2016-09-Brown4GoodChallenge Up for the challenge. (L-R) Mr. Samuel Torreliza, owner of Yma’s Vegetarian Resturant; Ms. Melissa Macasaet, Puerto Princesa City Agriculturist;Atty. Cipriano Santiago, DA-4MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director; Erika Padilla, Brown Rice Ambassadress and GMA artist; Dr. Marissa Romero, PhilRice Senior Science Research Specialist; and Mikael Daez, Brown Rice Ambassador and GMA artist post for a photo opportunity after signing on the “Riceponsible Ako, Kakain Ako ng Brown Rice” commitment board. (Photo by DA-MIMAROPA, RAFIS)

Department of Agriculture-MIMAROPA Region has launched on August 30 its regional Brown4Good Challenge at Palawan State University (PSU), Puerto Princesa City.

The Brown4Good Challenge is a social media campaign that aims to promote brown rice as good food. It also hopes to address the four main problems of the country such as 1) undernourishment, 2) low income of rice farmers, 3) rice self-sufficiency and 4) hunger, thus the name Brown4Good.

The event stirred the interest of an estimated 1,500 Palawenos that were composed of farmers; traders, retailers and millers; hotel and restaurant owners; representatives from different local government units; and students from Palawan State University, Western Philippines University, Sicsican National High School, Puerto Princesa City Science High School and San Jose National High School.

The OIC-President of PSU Dr. Lorna G. Gelito gave a warm welcome to the DA delegations and other attendees.

The local government unit (LGU) of Puerto Princesa City also showed their support through its City Agriculturist Melissa Macasaet, who took the chance to announce their resolution for brown rice and invite the attendees to participate in the said challenge.

“Our city was chosen by the Department of Agriculture and Philippine Rice Research Institute to launch this event because of our resolution for brown rice that encourages the whole Puerto Princesa City, especially the hotel and restaurant owners to serve brown rice, and Palawan has a lot of tourist destinations that are most visited by local and foreign tourists,” she said.

Hotel and restaurant owners also pleaded to support the campaign through Mr. Samuel Torreliza of Yma’s Vegetarian Restaurant as their representative.

“We have been serving brown rice for 10 years because we discovered that brown rice is healthier than white rice. In this regard, I would like to ask the restaurant owners, as well as resort and hotel owners to support this campaign by posting posters and by making reading materials available to educate our customers regarding the benefits of brown rice,” Torreliza said.

DA-MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director, Atty. Cipriano Santiago was grateful for the steadfast support showed by the invited guests. He is also optimistic that the other provinces in MIMAROPA will support the campaign.

“The absence of one (LGUs, hotel and restaurant owners, students, trader and millers) would not complete the chain of promoting brown rice because this would not only benefit the farmers but everyone. So each of you is really important in this event and I am thanking you all on behalf of DA for showing support,” he expressed during his speech.

Also in the event, Philippine Rice Research Institute Technical Director, Dr. Marissa Romero discussed the benefits of eating brown rice. She shared that through eating brown rice, it could address the top three main causes of death of Filipinos such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

“Brown or unpolished rice has a higher content of protein, thiamine, and other vitamins and minerals compared to white rice…When rice is polished some percentage of its vitamins and mineral contents are taken off,” she discussed.

As additional knowledge, Mr. Philip Kim of Fit Corea Trading Philippines, Inc. demonstrated to the attendees how quality brown rice is produced.

GMA Network celebrities Mikael Daez and Erika Padilla graced the event as Brown Rice Ambassadors and Ambassadress. Attendees showed eagerness to join when the celebrities asked them, they answered with a loud shout of “Yes!”

2016-09-Brown4GoodChallenge2They like it brown. Students from Puerto Princesa City Science High School post for a photo opportunity with GMA artist Mikale Daez who holds a plate of brown rice. Daez was invited to grace the launching of Department of Agriculture-MIMAROPA Region for their launching of the #BROWN4Good Challenge on August 30, 2016 at Palawan State University, Puerto Princesa City. (Photo by DA-MIMAROPA, RAFIS)

After which, students were asked to take a photo of the brown rice that were given to them before the program starts. Students rushed on the stage to show proof of their photos and claimed a hundred peso load as their reward.

The challenge is as simple as posting photos of a meal to any social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. All interested participants just need to post a photo or a video of their brown rice, cooked or uncooked, to their accounts and add the hashtags #Bronw4Good and the assigned hashtags for every region. For MIMAROPA it’s #Region4MIMAROPA .

Every photo with the hashtags is equivalent to 100gms of brown rice that will be donated to a chosen charity of the region. The Philippine Rice Research Institute will be the one to administer the counting of the hashtags.

The challenge will lasts until October 31, 2016.

As the event comes to a close, attendees were asked to sign on the commitment board and had a ceremonial eating of brown rice.

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