Winners of Food Story Contest Announced

    Food Story - South of Metro

    Mga Kuwentong Pagkain contest chooses winners from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

    OCTOBER 26, 2018 – Mama Sita Foundation’s annual food storytelling contest, Mga Kuwentong Pagkain, announced the winners for 2018 at Victorino’s Restaurant in Scout Rallos, Quezon City. After a long judging process that looked into how each entry contributed to the preservation and promotion of Filipino food culture, MSF awarded winners from the three major island groups of the Philippines: “The Satti,” by Mr. Moses Matsuzawa from Zamboanga City, “Courting with Mukmukan,” by Ms. Shirley Gueverra from Quezon City, and “Nilubihang Manok,” by students of the University of Bohol in Tagbilaran City.

    There were also two special citations, “Pinikpikan: A Taste of Culture,” written by Precy Gom-o of Ducat Benguet, and “The Symbolic Holy Week (Manginangaggaw) Delicacy of the Ibanags: The Binallay” by Milagros Cagayan-Suyu from Tugegarao City.

    Not easy

    Forty-one entries comprised this year’s run of MKP, with some entries coming from Filipinos now based in the United States, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. “It wasn’t an easy year as people are now reluctant to write in, document, and preserve something that is truly ours,” said Mrs. Clara Reyes-Lapus, President of Mama Sita Foundation. “This is what we are trying to change through the Mga Kuwentong Pagkain—that we must overcome this reluctance and remember our heritage, where we came from, so that we know how and where we will move forward.”

    udges for this year’s MKP were Mr. Ian Alfonso, senior history researcher from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and Executive director of Project Saysay; Ms. Sol Vanzi, an experienced journalist and former TV personality who now writes an insightful food column for the Manila Bulletin; and Ms. Clang Garcia, author of the book Food Holidays and operator of

    Jeepney Tours, which holds cultural tours to promote love for all things Filipino. Together they helped the foundation choose the most culturally significant and well-written pieces, those of which Mama Sita herself would be proud to preserve and share with others through her love for cooking.

    Cultural Heritage

    The MKP winners were announced within the progam for the dinner’s main event: the research presentations of the students of Dr. Fernando Zialcita of Ateneo de Manila. The course title is Introduction to Cultural Heritage (SA 157). The night’s theme was ““Beans and Roots: Ilocano-inspired Innovations for Climate Change,” which focused on the northern Filipino people and how they have adapted their culture in order to cope with the increase of typhoons caused by climate change. The research and open forum inspired participants to appreciate and share—as well as explore—the richness of Filipino food culture, which is what Mama Sita’s is all about.

    In the spirit of Mama Sita Foundation’s advocacy—to which Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes dedicated her life’s work—Lapus added, as a call to action: “I hope that everyone here, cultural heritage advocates, members of the press, foodies, especially the students who are now gifted with the responsibility of building this nation, can all come together and work hand in hand in ensuring our culinary heritage is preserved for the young to enjoy. Let’s cook with the children. Let’s bring them to the market and take them to experiment in the kitchen. Let’s tell them food stories and most importantly, let us take the time to sit down and eat with them.”

    Mama Sita Foundation’s Mga Kuwentong Pagkain continues its work of spreading and sharing food stories in 2019. To find out more, visit and like them on