One look at Berna Romulo-Puyat’s petite stature and you would never think that she loves to eat. But the Undersecretary of the Department of Agriculture is actually a self-confessed foodie—just not your ordinary foodie.
Through her work in the DA, she promotes our local food and grains and ultimately helps our farmers earn a better living by connecting them directly to entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and restaurants that purchase their products through fair trade.
“What I love about my job is you get to meet different people and you find ways to help our famers, innovative ways to help our farmers.”
That’s exactly what she’s been doing through Madrid Fusion. For the past 3 years, she has been gathering local chefs to cook with our regional ingredients in an effort to showcase them to foreign chefs and palates.
“The beauty of that, first the chefs started to realize we have quality ingredients. Second, the people eating it were so surprised, masarap pala, we didn’t know this was local.”
But she isn’t just promoting our local food. Through key partnerships, she also aims to elevate our indigenous weaves and textiles. In fact, in the recently concluded ASEAN Summit, she shared with us that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi was interested in our piña fabrics.
“Imagine we have a Nobel Peace Prize winner who came to Manila for the ASEAN but took the time out to learn more about our world famous piña fiber. Something that is proudly Philippine made.”
A true advocate, Berna often wears Philippine-made products as well. A lot of her clothes are actually custom-made for her using our indigenous weaves. And it takes for someone like Berna, who not only loves our food and products but also aims to show them off on a global platform, to generate enthusiasm for Philippine-made products like Bayo.
“I love the fact that a lot of people want to go local. They want to wear local.”
Going a mile, a minute, Berna is a bubble of excitement and zeal. Passionate about our very own—whether food, textiles, or fashion—Berna is the kind of public servant that’s made in the Philippines.
Watch out for the rest of these stories and join Bayo as we celebrate 25 years of culture, fashion and all things “Made in the Philippines.”
For more information visit: http://www.da.gov.ph/official/