan, Davao, Boracay, Cebu and Batangas and non-stop movie clips of other fun attractions of the Philippines in full view of over 2,000 Canadian visitors who flocked to the expo. The expo also presented an opportunity for the embassy to market Winter Escapade 2, a customized visitor package targeting Filipinos and mainstream tourists from Canada and the United States. Riding on the success of the maiden tour in January 2014, the next Winter Escapade will bring participants to Dumaguete, Siquijor or Apo Island, Bohol, Cebu and Makati over eight days and seven nights from Jan.30 to Feb. 6, 2015.
Dressing up the Philippine booth were finely-made shell craft, jewelry, baskets, woodcraft, tapestries and other traditionalwoven fabrics from the Cagayan Valley, Iloilo and Cotabato and other provinces in Mindanao.
Throughout the soirée, more than a thousand visitors lined up at the Philippine booth to sample Philippine tropical fruit juices, bar snacks, dried mangoes and candies as well as turonitos which the Embassy sourced from local stores with a view to stimulating demand for Philippine processed foods beyond an ethnic market.
Lively entertainment at the expo featured the Tinikling presented by the Philippine Dance Troupe of Ottawa. Philippine-born deejay David Deez played music from all over the world, including some hits from his native country.
Philippine Ambassador to Canada, Petronila P. Garcia, initiated the embassy’s participation in the event. “The response to our tourism and trade offerings at the First Ottawa International Expo has been overwhelmingly positive. Our Canadian visitors simply kept coming back for more of our food and fruit juices. Many were sufficiently informed and visibly enticed by our displays and samples to the extent of considering the Philippines as their next holiday destination. After this evening’s expo, I am confident that the fruits of our Philippine tourism and trade promotion in Canada will continue to multiply by word of mouth,” Ambassador Garcia said.