Among the Ilocanos' tricks to longevity was revealed on Sunday as some residents here showcased their completed items from malunggay (moringa) plant as a superfood.
As soon as thought about a poor man's vegetable, malunggay takes the center stage as Laoag's high-value commercial crop during this year's second malunggay festival promoting its numerous uses as a healthy food.
A cooking competitors was held at the Laoag City gymnasium where the individuals utilized malunggay leaves, flowers, and fruits either prepared as the main course, snack, or dessert on the Ilocano table.
Provided throughout the Dulang food fair are simple malunggay dishes like moringa jelly, malunggay balls with mushroom and garlic sauce, malunggay chips, malunggay graham, malunggay empanada, malunggay crepe dessert, and malunggay shanghai, to name a few.
"It feels good to understand that there have been numerous changes in Laoag now," Artemio Acoba, a resident of this city, stated on Saturday as he delighted in the sample meals provided during the food fair.
Acoba arrived home last April after spending three years as an overseas Filipino worker at Desroches Island in Africa.
For Acoba and other visitors who went to the food fair, the dishes are all scrumptious and these can be introduced to travelers as extra "must try" products of Laoag.
In an interview, city agriculturist Sheila Marie Opelac stated the cooking celebration aims to promote malunggay as a superfood due to its nutritional worths like calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper, and vitamins A to E.
All 80 barangays of Laoag are presently expanding their malunggay plantations, making use of idle lots including town streets which are now planted with malunggay trees.
In the city alone, malunggay has been a "really successful income source" for the impoverished community.
Through the federal government's numerous intervention programs to offer income training, consisting of those on food processing, malunggay leaves are now become noodles, cookies, pretzels, pan de sal (salt bread), and beauty products such as soaps, creams, and numerous others.
Aside from processing, some are likewise costing PHP15 per bunch of malunggay leaves while its fruits are pegged as high as PHP75 per lot at the Laoag grocery store.
The Department of Agriculture is promoting the planting of malunggay nationwide.
The Department of Education is likewise actively associated with the project by motivating parents and school children to plant malunggay trees to become aware of its nutritional and medical value to prevent malnutrition and other diseases.
Even a growing variety of centenarians in the city and province acknowledged that malunggay consumption every day does wonders to their long life.