Sinigang at 12 and 4 pm: Or, My Summer at Home

It has taken me awhile to get to this point, but I think I’m here and ready to put words down to type. I’m certain that every person who has gone through a phase of unemployment has this to realize, but I think I have fully reached the point where I understand the implications of choosing to pursue a line of work with a steep learning curve, leaving the comfort and stability of the life I’ve built in Canada to explore my understanding of things where I feel there is still so much yet to learn, and where on the surface I look like a 26-year-old who has snapped and done her ‘crazy 20s thing’. 

Some people travel, some have fiery relationships, and some dedicate themselves to doing activities that contribute to the improvement of other peoples’ lives (these are all real folk I know).

What does Filipino food have to do with all this? In a word, it’s comfort.

I finally made sinigang from scratch!

This bowl of sinigang did wonders for me yesterday, and it has succeeded with soothing my soul again today. I finally made sinigang from scratch – using pureed tamarinds and freshly squeezed lemons to act as my souring agent – and absolutely LOVE that I can now make my favourite dish in the world any damn time I please (provided I stock up on tamarind paste). It is really not hard, and I don’t know why I waited so long.

Anyway, I am hoping to learn as much as I can about how the Internet works, and why understanding the languages that power it can give such an interesting perspective on how we as humans are able to grow and develop. Without getting too science fiction-y, I just love the excitement behind the technology that empowers us to reach out to anyone in the world, connect as individuals and communities, and make things happen. 

These ‘things that happen’ include the development of Internet service across the globe, allowing you to, among many things: shop from a Belgian Etsy store, talk about green space and the emergence of urban sustainability advocates in Manila, and feed your curiosity for Perseid Meteors vs the Supermoon (one will be the undisputed fireball champion!).

One of the things I love about the Internet is that it’s allowed me to follow my intense interest in the contextual history of Filipino food. Accurate resources are scarce online, and though I’m sure many texts abound, I would love to find a way to have that information on the web, where it’s just as easily searchable as the many versions of adobo you will find. 

Why am I so keen on this?

I’ve come to have an interesting relationship with food, spurred by the environment we now find ourselves in. In North America, you will find thousands upon thousands of blogs about healthy/conscious/sustainable/organic eating, ranging from the incredibly well written to more than subtly preachy. One thing you’ll hear, among Filipinos at least, is that Filipino food is “mataba, maalat pero masarap” – fatty, salty but delicious. And sure, those three things are universally known to be simultaneously good and bad, but why stop there? 

There is so much more to Filipino food than caldereta, sinigang or kare-kare; more than your token crispy pata, sisig and vinegar-drenched pork barbecue on a stick for pulutan; definitely more than SPAM, corned beef with onions and potatoes, or pungent bagoong. I love all of those dishes, each in their way, but the point I wanted to bring forward is that we as a culture love ALL our foods – including the regional dishes, cooking styles and techniques that I strongly feel a kinship to preserving, so we and future lovers of Filipino food can keep falling in love with that lip-puckering, belly-filling, umami-inducing madness that is sitting down to dine Filipino-style.

Leave a Reply