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LIST: KainCon, regional culinary festival activities for Filipino Food Month 2024

MANILA, Philippines — It is often said that the youth is the hope of the nation, and this is true for those espousing for Filipino food as they have decided to put on the spotlight on the Filipino youth to be the "torchbearers" of the nation's culinary heritage in its ongoing month-long Filipino Food Month. 

The Filipino Food Month is annually celebrated every April in compliance with the Presidential Proclamation 469 signed in 2018. Known as the Filipino Food Month or the Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Department of Agriculture are mandated to lead the yearly celebration, while the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement are expected to coordinate with the two agencies in the implementation of the programs and events. 

This year's theme is "Kalutong Filipino, Lakas ng Kabataang Makabayan," with some of the activities going to be held in universities in Metro Manila and the provinces. 

"Throughout the years, our cuisine has been a crucial part of our nation, representing not just flavors but stories, traditions and cultural heritage passed down through generations.

"Our rich culinary heritage is a treasure trove of knowledge, techniques and flavors that must be safeguarded and celebrated," remarked NCCA Executive Director Oscar Casaysay during his speech at the festival's recent opening held in Casa Buenas in Hotel Okura, Pasay City. 

Casaysay underscored the importance of the youth in preserving the nation's traditional dishes and culinary heritage. 

"This brings to what should be the key goal in this annual gathering — the crucial role of youth in this endeavor. They are not only leaders of tomorrow, but also the torchbearers of our culinary heritage," he said. 

With this in mind, the activities the agencies conceptualized include workshops and conferences on food as well as exhibitions in universities and schools. 

The program will kickoff on April 5 in Clark Parade Grounds in Mabalacat, Pampanga. It will feature P-pop girl group Bini, Bagong Sibol, Male Ensemble Philippines, Tanglaw Filipiniana, Sinukwan Kapampangan and more local artists as performers. 

"KainCon 2024: