December 5, 2022

KAPANGAN, Benguet – For the men in the village of Sagubo, being called a “man” takes more than the physiological aspect of it.

And they have proven this when along with their spouses, they attended the Nutri-Pasada on Oct. 19, an annual community outreach program usually with pregnant and lactating mothers as audience.

The outreach was organized by the National Nutrition Council and the Cordillera Media Educators on Nutrition (CAR-MENU) as part of the continuing advocacy on proper nutrition.

In most of the past Nutri-Pasada, mothers and wives were the only attendees but in the case of couples in Barangay Sagubo the over 40 attendees included the husbands who not only listened about the proper nutrition for pregnant and lactating mothers and infants but actively participated in the lecture of Jessielyn Pantalone, Nutrition and Dietetics professor at Benguet State University.

Pantalone said a fully supportive husband not only strengthens the relationship between couples, it also enhances their role as parents.

Pantalone, who spoke about the role of fathers especially in the first 1,000 days of a child, said being physically present post-partum hastens the recovery of the mother, enabling her to fully care for her newborn.

The constant presence of the father also enhances their bond as a family, Pantalone added.

She advised the fathers to share in the responsibility of nurturing their family as early as when a child is still in the womb.

“Accompany your wife or partner during her checkups, give her a massage, help in household chores, give financial support, avoid conflicts and confrontations,” Pantalone said.

She added fathers should not limit their involvement in the upbringing of a child by just being the financial provider but also in their child’s registration, disciplining, and monitoring of their growth.

“Sumurot kayo diay health center tano mamonitor yo ti panagdakkel ti anak yo,” Pantalone said.

In cases where the father cannot be physically present because of work, Pantalone said both parents should make an effort that they have constant communication to ensure they remain present in their child’s growing up years despite some circumstances such as one spouse needing to work overseas.

“Fathers should be positive role models for their family. Be an idol tatay,” she said.

NNC and CAR-MENU chose Kapangan as venue of the outreach, as based on the 2021 Operation Timbang Plus results, the municipality has a high stunting prevalence among children 0 to 59 months old with 18.82 prevalence or 216 children.

Sagubo, with 2,000 population, is the town’s biggest barangay. – Rimaliza A. Opiña