The celebration of Nutrition Month 2018 officially kicked off in the early morning of July 4, 2018 with the Municipal Nutrition Committee (MNC) heading a motorcade around the town and organizing an opening program at the Balon Bayambang Events Center.
The motorcade started off from the Municipal Hall then proceeded to Barangay San Vicente, and went back snaking around the Poblacion area, and then to Barangay Bical Sur.
At the Events Center for the opener, the MNC gathered together the town’s Barangay Nutrition Scholars, Barangay Health Workers, Bayambang District I and II school heads and officials, the Bayambang Poverty Reduction Action Team, and other guests.
During her welcome remarks, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Paz F. Vallo discussed how teenage pregnancy affects the rate of malnutrition in the municipality. “With all the programs that we have, parati nating ginagawa yung ating information dissemination, pero marami pa ring malnourished, and this is maybe because of early pregnancies,” she said. Dr. Vallo recalled how Bayambang was number one in Region 1 in terms of the number of malnourished children in 2015, but through the leadership of Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao, the number of malnourished children lessened dramatically and Bayambang is no longer part of the top 10 by 2017. She also encouraged the audience to try organic farming.
Organic farmer and Our Farm Republic owner Lea Astrude T. Santiago discussed the benefits of organic farming, explaining that the food a person intakes act like vitamins for the body. This is why she opts to plant vegetables, fruits, and rice that are not only safe and appetizing, but also capable of giving her the energy and nutrients she needs. Santiago explained that organic farmers like her follow the principles of care, health, environment, and fairness, which means that they care for the land being used, avoid using pesticides, practice being an environmentalist, and believe in being fair. “Nawa’y ang Bayambang ay maging balon ng inspirasyon, kasaganaan at kalusugan na magmumulat ng tama at wastong pagsasaka,” she said.
Vice-Mayor Raul R. Sabangan recognized that the theme “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin” is very appropriate for Bayambang because it is an agricultural town. He encouraged the audience to use their idle lands to try organic farming. Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Venus M. Bueno shared that having a husband who works in the Middle East is a great eye-opener for her: “What a wonderful blessing that Bayambang has land that is so rich and productive you can drop a seed anywhere and it grows, so let us take advantage of this blessing given by our God.”
“Sa 44 years na tayo po ay nagce-celebrate ng Nutrition Month, siguro kailangan magkaroon tayo ng goal: goal na dapat ay maiwasan na natin ang malnutrisyon dito po sa ating mahal na bayan. Kami po, bilang local government officials, sa pamumuno ng ating mahal na Mayor, tayo po ay seryoso para po labanan ang malnutrisyon sa ating mahal na bayan at ito po ay ating maiiwasan at ating malalabanan sa tulong po ninyong lahat,” Vice-Mayor Sabangan stated.
With the goal of promoting health, the audience’s engagement was sustained with a Zumba session to show them the benefits of moving around.
The opening program was the just beginning of a month filled with activities that promote health and nutrition for all through the planting of nutritious sources of food.