The Rights Stuff


The ‘flavors’ of Philippine culinary cinema

The Manila Times — 24.4.2022

FDCP Chairperson Liza Diño-Seguerra with director Carlo Enciso Catu, festival director of Cinema Culinarya 2022.

What is the similarity between food and cinema? Both transport us to another place or time. Both have the magic of bringing people together.

It is not an overstatement to say that perhaps the Filipino lingua franca is indeed “food.” Food is our native tongue and love language. We show our appreciation by laboring on something special in the kitchen for the people we love. Cooking has also become a way of being alone with oneself — we put together our scattered thoughts by slicing and dicing and mixing in silence like a sacred ritual, a meditation, or a prayer. We bond over food. A Filipino celebration cannot be called so without a salo-salo. It can only be celebratory when there is food, simple or grand, and when it is shared.

It is incredible to have a piece of our identity as people come in the form of something edible, delightful, and nourishing. Our cuisine reflects our culture and experience because there are as many versions of adobo as our more than 7,000 islands. The ingredients vary according to what is available or abundant in the area. The food is simple yet comforting. It also shows our many brushes with other cultures, by trade or colonization, and how we made those influences into our very own.

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