By Nickie Wang
Because it’s the National FaMEALy Day celebration. And if celebrities can find time to eat with their children amid their busy schedule, then it’s much easier for normal parents to have a nice meal and a healthy conversation with their children at the dinner table.
“But we always make it a point to be at home before dinner. Sharing the dinner table with your family is not just about the food or eating. It’s about sharing special time together with them,” said Sharon Cuneta.
Sharon is one of the celebrity endorsers of Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga advocacy. It is an initiative supported by noodle brand Lucky Me!, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the National Committee on the Filipino Family.
At the formal launching of Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga advocacy held on Sept. 11 at the Oakwood Premier in Ortigas, personalities like Edu Manzano, Luis Manzano, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, members of the press, and supporters of the cause pledged to support the celebration of FaMEALy Day, which is slated on Sept. 28.
Also at the launching, guests were introduced to the cause through audio visual presentations, television commercial samples that air on major TV stations, and a program that served as a panel discussion. Television host Tintin Bersola was the host of the event while actor Luis Manzano shared the stage with Sharon and Senator Pangilinan to tell something about their mealtime experiences. They were joined by award-winning psychologist Dr. Honey Carandang.
“When I heard about the advocacy I didn’t think twice because this encourages parents like me to frequently eat with their children and to be involved in their lives, so they turn out happier, healthier, and successful individuals,” the megastar and a mother of three related.
For Luis Manzano, who practically grew up with mother Vilma Santos, he makes quality time with his dad Edu, when they eat out together, “It’s the time when we share stories,” he said.
According to the actor, they discuss everything about their life, from the projects they do to personal issues like love life, and about anything they have just encountered.
“Ako talaga ang nagpalaki sa Dad ko at marami na siyang utang sa akin because every time we eat out he would show me his empty wallet,” Luis quipped and furthered, “Eating with my Dad is the best time for us to laugh.”
While celebrities entertained the guests with their family mealtime experiences, Carandang provided expert opinion about issues presently encountered by Filipino families. She discussed the importance of parents joining their children during mealtime.
During the panel discussion, the benefits of shared meals were tackled. According to Carandang, there are studies that consistently show that the often young children eat together with their family, the more they become better in school, and the less likely they are to develop eating disorders or vices.
Lucky Me! has started spreading the benefits of shared meals through television commercials that also feature its endorsers. Initially launched in 2007, the campaign has led to a yearly national celebration of Filipino family dining. According to a Social Welfare Department official, the National FaMEALy Day has become part of the department’s yearly Family Week Celebration.
Through a memorandum signed by the the agency, NCFF, and Monde Nissin Corp. (maker of Lucky Me!), the annual initiative is made official and will be celebrated every fourth Monday of September.