I wouldn’t have been able begin to start writing the book without going back home to The Philippines first. I needed to immerse myself into the culture and of course, THE FOOD! The trip was everything I hoped it would be. Just being there was so surreal. I’ve never been around so many fellow Filipinos in the same space, I immediately felt at home. Being back home was not just going back to my roots. It was about seeing first hand, how the food culture there was changing and evolving.
I gotta admit. There were an abundance of chain restaurants from the immensely popular Jollibee, McDonalds and KFC. However, what was great to see were other chain restaurants who like Jollibee, incorporates many of our beloved native dishes. Take Max’s Chicken, Andoks and Goldilocks for example, who both serve up national treasures like Dinuguan (pork in pigs blood), BBQ Pork Skewers and Pancit. The food courts of the ginormous mega malls of central Manilla also celebrate local dishes displaying one buffet after another – I couldn’t decide what I wanted being that there were so many dishes to choose from! They even had one of my favs, Tinapa which is smoked fish served with fresh steamed rice. Too good.
Then there was Boracay – an amazing paradise island. I could never forget sipping chilled coconut juice out of a coconut in the warm water watching the sunset whilst been tickled by the mini tropical fish swimming around me. Aaaaaahhhh……….
Rather than sitting by the beach reading a book, I was making notes for my book and soaking up all the inspiration that surrounded me. I got to meet so many amazing people I will never forget. Did I mention that they were also rockin cooks?!
Oh….I also got lobster red despite packing on the sunscreen. Sunburn sucks!