Image EPAPH Article03 September 2021, Davao City一The National Nutrition Council Region XI (NNC XI) participated in the Second Regional Convergence Team Meeting in congruence to the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Program Caravan spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) held virtually via Google Meet. Various National Government Agencies (NGA) in the region that advocate the same goal of ending hunger in the country are also present in the meeting, particularly the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), Landbank of the Philippines (LBP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Home for the Aged (HA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST),  Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and Disaster Response and Management Division of DSWD.


Sinigang is one of the classic Filipino dishes that many Filipinos love especially during the rainy days. It comes in different variations, protein source and souring agent depending on the region it came from. So what makes a Sinigang Dish a Sinigang and why do we Filipinos love it?

Sinigang is a soup dish made from a variety of protein sources like fish, chicken, pork or beef with vegetables. It has a sour taste from a variety of souring agents. The various souring agents used in making Sinigang are: tamarind (sampaloc), Kamias, Tomatoes, Green Mango, Guava, Santol, Calamansi and Batuan which is a small round green fruit used in the Visayas. The type of souring agent used gives it a unique flavor and nutritional value. Here are some examples of the different Sinigang variations:

1. Seafood Sinigang. This basic sinigang broth uses rice washing or hugas bigas, seafood and a souring agent of choice. The traditional souring agent is sour juice from unripe tamarind fruit or tamarind powder. The common seafood used are 10 cm prawns, bangus belly cut in half, salmon, tanguigue (mackerel) and talakitok (salt water jack). Seafood sinigang is a good option for elderly individuals who are trying to reduce total cholesterol intake. Seafoods are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the heart and also help reduce inflammation. Use traditional tamarind extract as a flavoring agent to reduce sodium content instead of instant sinigang mixes because these mixes are high in sodium.

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Short answer is - YES! But it depends if the mother has an untreated active TB or is already receiving TB treatment. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection of the lungs due to the bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It usually affects the lungs but can also infect the kidney, spine and brain and can be fatal when left untreated. It can be spread through the air from one person to another through coughing, speaking or singing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

“Mothers should temporarily NOT breastfeed but CAN feed expressed breast milk if the mother has untreated, active tuberculosis. The mother may resume breastfeeding once she has been treated appropriately for 2 weeks and is documented to be no longer contagious.”


Chicken Adobo worthy pause

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An interesting aspect about language and culture is how a single word could represent many things such as the word .. Adobo. Adobo is considered to be a national dish with a long history of original family recipes and variations from different regions that reflect Filipino culture and diversity.

So what makes an adobo dish an adobo? Adobo is cooked pickled meat. It came from the French word “adouber” which means “to dress a knight in armor” and then eventually meant “to arrange, to construct, to tan leather and to dress foods”. The Spaniards first introduced “Adobar” with its marinade using local vinegar rather than grape wine from Spain. Vinegar is the important ingredient in the dish that brings flavor, tenderizes the meat and preserves it for days without refrigeration.

Since Adobo has been part of our usual menu, it is also a good source of nutrients depending on the variety of its ingredients. Here are examples of different Adobo variations and their corresponding nutritional benefits and health tips:

1. Adobo sa Gata. This adobo recipe uses gata or coconut milk. This is a popular variation in Bicol where coconut cream and chili are key ingredients in most dishes. Since coconut milk is a source of medium-chain fatty acids, it is a good adobo variation for those trying to increase their calorie intake when trying to gain weight or recover from illnesses. However, for those trying to control their calorie intake like those trying to lose weight, eat this dish in moderation or with less coconut milk.

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HIV or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks our body’s immune system which leads to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) - a disease that makes the body vulnerable to many infections. HIV is a sexually transmitted disease and can be passed from an infected individual through their body fluids. Recent studies have shown that there is a risk of transmitting HIV through breast milk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021), “The best way to prevent transmission of HIV to an infant through breast milk is to not breastfeed. In the United States, where mothers have access to clean water and affordable replacement feeding, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that HIV-infected mothers completely avoid breastfeeding their infants, regardless of ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) and maternal viral load. ”

28 Image 1 Breastmilk BenefitsShort answer is YES. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021), “COVID-19 Vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are breastfeeding”. However, clinical trials on COVID-19 Vaccines in the US did not include breastfeeding mothers - thus, there is limited data on the safety and effects of the vaccination on the breastfed baby and on milk production or excretion. Regardless of this, COVID-19 vaccines are proven safe and do not cause infection to both the mother and baby. It also helps prevent COVID-19 among breastfeeding mothers. Some studies have also shown that those who received the mRNA type of COVID-19 vaccine are able to produce antibodies that are passed through the breastmilk which can also be a source of protection for breastfed babies. However, more studies are needed regarding the extent on how these antibodies can give immune protection for the baby.

Here are some reminders and tips for breastfeeding mothers who are considering getting vaccinated and breastfeeding tips after vaccination.