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Wealth is in Food

Maris Gavino, OFSPES

The cliché’ Health is Wealth has to be taken seriously. And the SIKHAY (Sigla, Kabuhayan, at Buhay), Group does just that. The Group is composed of eight individuals who are professionals in different fields. They have the common objective of advocating awareness of the value of local vegetables, herbs and fruits with the end in view of sustainable food security, better nutrition, and health and wellness of Filipinos. SIKHAY is a subsidiary group of OFSPES Consortium (Overseas Filipinos’ Society for the Promotion of Economic Security) active in capacity building and empowerment of OFWs.

Leafy Delights is this year’s project of SIKHAY. It is a book that features 16 leafy vegetables, 23 herbs and 138 recipes. Some of the vegetables and herbs are alugbati, ampalaya leaves, mustasa, pechay, gabi leaves, kulitis, letsugas, malunggay, talinum, gotu kola, gaynura, parsley, raw ram, saw tooth and rosemary. Leafy Delights is a simple and an easy to follow recipe book that can add aroma and a twist in your daily recipes.

Leafy Delights was an offshoot of SIKHAY’s 2020 calendar entitled “Sarap! Delight in Healthy Philippine Greens”. The title suggests just that. It was very well received by the public as all its yearly calendars since 2014.

Aside from calendars, SIKHAY organizes activities and on-site cooking demonstrations using easily grown and not too common herbs and nutritious veggies with urban and rural mothers. One of these successful activities is the distribution of seedlings and plants to mothers to upstart the production of vegetables and herbs in their communities. These were conducted country wide, such as in Montalban, Rizal (now Rodriguez); Tayabas, Quezon, Cagayan de Oro City; Indang, Cavite and U.P. Diliman Food Service.

According to Romanita Kanapi of SIKHAY, a lot of challenges came along the way from choices of herbs, fruits or veggies; recipes to test and finalize, photo and layout deadlines. However, resilience paid off and the positive feedbacks gave satisfaction and the motivation to do more.

Sarap ng gulay! (Veggies are delicious). Lets be inspired by the healthy recipes and feel wealthy. Leafy Delights, are now available on e-book. Email: or SIKHAY on Facebook.


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