Did You Know That April Has Been Declared Filipino Food Month? Here’s How To Be Part Of The Celebration
Food fairs, gastronomic tours, and provincial culinary festivals are just some of the highlights in the country’s most ambitious celebration of Philippine cuisine. With a plethora of indigenous ingredients that infuse unique flavor profiles, combined with traditional cooking techniques, Philippine cuisine is poised to set the world’s palate on fire.
Signed on April 13,2018, Presidential Proclamation 469 mandates the celebration of Filipino Food Month every April, beginning in 2019
The whole country is invited to partake in Filipino Food Month this whole month of April with activities designed to promote and preserve our rich culinary traditions, while supporting and appreciating the various industries, farmers, and agri-communities linked to the food landscape. The government agencies leading the celebration are the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Department of Tourism (DOT), together with an NGO, the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM), of which I am a board member.
A number of events have already happened this month, including TienDA: Piyesta ng Pagkaing Pilipino, a market featuring regional dishes, delicacies and indigenous produce, as well as a Bangsamoro lunch and lecture by Datu Shariff Pendatun III on the cuisines of the Maranaos, Maguindanaoans, and Tausugs.
Urang Piyaren, a Maranao dish of crawfish with coconut meat with turmeric and chili served at the Bangsomoro lunch
Outside Manila, festivals like Manyaman e Batil Luzon in Pampanga, Capiztahan in Capiz, and Mangan Taku: Cordillera Food Fair in Baguio expressed each region’s natural bounty and culinary traditions.
At the Capiztahan launch, local dishes highlighted the fresh seafood of the region
With the theme “Ang Sarap ng Pagkaing Pilipino,” Filipino Food Month offers a slew of activities for the rest of April, highlighted by these 8 truly one-of-a-kind events:
1. Sinag: Tracing Emilio Aguinaldo’s Palate
This exhibit celebrates Emilio Aguinaldo’s 150th birth anniversary and symbolizes Aguinaldo’s quest for a unifying palate. It marries art, design, food, information technology, and history in a unique collection of works of the Graphics, Design & Multimedia of De La Salle University- Damariñas. The exhibit runs until May 31 at the Museo de La Salle.
2. Ang Sarap Philippine Food Festival at Café Ilang Ilang
Held in Manila Hotel, this food fest lets diners discover regional dishes from all over the country, including Aklan’s Chicken Binakol, Ilokano Dinengdeng, Cavite’s Pancit Choco en su Tinta, Bacolod’s Kansi, Zamboanga’s Curacha served its buffet spread for the entire month of April.
Pampanga’s famous bringhe, malagkit rice topped with a generous portion of meat and seafood, offered at Café Ilang Ilang
3. Pista sa Guevarra’s: Celebration of Filipino Food Flavors
With Chefs Roland and Jac Laudico, Guevarra’s San Juan is serving up sumptuous traditional fare until April 30.
Guevarra’s launched Pista with a festive atmosphere
4. The Filipino Food Connection: Creating Stories from Heirloom Dishes and Homegrown Flavors
This food writing workshop to be held on April 27 presents Chef Giney Villar of Feliza Taverna y Café in Taal, Batangas and Discovery Primea General Manager David Pardo de Ayala as they explore their Filipino food connection while delving into nuances, history, personal memories, and cooking techniques to craft a unique story.
Chef Giney Villar (Photo by Ocs Alvarez for FOOD Magazine)
5. Republic of Taste: A Gastronomic Journey in South Luzon
This event features cooking demonstrations of local cuisine, food trivia, lectures, and a book signing of Republic of Taste: The Untold Stories of Cavite Cuisine by food historian Ige Ramos, to be held at SM City Rosario, Cavite from April 26 to 28.
6. Sabores de Visayas in Iloilo
Callos at Sabores de Visayas
This grand celebration highlights Ilonggo and Spanish influenced dishes in Nelly Garden in Jaro, Iloilo, featuring guest chefs Chele Gonzalez, Sandy Daza, Sharwin Tee, Maridel Uygongco, and Rafael Jardeleza, Jr. According to Jardeleza, participants can look forward to surprise dishes that include lengua con setas de oliva, callos, paella en su tinto, and La Paz batchoy ice cream.
7. Kulinarya Tour of Quezon and Laguna
Sulyap Garden Café
This food tour on April 27 showcases the culinary delights of Quezon and Laguna. The tour starts at Ted’s Kitchen in Laguna with a buko pie demo, followed by an organic farming lecture at Earthkeepers Garden, plus a museum tour and Quezon tagayan ritual at Sulyap Gallery Café.
8. World Disco Soup Day 2019 Manila
Organized by Slow Food Youth Network Philippines, this annual soup kitchen project encourages today’s youth to find ways to combat food waste and use imperfect produce usually rejected by consumers. To be held at St. Scholastica’s College Manila on April 27, the event also features a Slow Fish exhibit and seminars on solid waste management, urban gardening, and growing your own food.
For more information about the listed activities, visit the Facebook page of Filipino Food Month