SIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP Filipino products chocolate, coffee, and tea will take the centerstage in the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) KAIN NA! Food and Travel Festival this year. (MANILA BULLETIN)The four-day virtual symposium will feature some of the most prominent chocolatiers, inspiring coffee entrepreneurs, as well as those who were behind new and relaxing Filipino brand of teas around the country.“This festival recognizes the spirit of Filipino hospitality in the way we eat,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said during the event’s virtual ceremonial toast on Tuesday afternoon. With the COVID-19 pandemic, most tourism activities, including exhibits and formal launching of events, have transitioned to virtual presentations and gatherings.But Puyat said the DOT is expanding its platform to be able to reach out to an even wider audience online. “We have crafted this year’s program to be responsive to the needs of our stakeholders. KAIN NA 2020 endeavors to prepare our stakeholders for the transition to the new normal,” she said. In fact, one of the key features of this year’s event is the “KAIN NA!” Trading Post, an online store featuring all Filipino food products. Puyat has long been advocating for the “support local” campaign to be able to revive the losing tourism enterprises amid the crisis.The DOT said the event will also offer online learning modules which will offer much-needed e-commerce trainings for food and farm tourism stakeholders and other micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry’s CTRL+BIZ Reboot Now program with the help of enablers Google, Facebook, Zomato, Eat In, GrabFood, Gcash, Air21, and Lazada.The session Food Tourism 101 will feature well-respected food entrepreneurs Margarita Fores, JJ Yulo, Ivan Man Dy, and Michelle Cruz of Klook, who will present share-worthy food tourism experiences from food walks, market tours, foodie hotspots, and other inspiring food tourism experiences.Grab Philippines, a recent partner of the DOT to promote its programs, will also roll out a Kain Na! tile on the homepage of the Grab app to encourage more viewers to join the virtual event.