MANILA, MAY 3, 2006
 (STAR) Espousing the benefits of eating healthy and taking heart in patronizing simple, but nutritious homemade foods, the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) has launched the first-ever "Healthy Heart Cookfest."

The cookfest is a spin-off of the "Mag-Healthy Tayo sa Resto" component of the National Healthy Lifestyle Advocacy program, launched in February 2002.

The contest is open to working mothers aged 25 to 60. Participants should submit preferably a one-dish meal (viand) or a main dish and a vegetable dish for a family of six within a budget of P250.

Recipes should use fresh ingredients only, and without prepared seasonings or mixes. Recipes should be brief, but concise, describing the dishes and the cooking methods used, listing all ingredients according to order of use expressed in household measure, and indicating specifications (e.g. type, kind, variety, cut, market form, can size).

The steps should be in paragraph form, according to sequence. Recipes should include the approximate size or number of servings.

All participants will be given certificates of participation and winners for each category will receive plaques, and the following cash prizes: first prize P30,000; second prize, P20,000; and third prize, P10,000.

Official entries, registration forms, recipe entries and other requirements should be mailed, faxed or personally delivered to Dr. Ma. Teresa Abola, chairwoman, Cookfest Committee, President Tower Building, 81 Timog Avenue, cor. Scout Ybardoloza, Quezon City.

The cookfest is an undertaking of the PHA Committee on Advocacy chaired by Abola.

The committee’s other members are Drs. Rosario Sevilla, Adelaida Iboleon-Dy, Aurelia Leus, Ma. Ina Bunyi, Ramon Francisco, Maricar Limpin, and Jane Mari Cabulisan (Department of Health); Rosemarie Holandes, RND (DOH) and Felicidad Velandria, RND (Food and Nutrition Institute-National Dietitians Association of the Philippines).

Deadline for submission of entries is May 5. Members of the PHA Board and the Cookfest Committee are not eligible to join the contest.

The PHA, currently headed by Dr. Mariano Lopez, is the country’s premier organization of heart specialists.

Through its various programs, it hopes to stem the increasing incidence of cardiovascular diseases in the country. As stated in its website, it has a two-pronged mission: to ensure that every Filipino, even the one living in the remotest area, shall have access to adequate cardiovascular care; and to raise the standard of practice of cardiology to a level that any Filipino cardiologist can be at par with any counterpart elsewhere in the world.

Three key factors deemed vital in the attainment of its mission are the commitment of all its members; strategic alliances with local and international agencies, encompassing government and the private sector; and effective nationwide network of volunteers.

Lopez has rallied PHA members to focus on its vision to make the Philippines a leading center for cardiovascular care in the entire Asia-Pacific.

The PHA hopes to convert the Philippines into a hub for pioneering researches in cardiovascular medicine that would improve cardiovascular care, redounding to the benefit of patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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