June 22, 2024

Whenever my mag-ina and I get the chance to travel outside Baguio City, whether within the country or in very rare occasions, abroad, we always make sure not only to see the interesting sites of the place but also partake of its unique culinary offering believing that food is part and parcel of a particular locality or country’s culture.
This near-sighted Ibaloy writer must admit that I have only become a foodie when my wife married me almost 25 years ago.
Before that, my palate wasn’t really discerning and shall we say, sophisticated enough, and I was just satisfied to eat whatever is put before me (especially if libre). Basta mabusog lang okay na, in other words.
Now, thanks to my wife, my palate at times seeks different tastes, textures and whatever other terms used by food aficionados.
However, rest assured that being the shy mangu Ibaloy that I proudly am, the simplest fare will do basta may sili at asin, solve na. By the way, here’s praying that all of us will always have food on our table and never go hungry. So there.
Speaking of food, the public is invited to a One Town One Product (OTOP) activity slated from April 2 to May 7 at the Ibaloy Heritage Garden showcasing the various cuisines and other products of the 13 municipalities of Benguet and Baguio.
The event is conducted by the Onjon Ni Ivadoy Association, Inc. in coordination with the local governments of Baguio and Benguet, departments of Agriculture and Tourism, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement.
Onjon president Maximo Edwin Bugnay Jr. said the activity is in celebration of April as Filipino Food Month or “Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino” with the theme, “Pagkaing Pilipino, susi sa pag-unlad at pagbabago”.
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation 469 signed in 2018, the celebration of Filipino Food Month aims to appreciate, preserve, promote, and ensure the transmission of the vast Filipino culinary traditions and treasures to future generation and to support the various industries, farmers, and agri-communities.
Bugnay said the city council approved the conduct of the celebration at the Ibaloy Heritage Garden.
Onjon ni Ivadoy Association, Inc. is the largest aggrupation of Ibaloys, the earliest settlers of Baguio.

Here’s “Your Wounds” by Lauren Jarvis-Gibson: “Time doesn’t heal wounds/ to make you forget./ It doesn’t heal wounds to/ erase the memories./ Time leaves you with a scar/ to remind you of how you fought through it./ Time leaves you with a scar/ to remind you of how you bled/ and how you survived./ You survived.”

Let’s end with a prayer: “Loving God, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. My soul is like a turbulent sea. I can’t seem to find my balance so I stumble and worry constantly. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you’ve laid out for me.”
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.