Women in PH wartime food culture, this free webinar tells the story

Published October 26, 2020, 1:09 PM

by MB Lifestyle

How private kitchens in a time of crisis became a source of public strength 

The Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) will be presenting “Dreams of Cake and Ice Cream: Coping with Hunger in World War II” on Nov. 7 (Saturday) at 10 a.m. The talk, moderated by Desiree Benipayo, is the second of a webinar series forming part of “Liberation: War and Hope.” This project is in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. The Manila Bulletin is the media partner. 

Designed for the general audience, the webinar, which will be broadcasted on Zoom and Facebook Live, features the esteemed cultural historian Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, revisiting the transformations of Philippine food culture in the years leading up to the war and in the struggles of war-torn Manila. 

Specifically, Sta. Maria tracks how Commonwealth educational systems and security policy shaped food-making during wartime. As war preparations linked food to public health, women with culinary know-how rose to prominence in the public sphere. They came to play key roles in the war itself, mitigating hunger as well as boosting public morale.

Sta. Maria grounds her historical account on a tale of two sisters. She reconstructs the lives of baking women, the Yulo sisters, to illuminate how home economics transformed traditional Filipino food. As a result, women’s knowledge softened the impact of scarcity on a whole range of people—from ordinary citizens and guerillas, to war prisoners as well as the Japanese military. Private kitchens in a time of crisis became a source of public strength.

Register here for Zoom access: http://bit.ly/LiberationTalks2. The event will also be streamed live on the Filipinas Heritage Library Facebook page. Viewers will receive a Certificate of Participation after answering the feedback form.