Doha students learn about PH indigenous food culture through MKP Eskwela Caravan
The Mama Sita’s Mga Kuwentong Pagkain: Eskwela Caravan successfully launched its first session with the Philippine School Doha last September 30, 2021. Junior high school students, class advisers, and school staff listened in to the different speakers and guests who presented and described the different dishes of the past.
Philippine School Doha’s Principal Dr. Alexander Acosta said in his opening remarks that the heart of cooking does not lie in the ingredients, but within the person cooking the food. He emphasizes the role of the Mama Sita Foundation in making aware the heart of cooking in every Filipino to an international audience.
Hosted by father-daughter duo Paolo and Malaika Paculan, the students in attendance were given the opportunity to ask and share about Filipino cuisine. They were then presented with Pigafetta’s Picnic, a short lecture video by culinary historian Felice Sta. Maria, based on her book of the same title. She retells the journal entries of Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian chronicler explorer of the Spanish Expedition. Highlighted was the food offered to them by the natives, as well as the different cultural practices he observed during their stay. Students particularly enjoyed the shadow play video presenting the Origin of Rice, revealing how rich our ancient culinary traditions are.
Each session aims to introduce a quintessential Filipino dish for the students to understand and try to make themselves at home. Sinigang, with its relative ease to make and use of a variety of easy-to-find ingredients, was introduced by Chuchay Veneracion-Andrada. A recorded demonstration of how to make seafood sinigang, along with some tips on how to prepare it, was made by Chef Vicky Pacheco. Chef Pacheco and answered questions from the students in the audience inspiring future chefs.
The next session, on October 14, 2021, will talk about the different Asian influences on Philippine cuisine, with guest speakers such as Chinese-Filipino heritage advocate Meah Ang-See, Mëranaw culture advocate Sittie Pasandalan, and Filipino chef based in Italy, Chef Morris Danzen . Third session is slated on October 28 featuring Hispanic empire influences on Philippine gastronomy.
Schools interested in joining the caravan may send an email at [email protected].