Photo from PIO Palawan's Hapag ng Pamana trailer

The provincial government’s Hapag ng Pamana event, the province’s first-ever celebration of Filipino Food Month, highlighted the efforts of local stakeholders to preserve and celebrate various indigenous cuisines all over the province.

According to Sammy Magbanua, program manager of the provincial government’s Culture and Arts Program, the efforts of local chefs such as Melissa Olit of Chef’s Aiza’s community kitchen have been crucial to preserving cooking methods and traditional dishes that are unique to Palawan, especially in indigenous communities.

“We in Palawan are grateful to chef Melissa Olit and the members of SARAP for their hard work in properly documenting and promoting what we can now call our very own Palaweño cuisine,” Magbanua said in a speech.

Magbanua added that the province can include local cuisine to develop and strengthen Palawan’s food tourism since the province is mostly known for its scenic beaches and natural environment.

“This event is indeed timely, since food tourism is now a crucial segment of the multimillion food tourism industry worldwide. Thanks to the efforts of the DOT (Department of Tourism), NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts), and our world-class Filipino chefs, the entire world is now beginning to discover and appreciate Filipino food,” he added.

The Hapag ng Pamana, which will run from April 29-30, began with a presentation of traditional dances and songs by the Palawan Dance Ensemble, the Provincial Capitol Chorale, and the Provincial Acoustic Band. On Friday, dances and rituals from the Tagbanua, Palaw’an, and Batak tribes were performed at Robinson’s Place Palawan as well as traditional songs.

A video of chef Cecilia Chang of Lionheart Farms showing how to cook “lot-lot,” a dish from the southern indigenous tribes, was also presented.