HER life story, though oft-told, has been repeated time and again as a means to encourage the ordinary Filipino to rise above their circumstance and achieve the same significance and distinction that this woman has accomplished.
Born in Manila on May 11, 1917, Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes learned exceptional housekeeping, marketing and cooking early in life. As the eldest girl in a family of 12 children, she had to help her mother cook and care for their big family. She travelled to Divisoria early to market. From her mother, she got acquainted with all sorts of vendors—from vegetable and food hawkers, fish mongers, butchers, and sellers of rice cakes and other delicacies.
From her mother and from her daily encounters with the ordinary folk, Mama Sita learned how to combine ingredients to create the wonderful flavors of native Philippine cuisine. Her inherent sense in cooking allowed her to experiment and concoct her own wonderful flavors. Having become a mother to a large family herself, Mama Sita found inspiration to cook and invent various culinary treats. It was during her travels abroad that Mama Sita was inspired in sharing the flavors of the Philippines. She has always believed Filipino cooking is at par with the world’s best cuisines.
In celebration of the life and times of Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes, and in honor of her contribution and continued influence in the propagation of authentic Philippine cuisine, a series of commemorative stamps was initiated beginning March of 2013. The effort proved an effective way to preserve her legacy and stress her advocacy to champion indigenous Filipino culture.
This year, the Mama Sita Foundation is spearheading the creation of the Mama Sita commemorative stamps through the “Mama Sita Stamp Design Competition.” The competition, apart from creating an image representative of Mama Sita worthy to be reproduced as a commemorative stamp, also hopes to encourage the creativity of Filipino art students, professional artists and art enthusiasts.
Artworks submitted for the competition should communicate Mama Sita’s image as well as her contributions to the propagation of Filipino culinary culture. A brief explanation should accompany the entry. The competition, open to all high school and art students, artists, and art enthusiasts, accepts all art media types except digital art and photography.
Entries may be sent through e-mail, scanned or photographed, to firstname.lastname@example.org. They may also be submitted to the Mama Sita Foundation at 131 F. Manalo St., San Juan, Metro Manila, complete with contact details. Deadline for submission is May 1, 2015.