BY PATRICIA BIANCA S. TACULAO

Food plays a significant role in people’s lives that goes beyond providing various vitamins and nutrients, tickling taste buds, and keeping tummies filled and happy. In every country around the world, food preserves culture and traditions that many people know and love. 

The same concept applies to Filipino dishes, with each bearing a touch of local culture from different areas in the country. 

As a way to commemorate the importance of food in Filipino culture, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Presidential Proclamation 469 in 2018 which declares the month of April as Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino or Filipino Food Month.

Coinciding with this celebration, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) signed a memorandum of agreement on September 8, Wednesday, with the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM).

The MOU states that the mentioned agencies will spearhead the planning and implementation of programs and activities during Filipino Food Month. 

“The signing of this memorandum marks yet another milestone for the longstanding partnership between NCCA, DA, DOT, and PCHM. I have no doubt that the strong bond created today will create synergies for our agencies and, more importantly, for the furtherance and development of the celebration of the Filipino Food Month,” said NCCA executive director Al Ryan S. Alejandre.

With the collaboration among the various government and private organizations, Filipino Food Month will have a wider audience in the country, create new activities that both inform and engage, as well as promote the various industries that it spans. 

Aside from putting the spotlight on Filipino food, the month-long celebration also promotes the various industries that food is involved in such as agriculture and tourism. The event also highlights the areas where the specific dishes come from, the farmers and producers who make food accessible, and the history of food and how it became a part of Filipino culture. 

Through Filipino Food Month, more Filipinos will be able to appreciate local cuisine and how it links us together through time.