The Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) joined the celebration of Filipino Food Month on the 22nd of April 2021 with a Dunong live podcast event “LŪTÒ: Slow Food”. This episode is co-created by the Research Institute (RI) Program.

dunong nayong pilipino podcast slow food

Dr. Laya Boquiren opened the event with a brief description about the co-creators of the event, as the “knowledge development center of NPF, the RI Program conducts research on the following fields: Philippine Natural and Cultural Heritage, Sustainable Heritage Tourism and Ecotourism, Tourism Governance, Cultural and Creative Industries, and related areas.” She also added that “The Research Institute also serves as a think-do-tank on public policies concerning heritage, cultural and creative industries, and tourism. In this episode of Dunong with the RI Program, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation intends to explore the world of Slow Food and its application in sustainable tourism practices, and other opportunities, to its stakeholders.”  

The event was opened with “The Slow Food movement encourages the consumer to consider the socio-cultural,  and environmental contexts of the food served on their plate, while also challenging the consumer to ponder their responsibility to both community and environment,” said Boquiren.

Slow Food encompasses cultural and natural heritage conservation, community development, environmental protection, and responsible consumption and is defined as food that is beneficial to the consumer, the community, and the environment. It is food that is Malinis, Mabuti at Makatarungan. The Dunong: Nayong Pilipino Podcast invited Ige Ramos, the Chief Creative Officer of IRDS, who is also an award-winning book designer, food writer, and visual artist. He is the former President of the Culinary Historians of the Philippines, and an active, founding member of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement. As an advocate of Slow Food, he seamlessly integrated history, culture, nature, and the environment in his book “Republic of Taste: The Untold Stories of Cavite Cuisine.” And Vera Villocido, an educator and consultant who joined the event from the Province of Bohol in the Central Visayas Region, from 2010 to 2014, she was appointed as the Municipal Arts and Culture Coordinator of Alburquerque, Bohol. Since then has been heavily involved in actively promoting  Albur’s Asin Tibuok in various circles including the academe, chefs, sustainability advocates,  as well as the end consumers both locally and overseas.

Kara Garilao, the Program Head and Technical Advisor of the RI Program hosted the Dunong event and began with an introduction of the topic,  The Slow Food Movement began more than two decades ago in Italy, primarily as a response to the rising popularity of fast food and its adverse impacts. The philosophy behind the movement has since spread throughout the world reaching the different corners of Asia, the Americans, Africa, Austral-asia and of course, Europe. It is food that is produced or prepared in accordance with local culinary traditions, typically using high-quality locally sourced ingredients. I don’t wish to say much, as we have specialists with us today.   

Coincidentally, April is also Filipino Food Month and Nayong Pilipino Foundation is one in celebrating this year’s theme “Iba’t Ibang Luto, Pinoy ang Puso.” So today we will learn not only about what slow food is, but how this philosophy can help us celebrate Filipino cultural and natural heritage.  

The topic of Slow Food was further explored by Ige Ramos, and in one of their travels to Bra, Italy, Ige shared that slow food was introduced by Carlo Petrini, from Bra, Italy, during the mid-80s as a response to the rising popularity of instant food or fast food. Ige told a story about Carlo Petrini in one of the beginnings of slow food, where Petrini protested in the Spanish steps near the Via Condotti where a multinational fast-food chain was being built in that historic part of the town, so “he [Petrini] ate pasta, and olive oil and particular pasta was made from a particular wheat grown in that region, and virgin olive oil also pressed in that region,” Ramos added. Ige also shared a quote said by Carlo Petrino: Eating local is a political act. “Slow Food is eating good, green, and fair […] and another [Slow Food] idea is preserving heritage cuisines and heritage recipes.” according to Ramos.

Meanwhile, as a purveyor of one of the most basic and important ingredients in the kitchen: salt, Vera Villocido shared her journey with “Asin Tibuok”, which is not the ordinary table salt. Growing up in Alburquerque, Bohol in the 70s, Vera told her story of having the “asinan” or salt mills as a playground as a child. When she left the country to teach abroad, upon her return she remembered there to have had more salt mills in the area. Asin Tibuok is a local cultural heritage of Alburquerque, Bohol, and one of the factors that makes it special is the process behind the process of making the salt. Asin Tibuok is translated to “Unbroken Salt” because compared to the regular salt, Asin Tibuok is made in clay pots and cannot be made any other way. “It is a living and dying tradition at the same time,” said Villocido. She also shared the steps in making Asin Tibuok. 

Find out more about Slow Food, Asin Tibuok, and Philippine culinary heritage on our Spotify Channel: http://bit.ly/Dunong-NPF-Podcast.