The recent Patikim! The Art of Filipino Hospitality exhibit at the Art Center in Megamall honored the roots of Filipino food, agriculture, and hospitality.
The show, curated by Sarah Alcantara, featured paintings and sculptures by Filipino artists from different movements.
The Mama Sita Foundation and the Art Circle Gallery inaugurated the exhibit to help foster Philippine culinary heritage through various forms of visual art. Proceeds from the fundraising event will benefit aspiring Filipino-American chefs from the Academy of Culinary Education in California.
Norma Chikiamco, columnist and author of various cookbooks, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony, while former Commission on Filipinos Overseas Undersecretary Mary Grace Ampil Tirona facilitated the program, which featured a solemn tribute to Finance Secretary Ernest Leung, whose legacy helped establish a competitive Philippine currency.
The highlight of the exhibit opening was a forum that tackled challenges in the Filipino food industry, including the implications of the Republic Act 8172 or the nationwide salt iodization law, which hindered the progress of local salt makers. The salt law was passed in 1995 with the intent of fighting against iodine deficiency. The forum questioned the relevance of the salt law in the current health, economic, and food milieu.
In addition to the “patikim” of art, the guests were treated to a satisfying lunch of Filipino favorites such as barbecued laing, beef caldereta, pork humba, and boneless chicken inasal. Afternoon snacks also included servings of arroz caldo, heirloom rice champorado, adlai paella, and jicama-papaya salad.