CHINGGAY Utzurrum shares with us news from her dear friend Clarita Reyes Lapus, daughter of Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes, who established the Aristocrat chain of restaurants 70 years ago.
Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes was born 100 years ago, a milestone that has been celebrated with a series of commemorative stamps by Philippine Post. They were designed by Paete-based folk painter, sculptor and print maker Manuel Baldemor.
The stamps, along with cookbooks, have been donated to the National Library of the Philippines as well as to other libraries abroad.
Last April, the cookbooks and stamps were presented to the British Library through the Philippine Embassy in London. There for the turn over were Clarita R. Lapus, her daughter Joyce Lapus Sandoval and her grandson Carlos Fidel Sandoval.
Also present were Charge d’Affairres Gilberto Asuque and the British Library’s Dr. William Frame and Richard Morel, curator for the Philippine collections.
Last September 13, the books and stamps were presented to the Russian State Library whose president Dr. Victor Fedorov welcomed the
Present were the Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos Sorreta and Linda Gaa, representing the Mama Sita Foundation.
More recently, on December 2, 2016, the Mama Sita commemorative stamps and first day covers have been part of the Canada Post philatelic collection.
The turnover ceremonies were held at the Philippine Embassy in Ottawa, presided by Petronila Garcia, the Philippine Ambassador to Canada.
The acceptance was by Robert Waite, chairman of the Canada Stamp Advisory Committee, and Jim Philipps, director of Stamp Services from Canada Post.
As the press release informs us:
Present at the turnover ceremony were Deputy Chief of Mission Francisco Noel Fernandez, Minister and Consul General Eric Gerardo Tamayo, Trade Representative Maria Roseni Alvero, Agriculture Attache Josyline Javelosa, and Honorary Philippine Consul General Sean Sears in Halifax.
The commemorative stamps and first covers series were produced by the PhilPost in 2013, 2014, and 2015, all honoring Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes for her invaluable contribution as maven, historian, and champion of Philippine Culinary Heritage. The dedication also carries an acknowledgement from Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, past Chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines that “Philippine food history is not complete without taking into account the role of Teresita Reyes.”
Also inscribed is the message from the Mama Sita Reyes family that “may all Filipinos abroad and their future generations keep their Philippine heritage and remain proud of it. Let them share the passion of Mama Sita Reyes in bringing the flavors of the Philippine Islands to the world. Food, which binds Philippine families, sustains life and sharing the same allows humanity to live in harmony.”
Mama Sita and the company she founded leverages their food interest and expertise into creating recipes and selling sauce mixes, vinegars and sauces worldwide. Mama Sita products are ubiquitous in mainstream and ethnic community stores across Canada.
Filipinos in Canada comprise the third largest visible minority in Canada, and their growing presence in the country is also expanding a Philippine food and food
ingredient movement in the country.
Mr. Waite expressed appreciation for the commemorative stamps and first covers. Mr. Waite also presented the ambassador with a compilation of 2016 Stamps issued by Canada Post. He provided the assurance that, as the new addition to their collection, the Mama Sita Stamps and First Covers will be on prominent display at the lobby of the headquarters of Canada Post for viewing and appreciation by the general public.