Nutrition and tourism

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I WAS invited by the Silay Nutrition Committee to be a part of the team in pushing the Nutrition Month’s theme, ‘Gutom at Malnutrisyon, Sama-sama Nating Wakasan.’ I am an organic farm product advocate and since then, I did register my cry in the wilderness. There should be an advocacy that we have to train our children to eat vegetables. Schools and homes should educate children to eat laswa.

In our society many are hungry and undernourished. What are the parents doing, the churches, the schools, the civic clubs, and the government? Nutrition program should not just be for compliance. It should be implemented like a tourism activity (whole-year round). There is fun in tourism and there should also have fun in nutrition. Nutrition slogans and jingles should be for 365 days. It should be consistently included in all curricular frameworks and in the Sermon in the Mount. “Feed the hungry.”

Here in Silay, we mix tourism, nutrition, agriculture and health in celebrating Nutrition Month in July. As part of the advocacy, we display streamers and after all flag ceremonies; someone has to deliver an oratorical piece on nutrition to shake heaven and earth. The 16 barangays (including those who farm in pots and cans) are given training on ‘Gulayan sa Barangay Organic Farming.’ Seeds and seedlings are being distributed. Farmers and non-farmers are told to multiply their production to feed the hungry. This is both biblical and political. We start with a Thanksgiving Mass. God is priority number one. Only God can multiply the loaves and the fishes. The Silay City Health Office will have film showing of ‘Why Not’. This will encourage the viewers to eat food with high nutritional value but not expensive.


The Department of Agriculture-Silay will intensify its Farmers Field School. Lessons on agriculture are taught in the middle of the field. Nutrition front liners will have their Edutainment Tour at Uy Organic Garden and the veggie lots of ISF farmers in Patag. The Nutrition Committee will have barangay activities focused on nutritive consultation and clinic, distribution of Vitamin A, iron and micro-nutrients, feeding of malnourished children in identified sitios with the assistance of the NGOs, and deployment of peer counselors on IYCF and exclusive breastfeeding.

We will be reaching out also to all schools to beef up nutrition classes and to come up with poster-slogan-jingle contest. ‘Gulayan sa Paaralan’ will be assessed and winners will receive prizes. The celebration will be highlighted by a ‘Search for the Juice of Silay.’ This nutrition-tourism event will be open for everybody. Any Silaynon can concoct a juice mix using fruits and vegetables in season. The ingredients should be loaded with nutritional value and the taste should be thirst-quenching and exciting and could be served hot or cold. This could be our legacy to the elderly, undernourished and malnourished.

This is not just nutrition. This is also tourism. We excite the people to be nutrition-conscious. We push them to participate and see what we are brewing. We give them contests to increase their adrenaline and we offer surprises to make them more curious. We involve all sectors to drive homebodies to the streets.

The culmination will be on July 30. We are ending Nutrition Month in Silay with a big bang. Food packages will be distributed and winners will receive awards. The awarding ceremony is not going to be boring. Winners will go on stage following a choreographed pageantry. It is like joining the Oscars. Everyone is given a moment to shine. If we want to end hunger and malnutrition, let’s end them the carnival way.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 06, 2013.


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