A New Year Post

Yes, we all woke up this morning and it is the year 2011! We’ve finished the first decade of the millenium and survived. You go, human race, you didn’t manage to blow yourself up just yet. Let’s keep it up!

2010 was a hard year for many people, and personally, this last month for me was pretty rough. I went home to the Philippines because my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer on October. Unfortunately, a week after I arrived and a week before Christmas, he passed away. The holiday season was full of tears and heartbreak for my family. My grandparents raised me as a child and it felt like losing one of my more prominent father figure in my life. Rest in peace, Tatay, I will miss you everyday.

Manila Cityscape
Manila cityscape at night. Kind of pretty, right?

Filipinos deal with sad situations in a very simple way. First of all, we have a wicked sense of humor and do not find anything wrong with laughing despite during a devastating situation. Second of all, we eat a lot of food. My two week trip back to Manila didn’t have much room for sightseeing this time, but I can share some of the food we ate.

Filipino food!

In the back, there is lumpia, and in the front is pork cooked with plantains.

Filipino Food!

This is called “okoy” – crispy, deep fried shrimp. I could eat it like potato chips.

Crappy fast food sisig...

I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to go and eat sisig, and I made the mistake of trying fast food sisig. It was gross! Do me a favor, and if you ever are in the Philippines, go to a place that makes REAL sisig. Don’t eat the fast food version!

Mami noodle soup

Mami and siopao is a favorite mid-afternoon “snack” for Filipinos. Basically, Pinoys eat 10 meals a day. This was my first mami (which is a noodle soup meal), with fishballs.

We Love You, Tatay

Pancit Malabon, an all time favorite. Isn’t it so colorful and pretty?

Ube cake!

Cute, little ube cake.

Christmas in Malabon, 2010

Lastly, the lechon, a staple at every gathering and occasion. I’m actually no longer a fan of pork, but I can’t resist the lechon skin. So crispy and good! Of course, the animal lover side of me gets a little bummed out when I see the pig like this. My Pinay side can’t resist its deliciousness… what a messed up situation, right? Anthony Bourdain would disdain my hesitation.

Christmas in Malabon, 2010

My aunt likes to munch on the pig’s tail.

Let’s ride out the next year together!

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