By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

(photo:) FOODIE APP. Screenshot of “MyMetroManila”.

MANILA – A new mobile application featuring the iconic dishes in Metro Manila has been unveiled as part of the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) bid to promote the evolving food tourism in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The app called “MyMetroManila”, available on Google Play Store, serves as a guide not only to established and well-known diners but also inconspicuous stalls and homes turned into restaurants in the metropolis.

“This is a gamechanger because in the past you need a brochure to go around, but if you are still planning to come here in Manila, you can already download the app and plan your trip and everything’s right at your fingertip,” DOT-NCR Director Woodrow Maquiling.

Maquiling said this is the first mobile application initiated by the DOT dedicated to the promotion of a single region.

Among the dishes under spotlight in the app’s Metro Yummy Picks category are the Inutak in Taguig City, a rice pudding topped with ube and baked over charcoal fire; the Kalderetang Itik of Pateros, a stew made with duck meat and liver spread; and the popular Chinese-style honey-cured ham in Mandaluyong City known for its sugar amber coating.

With the app’s launch, Maquiling expressed optimism about the increase in the domestic and foreign tourists’ duration of stay in the NCR.

“A tourist spends an average of 1.71 nights in Manila. Our goal is to really increase to 2.5 or three nights because they come to Metro Manila and then just sleep here and then leave already to other regions,” he said.

Maquiling noted that the app’s introduction, in fact, already paved some partnerships such as with the Philippine Tour Operators Association, Inc. (PHILTOA).

“I’ve talked to the president of PHILTOA and they said they’re gonna curate a tour that will already include the places mentioned. That’s the goal that all of these enterprises and individuals across will be included,” he said.

Although the app’s main purpose is to guide tourists to the flavours NCR is known for, the tool will also showcase old and new tourist sites like the ornate Kiu Pat Long Shiao Temple in Parañaque City, the Ayala Museum in Makati City, the Bamboo Organ in Las Piñas, the Presidential Car Museum in Quezon City, and the Shoe Museum and Gallery in Marikina City.

It also comes with a real-time messaging feature that enables interaction between users and DOT-NCR representatives. (PNA)