AN ARRAY of Filipino delicacies, cooking demonstrations, food sampling, lectures on heritage, tradition and cuisine and festive performances marked the launching of Filipino Food Month Luzon at the Orchids garden, City of San Fernando on Friday, April 5.
Themed “Manyaman a Batal” or “delicious neck,” the launching was spearheaded by officials from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, Provincial Government of Pampanga, Balaghani, and the local government units of Mabalacat and San Fernando.
DOT Regional Director Carolina Uy said Filipino Food Month is a celebration of locals’ love for cooking and their very own specialties found all over the island.
“Food Month is a celebration of the Filipinos’ love for their food and cooking. From the bagnet of Ilocos, the sisig of Pampanga, down to the Bicol express of the south, we will find the very best of what we share to others, even to foreigners who savor our unique cuisine,” she said.
For DA Undersecretary Engr. Ariel Cayanan, food is the very result of the work of farmers who put staples on Filipinos’ tables.
“We honor our farmers for their work of ensuring we have food on our tables. Everything is from agriculture from vegetables to poultry which makes the celebration even more special this Food Month which I must say, must be every day and not just during the month of April,” he said.
Cayanan added that Pampanga was chosen as the venue for the Food Month launch, as it is known as the “Culinary Capital of the Philippines.”
The expression “manyaman a batal,” he said, tickles the imagination as a better understanding of the food experience that begins with the taste buds, but is the swallowing that brings the fulfilment of the savoring. In this sense, the neck is delicious or it will cease to be a convincing emblem for foodies.
“Manyaman a batal” also signifies the Kapampangans’ refined and exquisite taste in food, as they are proud of their gastronomic heritage and strong food culture. (JTD)