ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA—“SarGuCit” or Sari-saring Gulay Na Pancit, an original recipe created by Rodora Acdal from Guipos, Zamboanga Del Sur was hailed as champion in the region-wide cooking competition hosted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX.

Pancit as a staple dish in Filipino parties was given a unique twist and flavor by making each noodle out of malunggay leaves which then became an ingredient to bagging the first-place award in the cooking showdown.

The competition was dubbed as Gulayan sa Barangay, Pagkain sa Bahay Cooking Contest featuring the crops and produces that can be harvested from the vegetable gardens of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries. The 4Ps members have been maintaining communal gardens, backyard gardens, and container gardens since 2017 as part of the encouraged practices of the program.

Last July 25 to 30, the 4Ps regional office toured around the provinces of region 9 to witness the actual cooking demonstration of the participants from various municipalities and cities in the region. Together with them are some external partners of the 4Ps program such as the Local Government Unit’s Municipal/City Social Welfare and Development Officer, nutrition and dietician, and other partners that helped judged the dishes presented by the participants in every province in ZamPen.

Other participants also presented original recipe and some traditional popular Filipino viands such as Vegetable Okoy, Ginataang Gulay de Sibugay, and Ginataang Langka which won 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place, respectively.

The winning entry received Php 10,000 cash prize while the runners up received Php7,000 (2nd place), Php5,000 (3rd place), and Php2,000 (4th place).

Sa ilang taon ng pagsulong natin ng Gulayan sa Barangay, nakita natin ang mga kabutihang naidulot nito. Nalaman natin na marami sa ating mga benepisyaryo ang maayos at wasto ang timbang, bihira nagkakasakit, at meron pa ngang munisipyo na bumaba ang malnutrition rate simula ng ma-implement natin ang Gulayan sa Barangay. (In the years of implementation of the Gulayan sa Barangay, we have seen the positive impact that it brought [to the 4Ps families]. We have learned that many of our beneficiaries are in their ideal weight, they have strong immune system, and there was even a municipality that significantly decreased its malnutrition rate, which was attributed to the Gulayan sa Barangay,)” statement of the DSWD-9 Regional Director, Atty. Sittie Raifah M. Pamaloy-Hassan during the awarding ceremony of the competition.

This activity is an advocacy of the DSWD to support the celebration of the National Nutrition Month which culminated last July 30.

The Department has been advocating healthy food consumption and practices among its beneficiaries through the Family Development Sessions (FDS). During FDS, the beneficiaries are taught knowledge in organic farming and are being equipped with skills through partnerships with other agencies such the Department of Agriculture, City or Municipal Agriculture Office, and other private organizations that are into farming.

DSWD aims to institutionalize the Gulayan sa Barangay, Pagkain sa Bahay Cooking Contest and hopes to conduct this activity annually to encourage more beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries alike to support health-related practices.