My dad retired when I was in the fifth grade and he decided that we pack up our bags and move to the Philippines – my dad, mom and me. As soon as we got off the plane, I remember saying “It’s hot!”. I was not used to the tropical weather. About 10 years is how long It ended up living in the Philippines. It was a remarkable experience growing up there and learning about our Filipino Heritage and Culture. The Philippines is where I attended most of my high school years and where I graduated college from.
I remember before I moved there I was not a big fan of vegetables. Maybe after a few months of living there and spending time with other relatives, I slowly grew to love vegetable dishes especially the ones cooked with bagoong or patis (fermented fish). It wasn’t until I moved back here to the US that I started cooking. I knew I had to learn eventually because I would finally be on my own and I won’t have my mom to cook my favorite dishes. When I cook Filipino food it tastes good but I still wished I could have some of my mom’s cooking. Honestly, home sick missing my my mom and her cooking. The first Filipino dish I cooked was Bifsteak Tagalog which is just quick and easy to make. Don’t worry guys, when I make it again I will definitely post the recipe. Josh’s favorite Filipino food that I make is Lumpia and Sopas. Lumpia is time consuming to make but is worth it when it’s cooked and dipped in my favorite white vinegar and garlic sauce.
It has been 5 years already since I last was in the Philippines but it feels like yesterday. I always enjoyed going to Baguio City which is 1 1/2 hours away from our province La Union. This place is a beautiful place and a great place to get away from the humid weather there. It is known for the pine trees and cold weather. In La Union, beaches were accessible but the best beaches to go to were in San Juan (little town in the northern province). The beaches here are known for the waves and is a great hangout. Being born in San Diego and then living on an island, I would say the beach was always my peaceful zen spot. My favorite holiday in the Philippines to celebrate was Christmas. September 1st marks the first day of people beginning to prepare for Christmas. We called September-December the “ber months” and you begin to see Christmas lanterns being sold in the markets and start even hearing Christmas songs playing. Although this video is not mine, I would like to share these Tourism Videos so that you can get an idea of the province that I am from: Video in Tagalog or Video in English
From when I lived in the Philippines, a few memories I look back to were:
Visiting relatives almost every Sunday that it almost always felt like a party was going on.
The town and barangay fiestas. During some of the town fiestas, a group of me and my friends would join dance contests for fun.
The times when a typhoon would pass by and we would have no electricity. We found ourselves playing bingo or cards to pass time.
Karaoke! Family & friends loved it when I would sing My Heart Would Go On or a Tagalog song Di Ko Na Mapipigilan
Inuman and Pulutan (drinks & food) sessions with the barkada (friends)
Street Food! Here’s another video that is not mine but shows you what Filipino Street Food is.
Check out some of my Filipino Food recipes here: