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Press Release - Villar, Cynthia: One for all, all for farming: Food security through urban gardens

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar continues to champion food security and nutrition through an urban gardening and cooking competition

MANILA, Philippines -- "Ang urban gardening ay napakahalaga sa akin. Ito ay para palakasin ang food security dahil abot kamay ang masustansyang gulay dahil ito ay nasa tabing bahay lamang," began Sen. Cynthia A. Villar (CAV), chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, at the 9th Las Piñas Urban Gardening and Cooking Festival Inter-Barangay Competition held last May 2.

The senator -- a daughter of farmers whose father was a long-time mayor of the same city -- is also chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

Through this competition that brought together thirteen barangays, twenty-six schools, and twenty-two homeowners' associations (bringing participants to a total of sixty-one), Sen. Cynthia A. Villar brought together her passion for agriculture + food and environment + natural resources. It was the perfect way to bring together the best of both worlds.

And, of course, the unbeatable taste of Filipino cooking. Which is why the event is also a CookFest, to showcase our natural knack for cooking delicious food through local ingredients immediately available: meat, vegetables, fruits, and fish.

A reminder to eat our veggies

"Ang pagkain ng gulay ay pagbibigay pansin din sa kalagayang pang-nutrisyon ng ating mga ka-pamilya at ka-barangay," continued CAV. "Dahil ito ay may fiber, ito ay nakakatulong na matanggal at malinis ang atingintestinal tract, mapalago ng mga mabubuting bacteria sa ating katawan, mapabuti ng ating blood sugar level, lower blood pressure, at iba pa."

CAV walks her talk: she has been eating more mindfully and making healthier eating choices since the pandemic began. She is also a mother and grandmother, and this competition is an extension of her nurture and care to the city which she considers home, and its residents her family.

Her legacy is -- after all -- farming, food security, and nutrition.

She continued by pointing out how vegetables lower the risk of heart disease, prevent cancer, and reduce chances for a person to develop diabetes (incidentally, these are the top three causes