‘Kusina ni Mama Sita’ recognizes food storytellers anew

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The winners of this year’s Mga Kuwentong Pagkain together with the judges (from left) Jayson Rey Sto. Niño, Felice Sta. Maria, Aileen Ibañez, Antonio Carandang, Armando Suñe, MaridelPacleb, Katrina Martin and Dr. Eduardo Lapiz

The winners of this year’s Mga Kuwentong Pagkain together with the judges (from left) Jayson Rey Sto. Niño, Felice Sta. Maria, Aileen Ibañez, Antonio Carandang, Armando Suñe, MaridelPacleb, Katrina Martin and Dr. Eduardo Lapiz

In a celebration of Filipino cuisine, culture and heritage, the Mama Sita Foundation named the 2015 winners of its annual food storytelling contest, “Mga Kuwentong Pagkain.”

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Awarded in ceromines held at the Ilustrado Restaurant in Intramuros, Manila in February were “Papa’s Japanese Rice” by Teresa Carandang Tiongson (Virginia) for the Personal Category; “Batil Patong, Tuguegarao’s Pancit Masterpiece” by Aileen Ibañez (Tuguegarao City) for the USA Regional Category; and “Lolo Isko’s Special Kilawin” by Armando Suñe (Jaro, Iloilo) for the Cagayan Heritage Category.

No less than Clara Reyes Lapus, daughter of Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes and president of the Mama Sita Foundation, led the awarding ceremonies and gave a message of thanksgiving.

This year’s judges are renowned food historian and book author Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, Dr. Anthropology professor and Head of Ateneo’s Cultural Heritage Studies Program Dr. Fernando Zialcita, the Adobo Book author and Pinoy Foodie host Nancy Reyes-Lumen, Doctor of Philosophy in Philippine Studies and Founder of Kaloob Music and Dance Ministry Dr. Eduardo Lapiz.

 Food and cultural historian and author Felice Prudente Sta. Maria challenges young people to write more about our food culture

Food and cultural historian and author Felice Prudente Sta. Maria challenges young people to write more about our food culture

“We need more young people writing about our food culture. Don’t let it happen that it’s just us with the white ID cards who write about heritage,” said Sta. Maria, referring to people who hold senior citizen cards. “We need you to write, you will replace us!”

The awarding became also became a showcase of good food as guests were served, not only a hearty lunch of ensalada, kare-kare, pancit, paella, and mung bean soup, but also a helping of good cheer.

Mga Kwentong Pagkain is an annual food storytelling contest organized by Mama Sita Foundation. The contest was started in 2013 in an effort to promote Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes’s advocacy of elevating the Filipino culinary heritage by getting ordinary people, food enthusiasts, and anyone with a story to tell, to share and talk about food that is culturally one’s own.

“Most of our entries are in the essay form but we also encourage the submission of stories in other forms of storytelling such as poetry and video,” encouraged information officer Ces Nepomuceno for the next Mga Kwentong Pagkain.

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