Online petition seeks to preserve PH culinary heritage
MANILA, Philippines – An online petition is asking the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to create a special commission that will "spearhead the preservation and promotion of Philippine cuisine and culinary heritage."
According to Chef Jam Melchor, who is the executive chef of Healthy Eats Manila and convenor of Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, the country should take advantage of the recent recognition that Filipino food is having.
"The Philippines has all the right ingredients to become an international culinary destination. So long as we can cultivate a homegrown appetite for and interest in our local cuisine, global recognition will soon follow," Melchor, who started the Change.org petition on Friday, June 3, said.
"Many have predicted that it will be the next big thing in food. But I personally think that there is still work to be done to encourage our countrymen and women to learn about, appreciate and honor our rich culinary traditions as a strong pillar of our national cultural identity," he added.
While NCCA has celebrated and preserved the country's old churches, antique carvings and other elements of culture like folk dances, Melchor believes that our "culinary traditions need to be celebrated and preserved as well," especially in the face of food culture becoming more globalized.
The petition asks NCCA for 3 things:
- Create a National Committee for Culinary Arts and Gastronomy under the Sub-Commission on the Arts (SCA) to be composed of distinguished representatives from the local food and agricultural industries, as well as the academe, with its mission to preserve our culinary traditions and heritage; and to support and encourage the study of Philippine gastronomy. This committee also aims to raise awareness among Filipinos of the importance of culinary heritage and the preservation of its traditions.
- Celebrate Philippine Culinary Heritage an an integral part of National Heritage Month and Philippine Culinary Arts as part of the Philippine Arts Festival held every year.
- Include Culinary Arts and Gastronomy as the 8th Art discipline of NCCA with the aim of recognizing culinary artists and artisans as champions of Philippine culinary arts and gastronomy, who give honor to our country through their efforts in developing the culinary arts and traditions of the Philippines.
As of posting, 148 supporters have already signed the petition, which aims to get 2,000 signatorees.
"The commission will also strive to prioritize, encourage and support study and in-depth research on Philippine gastronomy," Melchor said.
Do you think the Philippines can become an international food destination? Do you support this petition? – Rappler.com