August 2, 2021 (Manila) – Two weeks after its pilot episode “Rice and Our Filipino Foodways” went online via the zoom video conferencing platform, gathering a diverse set of viewers from Filipino communities in Canada to food enthusiasts in other parts of the world, Mga Kuwentong Pagkain: A Filipino Food Online Cook Along puts the spotlight on prehistoric foodways on its second episode.
Prehistoric cuisine – the role of food on the first encounter with Magellan’s crew.
“What Our Ancestors Ate” transports us to the early Filipinos’ way of life, their values and ideals through the lens of their food culture. In this episode, guest lecturer, noted food historian Felice Prudente Sta. Maria shares insights from her newly published book “Antonio Pigafetta’s Philippine Picnic” which explores a largely overlooked construct in the study of Philippine history – the role that food played on the first encounter between the world voyager Ferdinand Magellan and his crew, and the natives of Homonhon Island.
Published by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the book draws from the diary of Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian chronicler who was part of the historic voyage, recognized as the first circumnavigation of the world commissioned by King Philip II of Spain.
What we ate and what we shared – a reflection of who are
Complementing Sta. Maria’s talk is a re-enactment of that first encounter through an animated feature. In this retelling of that critical event that birthed Philippine history, food is thrust to the forefront, based on Pigafetta’s recorded observations during the crew’s stay on the island which lasted several months.
Listen to resource persons and luminaries of Philippine cuisine, and gain new perspectives as they ponder on the events that shaped the country’s origin and identity, through the context of food – food that the early Filipinos cultivated, ate, and shared with their visitors, friend and foe alike. Marvel at how prehistoric culinary techniques and traditions are still manifested in some iconic Filipino dishes enjoyed today.
Another must-watch segment of episode 2 focuses on a Filipino indigenous tribe, the Aeta communities of northern Luzon, and their practice of sustainability and mindfullness in their food ways. To this day, the Aeta culture bears striking similarities with their prehistoric counterparts in exhibiting a profound understanding of their environment as the source of their food, and as such worthy of their respect and stewardship.
Kadyos, Baboy at Langka – KBL for the win!
One of the featured dishes for the cook along portion of episode 2 is Kadyos, Baboy, at Langka or KBL. Originating from the Visayas, KBL is a soup dish loaded with the hefty protein goodness of legumes (specifically pigeon peas or kadyos), pork belly (baboy) and fibrous chunks of unripened jackfruit (langka). Its main souring agent, the Batwan fruit delivers refreshing citrussy notes which blends well with the delicate flavor of lemon grass to come up with a soothing and homey broth that gives the more popular sinigang a run for its money.
For the health conscious – KBL can still be enjoyed using less and leaner cuts of meat, and more of the green jackfruit. Another dish taking center stage on this episode is Tofu Mushroom Sisig, a healthier vegetarian spin on the iconic pork dish.
The global pandemic may have put the restaurant scene on pause in many parts of the world, the Philippines and Canada are no exceptions. Mga Kuwentong Pagkain provides a channel for the stories of individuals and communities to be heard as they make pivotal changes in their businesses to survive and thrive in the midst of unique and unprecedented challenges. One such restaurant that serves the Greater Toronto Area, took the opportunity to reinvent itself during the pandemic and go back to their original vision of serving well-loved Filipino favorites in a convivial setting ideal for get-togethers among families and friends. Catch this surprise restaurant feature on this episode!
Storytelling and virtual cooking in a three-part series
The three-part webinar explores the unique heritage of Philippine cuisine through a virtual feast of storytelling and cooking sessions. It hopes to deliver interesting facets of Philippine history, culture, and tradition through the lens of the country’s foodways, from its pre-colonial past to the modern era. Each one and a half hour episode is packed with live and recorded lectures, quick and easy cook-along segments, restaurant features, and fun games to ensure an enjoyable online experience for viewers of all ages.
Reaching out to Filipino communities and food nerds everywhere
“Mga Kuwentong Pagkain: Filipino Food Online Cook-Along” reaches out to Filipino diaspora communities in Toronto and beyond by providing a platform for learning and interaction, with food from the homeland as its central theme – from its evolution and origins to its timeless traditions and modern adaptations.
The series also holds special appeal for foodies and food nerds from all over who are looking at diversifying their arsenal of food wisdom through compact lectures from notable resource persons on very specialized topics that cover the provenance and origins, historical, cultural, nutritional, and sustainability aspects of food.
Emcees from Canada and the Philippines
Hosting episode 2 with award-winning journalist, culinarian, food blogger and podcaster Filipino-Canadian Nastasha Alli and Mama Sita Foundation’s Legacy Custodian Cecile Nepomuceno Gamad is the father and daughter tandem of
In celebration of Filipino Languge Week, Paolo Paculan, an author, researcher and Filipino language instructor of the Ateneo de Manila High School department delivers a sprinkling of Filipino tutorials to further enrich the program’s content.
“Mga Kuwentong Pagkain: Filipino Food Online Cook-Along” webinar series is made possible through a partnership with the Philippine Consulate in Toronto. It is also supported by the following Filipino-Canadian organizations – Sentro Rizal, Anderson College, b2Bpreneur, Filipino Canadian Association of Vaughan (FCAV), Filipino Canadian Students Association (FILCASA), Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (MFFC), Scarborough Ontario Seniors Association (SOSA), Pinoylicious, and Pueblo Science.
The second episode goes online on Friday, August 6 at 7:30 PM (GMT -4) for participants in Toronto, and on Saturday, August 7 at 7:30 AM (GMT +8) for participants in Manila. Interested participants can register for the first episode through this link:
The third and last episode will have a different registration link which will be shared in due time.
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ABOUT THE PHILIPPINE CONSULATE IN TORONTO
The Philippine Consulate General in Toronto is currently headed by Consul General Orontes V. Castro, and serves the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Western Ontario and Manitoba. It holds office at 7th Floor, 160 Eglinton Ave. East Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and can be reached through Telephone (416) 922.7181; Facsimile (416) 922.2638 Email: [email protected]
ABOUT MAMA SITA FOUNDATION
Mama Sita Foundation (https://www.mamasitafoundation.com) is a non-stock non-profit organization birthed from the vision and legacy of Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes, a Filipino food icon who was committed to spread awareness on Filipino food and honor the growers and producers of endemic agricultural crops that deliver its unique flavors and tastes. Its initiatives are focused on celebrating Philippine Foodways and promoting their sustainability.
ABOUT MGA KUWENTONG PAGKAIN
“Mga Kwentong Pagkain” (MKP) is an initiative of the Mama Sita Foundation which aims to preserve Philippine culinary heritage through the art of storytelling. Launched as a food writing contest in 2012, the initiative has since branched to other endeavors that seek to
celebrate Filipino foodways and culinary traditions, and work towards its inclusion in global conversations on food. MKP is inspired by Teresita Reyes’ own passion for putting into writing her own fascinating culinary adventures and experiences.