A new food mapping project entitled “Kulinarya Silangan: The Eastern Visayas Food Mapping Project” formally commenced on June 1, 2022 (Wednesday), with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between the University of Santo Tomas and Department of Tourism – Region VIII (DOT RO8).
Kulinarya Silangan is a food mapping documentation on the six provinces of Eastern Visayas, namely, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, and Southern Leyte. Eastern Visayas food mapping serves as a major campaign in the region. It will focus on three strands of Eastern Visayan foods such as dishes (pagkaon), rice cakes (suman), and sweets (tinam-isan). The objectives are as follows:
- To identify and document the distinct dishes (pagka-on), rice cakes (suman), and sweets (tinam-isan) of the region
- To develop a data base of metanarratives that will facilitate research and studies on food anthropology and functional disciplines such as health, agriculture, tourism, education, product development, and others;
- To conduct a series of the seminar, workshops, and writeshop on food documentation; and
- To formulate a tourism campaign program for food destinations, food routes, food landscapes, and seascapes.
This is the latest of many engagements that UST has with Region VIII. UST is also assisting in the nomination of the Samar Island Natural Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is conducting a flora and fauna study for the area, among other engagements.
The University of Santo Tomas team was led by Rev. Fr. Louie R. Coronel, O.P., EHL (Secretary-General) as the official representative of the University’s Rector, the Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D. The team is also joined by Rev. Fr. Roland D. Mactal, O.P., SThD (Regent, College of Tourism and Hospitality Management), Assoc. Prof. Atty. Dr. Gezzez Giezi G. Granado (Dean, College of Tourism and Hospitality Management), Prof. Dr. Michael Anthony C. Vasco (Dean, The Graduate School), and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eric B. Zerrudo (Director, Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics). Meanwhile, the DOT RO8 was represented by Dir. Karina Rosa Santiago-Tiopes, CESO III (Regional Director).