Filipinos have been bearing the brunt of record-high inflation rates for the past 10 months. While inflationary pressures tapered a bit in November, prices of basic goods have remained high while that of food products associated with the holidays are expected to spike even more.
With this in mind, Manila Standard, in partnership with Sharp Philippines and Eden Cheese, challenged four contestants to prepare Noche Buena dishes with a budget of only P500 through its Clash of Kawali competition.
“It has always been my advocacy to prepare affordable but delicious dishes. I want to educate people that this can be done, that is why I joined this contest,” said homemaker Bihildis Felipe-Singh.
For Jan Paolo Han, a professional chef, he was challenged to create a Noche Buena spread within the limited budget.
“I made my computation and went to the market to check the prices of the ingredients. I had to haggle for discounts,” he shared.
Geryzer Guinto, for his part, said he joined the contest to challenge himself in preparing Noche Buena dishes that are budget-friendly for his family.
“For me, health is wealth, and simple yet healthy Noche Buena food is something that I would like to serve my kids. This inspired me to take on this challenge,” said Marissa Malonzo.
All contestants showcased their skill not only in the kitchen but in budgeting and maximizing the use of their ingredients at hand.
According to Anna Sapitan, category manager for meals of Mondelez Philippines, Eden Cheese shares the desire of Filipino families to enjoy and share delicious dishes despite the tough times when the cost of living is on the rise.
“Showing goodness does not have to mean making elaborate gestures. It can mean making heartfelt actions to share something good with the people in your life. In today’s hectic and confusing world, we can all give a little goodness. This Christmas, Eden inspires everyone to give goodness—not just by filling people’s tummies, but by filling people’s hearts,” said Sapitan.
Sharp Philippines product analyst Ion Lance delos Angeles said Sharp’s latest line of small kitchen appliances are multi-functional while providing the same Japan-quality the brand has been known for.
“Our products are flexible—from entry-level to middle to high-end—there’s a product for everyone and for every need,” he said.
Malonzo’s cheesy chicken wrapped in ham in apple sauce was a delicious surprise. Guinto’s chicken cordon bleu was a budget-friendly version of the holiday staple, same with Han’s creamy garlic chicken with spinach.
But Felipe-Singh—with her turmeric rice, grilled liempo, corn soup, and leche flan—emerged victorious.
“This for me is a way to educate fellow homemakers that we can easily prepare affordable, delicious and healthy meals given the right ingredients and the right kitchen appliances,” she said.
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