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Friday, October 3, 2014

The Filipino Way

This is my friend, Leandro.  I met him through my mom.
He barely speaks English.  He's at an age where retirement is knocking at the door, yet he works 2 full-time jobs and gets only about 4 hours of sleep per night.  All that so that he can send money and packages to his family in the Philippines.  His wife also works full-time so they can take care of their family "back home" and be able to take trips there to visit their family.  They don't live extravagantly, they are frugal.  They are a very hardworking, selfless couple.  If you are Filipino, which I am (1/4 to be exact), you are immediately their friends and they treat you as family.

Leandro's wife was having a birthday and he wanted to throw her a secret party.  So, he invited my mom and I to come.  A couple days later, his wife, saw my mom, and whispered to her, "Hey!  Will you and your daughter come to my secret birthday party on Friday?"  So, we were doubly invited to a not-so-secret surprise party.

It was a picnic dinner- buffet style.  They stayed up all night cooking all the food because they had to be to work the next day.  I tell you, it was nothing short of an amazing Filipino feast!  There were more choices there than Golden Corral or Chuck-a-Rama.  I only got a few pictures of the food- because as soon as something got eaten, they would take that away and replace it with a completely new item.  There were 3 long picnic tables of food, and another folding table of food, and there was no room for plates, so those were on a little set of plastic drawers that they wheeled outside.
 I wasn't familiar with probably half the food being served, but I must say that everything I tried was great.

This chicken had tons of flavor!  There is lemon-grass in there.

This is definitely dessert. It has super soft potato and tapioca, and fruit coctail and sweetened condensed milk, and cream.  It sounds really strange, but it is so good.  I took some home for Steve to try, but he wouldn't even touch it.

 There were lots of people there too, maybe 50?  They must've invited everyone they knew.  I got to meet a lot of other Filipinos.  Who knew there were that many living out here in rural-ville.  Some of my mom's friends from work were there.
 And you probably can't tell, but there was karaoke, and so many people worked that microphone!  I so often see reserved crowds, but not here.  It was a great, fun night!
The hosts spent so much time and energy and probably money so we could have a good time.  There was food to feed a crowd for a week.  Everyone greets eachother with hugs and warm fellowship.  Everyone takes part in the fun.  All this, plus recognizing the importance of family, and inviting all to come join you...   I've never been to the Philippines, but I'm proud to be Filipino, as I see this is what I know as the Filipino way.  

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