Agriculture Takes Center Stage in Filipino Food Month

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Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement member Nina Daza Puyat and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service Director Bernadette San Juan sample Tsaa Laya at Filipino Food Month event

Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement member Nina Daza Puyat (leftmost) and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service Director Bernadette San Juan look through some of the featured flavors of Tsaa Laya during the food presentation. (photo by Julrose Dela Torre)

DILIMAN, Quezon City—Local produce and food products from different farms and rural-based organizations were front and center during the launch of “Piyesta ng Pagkaing Pilipino” by the Department of Agriculture (DA), National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM).

This is in line with the celebration of the first ever Filipino Food Month this April which aims to promote, preserve, and ensure the transmission of Philippine culinary traditions and treasures to future generations. This is also in support to and appreciation of various industries, farmers, and agri-communities.

Tsaa Laya, a local brand of herbal tea, was among the line-up of native products, dishes, delicacies, and ingredients showcased during the food presentation as part of the launch. This product is being supported by Ato Belen’s Farm, an Extension Services Provider of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Laguna.

The attendees of the event also got to taste Kape Maramag and Alben Muscovado, some of the products of ATI-supported Rural Improvement Clubs in Bukidnon and Mountain Province, respectively.

“We, at the DA, envision a more competitive and sustainable agriculture and fisheries sector supported by a robust agribusiness, seen by patronized local production,” Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan said on behalf of Secretary Manny Piñol during the opening ceremonies.

The kick-off event for ‘Piyesta’ also officially opened TienDA at the DA Grounds. This retail-selling and product promotion event, which include food preparation and cooking demonstrations, featured indigenous ingredients from different regions in the country on April 10-12.

During the opening ceremonies, Nina Daza Puyat of PCHM shared their continuing advocacy to raise awareness on Filipino regional dishes and give importance to farmers and fishers.

“Let us celebrate the source of our Filipino ingredients. I feel that we should push for local by buying local, cooking local, and eating local,” she said.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared April of every year as “Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino” or Filipino Food Month through Proclamation No. 469 signed last year. Other DA-led activities were the “Pagsasalin ng Kaalaman” cooking demonstration at Melencio Castelo Elementary School, Quezon City on April 10 and “Pagpapakilala ng Kulinaryang Pilipino” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on April 12.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.