Filipino Food Month: On preserving Filipino culinary tradition and sustainability practices

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Our culinary heritage and food culture deserve to be highlighted, and ultimately, will help in the sustainability of our farmers.

April is Filipino Food Month.

“This year, Filipino Food Month focuses on food security and sustainability practices gearing towards our mindful purchase of naturally grown products,” discloses Chef Jam Melchor, Founder of Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, one of the proponents of Filipino Food Month along with the Department of Agriculture – Philippines, and National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

He adds:  “We have a lot of capability building workshops that encourage the public to continue practicing natural farming techniques or growing their own food in general and the importance of making a stand in buying locally made products – we show that homegrown supplies are just as good as—if not better than— imported ones.”

The month-long celebration as per Presidential Proclamation 469 takes place “to promote, preserve, and ensure the transmission of vast Filipino culinary traditions to the present and future generations, as well as to provide support to farmers, fisherfolks, and to the rest of the agricultural and aquacultural communities.”

“I just want to encourage everyone to support and celebrate Filipino Food Month. Just like other forms of national celebration, our culinary heritage and food culture deserve to be highlighted. When we support fair trade products from our local farmers, we increase the demand for these products and help in the sustainability of our farmers,” Chef Jam stresses.

Featuring here three interesting and mouth-watering Filipino dishes from Filipino Food Month Official Facebook page:

  • Okoy

Ókoy (or úkoy) is a Filipino dish that is fried and made from a mixture of flour, shrimp, togue, and other vegetables and is usually dipped or soaked in vinegar before eating. It’s also called ′′crispy shrimp fritter ′′ out of the country. This is popular as a snack but is also used as a dish for lunch and dinner.

Okoy. Captured photo from the video. Courtesy: Filipino Food Month Official FB Page

When preparing okoy, the shrimp head is not removed. A piece of okoy can contain two to four shrimp, depending on size. It’s round shape, piping like a biscuit, and there’s a boiled chicken that fights the cooking of a chip.

Vinegar balances the oily dish. Because it’s easy to squeeze the sauce, the vinegar gives the okoy a sweet, sour, and spicy taste. Because of the amount of content, it is heavy on the stomach.  {Source: Culture Emblem 2: Nature and Environment (2015)}

  • Inubarang Manok

It is a dish that’s popular in Visayan regions like Iloilo, Aklan, and Negros. The star of this stew is the ubad, which is the pith of a banana tree.

Inubarang Manok. Captured photo from the video. Courtesy: Filipino Food Month Official FB Page

This is not to be confused with ubod, which is its coconut counterpart. Chicken and ubad is a usual pairing, and it lends the dish a unique flavor and texture.

  • KBL

Kadyos, baboy, kag lanka, commonly shortened to KBL, is a Filipino pork soup or stew originating from the Hiligaynon people of the Western Visayas islands.

The name of the dish means “pigeon peas, pork, and jackfruit” — the three main ingredients. The soup is also traditionally soured with batuan fruits (Garcinia binucao). Other souring agents like tamarind can also be used.

Kadyos, baboy, kag lanka, (KBL). Courtesy: Filipino Food Month Official FB Page

Other ingredients include leafy greens (like young sweet potato leaves, cabbage, or bokchoi), lemongrass, fish sauce, onions, and siling haba peppers. The pork cut used is typically the hock (pata). The dish is characteristically purple in color due to the use of pigeon peas.

It is similar to another Hiligaynon dish known as kadyos, manok, kag ubad which uses chicken and banana pith instead.

To know more about their line-up of activities, visit

#PreserveFilipinoFood #FilipinoFoodMonth #rubyspreciousmoments #rubyasoyph

Featured photos courtesy of Filipino Food Month Official FB Page


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