Melissa Grace P. Nacino, Assistant Professor IV at Aurora State College of Technology School of Arts and Sciences, presented her research at the recent International Symposium on Cultural Tourism and Heritage Studies, held from March 6-7, 2024, in Bali, Indonesia.

Her research paper, titled “Savoring Culture: Exploring the Origins, Cultural Preservation, and Symbolical Tapestry of Baler Suman (Filipino Rice Cake),” explores Baler suman, a traditional delicacy from Baler, Aurora, Philippines, focusing on its origins, cultural preservation, and symbolic representations. The study also uncovers the multifaceted dimensions of Baler Suman. It reveals how geographical, historical, and political factors have influenced its development, with financial assistance and community networks playing crucial roles.

Baler suman symbolizes family bonds, good fortune, and resilience, embodying the community’s efforts to preserve their food culture. Ms. Nacino’s presentation explained why Baler Suman is important to the culture and why it’s crucial to keep traditional food practices alive, even as the world changes. Her efforts help people value and learn about different cultures through their food traditions.