National Filipino Food Month

By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 469 signed on April 13, 2018, the month of April of every year is declared as the "Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino" or "Filipino Food Month." This annual observance seeks to "appreciate and preserve Filipino culinary heritage, as well as the farmers and fishermen who make it all possible." We all know how Filipinos love food and love getting together while having a sumptuous feast and no Filipino gathering will be complete without overflowing food and delicious treats to be enjoyed.

The celebration of Filipino Food Month started with the advocacy of the Philippines Culinary Heritage Movement or PCHM with two government agencies namely the Department of Agriculture and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of NCCA to promote and preserve "our long-standing culinary traditions since many of our heirloom food products and practices are slowly disappearing in the face of globalization and food culture." In the same manner, this annual event is also a good opportunity to "thank and appreciate farmers, fishermen, and all who contribute to food security in one way or another" according to then DA Secretary William Dar.

With the current trend of having food vloggers and digital content creators featuring the process steps in cooking all sorts of dishes and delectable foods, even the array of small and micro food businesses in the country, the awareness of our local cuisines and heritage is highly promoted and supported. In Pampanga, one of the first content providers "Where in Pampanga" features various food establishments and other places that serve as a guide to where the new places are located. Another group, Team Canlas TV also emerged and is more widely known to feature local recipes and ways to cook and prepare food. Recently, we also saw the rise of other Kapampangan content creators such as Budang, Kabulakbuy, and others whose names I could not remember. All of these Kapampangan vloggers usually feature mukbangs which are enticing to watch and really prompt us to try out these foods.

On the national scene, I am able to follow the content of Laine Bernardo, Naomi Peña, Ninong Ry, and Panlasang Pinoy among others. I was able to watch one of their "collabs" where they mentioned that they are now working together to promote and help small food businesses get known even more. While we know that they are able to monetize from this content, they said that the agreed to eliminate competition and collaborate more to promote local food and businesses.

If we are to look at the reason why Filipino Food Month was created and that is to ensure that local cultural heritage and traditions are advocated and preserved in the midst of technological advancements, I can say we can maximize the presence of vloggers and digital content creators to feature and support our Filipino dishes, food establishments, and various food traditions.

Well, for us Kapampangans, food is non-negotiable. With our distinct reputation as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines, we will ensure that this reputation will not only be preserved but instead, be enriched even more as we are able to pass on our culinary heritage to the future generations with the help of technology and modernization.


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