Marichu Liwanag & Antonino Alejandro
Many Chinese time-honored restaurants have a long history of good reputation and adherence to their traditional food practices. They had brought these practices to other countries and became part of their cultural heritage, however, over the past few decades, many heritage restaurants had to reluctantly exit the industry due to the concerns of succession planning, the aging business life cycle, and brand continuity. As asserted by Cheung (2013), this concern brings researchers to consider how to evaluate intangible heritage that has transformed for the sake of survival. Thus, this study aims to examine the influence of Chinese foodways to the Filipino culinary heritage landscape and how it contributed in the food diaspora of the Philippines with the objective in designing a framework of preserving the best practices to the future generations. A mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) of research design was used using survey questionnaire to 100 diners, five owners/cooks/chefs from the time-honored restaurants in Chinatown, Manila and five from the representative of local tourism council. Likewise, an interview was made from the TH owners/chefs. An in-depth discussion was made from the five key informants in the field of culinary heritage food in the Philippines in soliciting valuable feedback of the Chinese contributions to the Filipino food diaspora. Findings revealed that authentic Chinese foods and its foodways became heirloom dishes of Filipinos overtime through acculturation of the usage of ingredients, sources of raw materials, recipes, and cooking skills & method of chefs. Furthermore, results of the findings revealed the significant influence of the Chinese foodways in gastronomic experience, uniqueness, servicescapes, and food authenticity, health benefits, and cultural value in the intangible heritage of the Philippines as confirmed by culinary historians. The adaptation of bicultural assimilation and acculturation of heritage cuisines from both the Chinese and Filipino resulted in the mixed foodscape in the Filipino Culinary Heritage diaspora. The study recommends designing a framework of best practices to be presented to the Natural Commission on Culture and Arts (NCAA) in passing the wealth of the Filipinos diverse cultural influences of the Chinese foodways to the Intangible Heritage of the Philippines and thereby preserving it in the long run. Further research in other countries influences the Culinology aspect of the Philippine culinary landscape is being encouraged.
Keywords: Best practices, Chinese foodways, Filipino culinary heritage, a framework of best practices