Four months and 3 weeks since I took the last bus ride from work to my humble abode in Jurong. It’s also around the same amount of time since I left Singapore and went back home. It felt different being back, after trying to look for greener pastures in another country in almost 5 years.
The first few weeks were a huge adjustment. For some time, I felt like a foreigner in my own country – too scared to cross the road, ride a public transport, and hold my patience with the heavy traffic in Metro Manila. My lungs congested from smoke, dust, and dirt. I’ve been dependent on my husband, for most of the time, in taking me to places. But even with those doubts and fears, there is, somehow, a sense of relief. Despite the hustles and bustles, unpredictable weather conditions, I really felt that I am home. I am back to a country that boasts of 7,107 islands, pristine beaches, cheap delicious food, unexplored forests, active volcanoes, I could go on and on. As I try to settle down again, I found myself reconnecting through the simple things that makes me genuinely Filipino.
I revisited my alma matter few weeks back and this ice cream (aka sorbetes), which is also a kind of street food, took me way back to my childhood days where things are simpler and sweeter like this cold dessert I had. Of course, the day didn’t end without remembering old ties and being nostalgic about the school where I basically grew up.
Nothing beats local food especially when it’s served in one of the famous, albeit iconic, fastfood chain in the Philippines, Max’s restaurant. There’s your signature Tapsilog (a Filipino breakfast meal consisting of cured beef, fried eggs, and garlic rice), Pancit Luglug, and Lumpiang Shanghai. Sorry guys, there are no English translations for the last two dishes I mentioned. I also want to clarify that Lumpiang Shanghai did not originate from China (or does it?).
This is one of the first dishes I made since I arrived in Manila, arrozcaldo. It’s a chicken congee with a Filipino twist and goes perfectly with our rainy climate during the months of June to October.
Lastly, every Filipino would attest that this beer is the epitome of a true Filipino beverage. Whether here or abroad, Filipinos would always have San Miguel beer in almost every occasion. And of course, I can’t resist not having an ice cold bottle after settling foot to the homeland. Tagay!
Until the next new chapters of this blog…