Don’t be shy, I know you dislike family reunions as much as I do. Who in the right mind enjoys the relentless interrogation of prying relatives? It’s always a moment of “I came here to have a good time but I’m feeling very attacked right now” with them. But if there’s something I miss about gatherings, it’s definitely the food—only the food (fine, maybe some of my cousins, too).
Family reunion isn’t complete without the superior dish kare-kare with its iconic ingredient: tuwalya. The sweetness of peanut butter mixed with the lingering salt of bagoong is just… chef’s kiss.
And I just know you watched your parents eat tuwalya as a child and thought they were munching on literal towels (that’s fine, I also went through that embarrassment).
You know it’s a great handaan when they serve lumpiang shanghai. End of discussion. No, but seriously, have you ever been to a gathering that didn’t serve lumpia—the holy grail of all parties?
Whole Fried Chicken
Believe it or not, fried chicken actually taught me how to act fast. You know how it’s always among the first dishes to disappear because it’s a crowd favorite? Yes, that’s how I learned that time is vital. The later you show up to the party, the greater the possibility of losing your precious fried chicken. Moral of the story: Always be on time, everyone.
Did your mom also tell you that you’d have a longer life if you ate pancit? Mine did and I believed it. Eight-year-old me would usually choose pancit over rice and proudly tell my cousins to do the same if they want to live longer. I only realized how much of a clown I was when I turned 12.
But admit it, even after knowing pancit doesn’t magically add years to your life, it still climbed to the top of your favorite reunion dishes list. Let’s go, pancit enthusiasts!
Triple Treat Chocolate Cake
Despite the numerous cake flavors available in the market, I bet you’d still choose chocolate. Nothing beats the classic, after all—especially if it reminds you of silly childhood moments like the day you cried so hard because your teeth hurt. You told your parents you only ate half a slice when you actually had two whole slices (what a mood).