The celebration of April as Filipino Food Month is on its second year. Two government agencies, namely the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), worked alongside a private group, the Philippine Cultural Heritage Movement (PCHM), to plan the month’s activities.
The opening was held at The Manila Hotel’s Cafe Ilang Ilang Atrium where Agriculture Undersecretary Eveline Lavinia, NCCA executive director Rico S. Pableo Jr., and Manila Hotel president and director Jose Lina Jr. gave a rundown of their plans for National Food Month.
Preserving Filipino Culinary Traditions
PCHIM’s Jam Melchor was the main proponent of declaring April as Filipino Food Month. Due to his hard work and persistence, the Presidential Proclamation in 2018 to create a special month-long event dedicated to Filipino food was made possible.
A lot of other groups and individuals came forth with their shared advocacy of promoting and preserving Filipino culinary traditions. Among them were the Food Writers Association of the Philippines, Culinary Historians of the Philippines, Myrna Segismundo through the National Food Showdown (NFS), the Doreen Gamboa Fernandez Food Writing Award, Slow Food Philippines, and other regional organizations aiming to promote their regional cuisines. Each of these groups came up with their own programs and promotions.
Some of the activities featured during the Filipino Food Month were the Namnamin festival in Pampanga and Mangan Taku Cordillera in Baguio, which were celebrated during the first two weeks of the month.
Cooking demos and competition were also held at the “Patubas” (harvest) event in Capiz on April 11 and 12. Farmers and fisherfolk participated in the event, and local government units joined the contest. Local cooks at the DA grounds in Quezon City were also present to perform cooking demos.
A Bangsamoro lunch and lecture featuring chef Datu Shariff Pendatun III was organized last April 13 at Chef Jessie’s at Pililia, Makati.
Several other activities are lined up for April including the World Disco Soup Day and the “Sabores de Visayas.”