Filipino social media users rallied online to criticize the Philippine government’s effort to “standardize” adobo, lechon, sinigang and other famous Filipino dish recipes.
What happened: On July 9, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced BPS/TC 92, a new committee that will develop the Philippine National Standards (PNS) when it comes to preparing Filipino dishes, according to Asian Journal.
- The team is headed by the founder of Via Mare Corporation, Chef Glenda Barretto, Chef Myrna Segismundo from the Food Writers Association of the Philippines and Chef Raoul Roberto Goco of Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines.
- BPS/TC 92 is operating under DTI’s Bureau of Philippine Standards, CNN Philippines reported.
- The panel started developing a “PNS for adobo on May 11 with ‘Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine’ serving as their main reference in creating a comprehensive guide in preparing and cooking the Filipino favorite cuisine – adobo,” the DTI said.
- Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) Director Neil Catajay explained that standardizing the cooking technique for the famous dish could help “ordinary citizens, foodies, and food businesses determine and maintain the authentic Filipino adobo taste.”
The outrage: DTI faced massive backlash online following the announcement, with some social media users criticizing how the government prioritizes the problems in the country.
Cause the nat’l govt too busy standardizing adobo duh 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/XEPTCFPLmE
— MLLN (@marcissy) July 12, 2021
Before thinking about standardizing adobo, shouldn’t we standardize our contact tracing app so that we could at least lower the rate of infections rather than just letting it plateau? It would also help a lot more toward reopening the economy.
— Michael David Sy (@mdsynic) July 13, 2021
You know, instead of standardizing adobo, why won’t the government create more awareness for Filipinos who make and sell heritage food? I’d host the show with just half my usual tf. What our cuisine needs is more stories told, not restrictions on how to make it. #filipinofood
— Sharwin Tee (@chefsharwin) July 10, 2021
Government agencies of the #Philippines (e.g., @DtiPhilippines), before you think of “standardizing” cuisine = food preparation + consumption of dishes like Adobo, ensure that the people producing, distributing, and storing food have livelihoods, well-fed, and are treated well!
— Michelle Sotaridona Eusebio (@michelleeusebio) July 11, 2021
The government is busy standardizing adobo than resolving hunger issues.
— Jef Queyquep (@JefQueyquep) July 14, 2021
- Another user pointed out that “A[sic] heirloom dish is not even standardized in a family/clan across generations.”
For example, in the television series “#TheLostRecipe” (@TheLostRecipe, GMA 2021), Chef Apple Valencia, with the help of Chef Harvey Napoleon, modified her grandmother’s version of Adobo, famously known as Adobo a la Conchita, into Kalderobo, a hybrid between Adobo and Kaldereta.
— Michelle Sotaridona Eusebio (@michelleeusebio) July 13, 2021
- Nancy Reyes Lumen, also known as the “Adobo Queen,” described the whole issue as a “very rude awakening.”
- “Adobo, it’s a property, you cannot meddle with someone’s property. Everybody owns their own adobo,” Lumen told CNN Philippines’ The Final Word. “The word standardize is so stressful and intimidating. They could have not started with adobo because adobo, it hits at the gut of the Filipino.”
The aftermath: On Sunday, the DTI released a statement amid the criticism, explaining the standardization of adobo is for international promotion purposes only and will not be mandatory in the Philippines.
- “Because we know, if you ask everyone here, they will say the best tasting adobo is the one cooked in our home,” DTI Secretary Mon Lopez said. “We encourage creativity, innovation and even if there are millions of recipes, we all welcome that.”
Featured Image via Getty