In celebration of the Filipino Food Month, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) noted that “lugaw” or rice porridge was not just a popular essential food, but was also a cultural symbol of the country.
“Ang lugaw ay hindi lang basta pagkain, Sagisag Kultura rin! (Rice porridge is not just food, it is also a cultural symbol!),” the NCCA said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, March 31. It also said April was Filipino Food Month.
The NCCA said “lugaw” is usually cooked for children, and those who are sick, in order to satisfy their hunger, making the sick person sweat which was a way of alleviating their pain and discomfort. That is why it is dubbed as a food, which is “cooked with love,” it added.
Meanwhile in a separate Facebook post on Wednesday, March 31, the National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) said “lugaw” was also “one of the earliest documented food of our ancestors.”
The NQC, citing the 1613 Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala by Fr. Pedro de San Buenaventura, defined it as “rice mixed with milk or water or of both (porridge).”
“Indeed, #Lugawisessential,” it added.
“Lugaw is essential,” has trended online after a viral video of a food delivery rider was prohibited by a barangay official from delivering “lugaw” to a customer in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan province.
The barangay official argued that “lugaw” was not essential because people can live without eating it.
Malacañang clarified on Thursday, April 1, that “lugaw” or any food was an essential good, and that its delivery should be unhampered during the period of ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in the NCR Plus bubble, which included Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.