People usually graduate from "pamantasans," but those who graduate armed with the essentials of nutrition graduate from "palamantasans."
With the aim of raising awareness and encouraging support to fight malnutrition, the Department of Education (Dep-Ed) together with CheezWhiz started the initiative Palamantasan ng Sarap, Sustansya at Saya—the Philippines’ biggest interschool grade-school competition on nutrition education. After 3 months of intense competition, the best of the best will battle it out in the finals of Palamantasan, which will be held at the University Theater, University of the Philippines-Diliman.
“There are 13 million Filipino children who are currently malnourished,” notes Paolo Serrano, Senior Brand Manager for Cheez Whiz. “And clearly, the magnitude of the problem means that everyone should do their share—no matter how small—in solving it.”
Apart from Palamantasan being an enduring learning experience, it is a transformative way of teaching nutrition education to those in the elementary levels. During the finals, schoolchildren from as far as Cagayan de Oro, Isabela, Zamboanga, Cebu, and Tacloban will be flying in to Manila to compete in various events such as Sabayang Pagbigkas, SandwichArt, Jarchitecture, Cheering, and Essay Writing competitions.
“In the fight against malnutrition, we’re searching for an activity that is sustainable and at the same time can make a deep impact on the lives of these schoolchildren,” shares Serrano. “And judging from the enthusiastic response we’ve gathered from contestants from all over the country, ‘Palamantasan’ was able to strike that balance.”
“These schoolchildren are at the stage of developing a sense of responsibility,” Alex Dan Tacderas, Category Manager Kraft Foods explains. “This is why we want them to learn the significance of proper nutrition–through a series of fun, creative and learning activities,” he adds.
Palamantasan is in line with the Department of Education’s thrust to enhance nutrition education, especially in public schools. “School is a second home where children learn basic lessons and values,” Tacderas shares. “That is why we wanted to direct our cause and execute our program in public schools.”
Through efforts such as Palamantasan and with schoolchildren graduating armed with proper nutrition education, the Philippines will hopefully continue to sustain the hope of a brighter and healthier future.