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PB&J. Oatmeal. Cereal. Eggs and rice. Repeat. Classically trained in the French culinary arts yet this is all mi padre manages to scrounge up for the most important meal of the day.

Lazy. Uninspired. Pathetic. Useless. Are the words that best describe his breakfast prowess.

Pancit palabok with calamansi, freshly roasted garlic, and homemade chicharron. Chocolate pancakes. Honey baked ham, vienna sausage, marinated pan fried chicken, fried egg and garlic rice. Three days in the Philippines and the deliciousness factor for my morning meal has increased exponentially.

Pancit palabok

You don’t know pancit until you’ve had pancit palabok

On top of that, I’m enjoying bajillion course meals for lunch and dinner compliments of Lola. With dishes like pasta salad with pineapple and ham, chicken adobo, pancit with mixed vegetables, tortang talong, kutsinta, and homemade raisin bread, the country’s rebranded slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” is certainly ringing true!

Filipino food spread

Lola knows how to do up a spread!

It’s hardly surprising if you consider my lola (grandma) is a master chef trained in classical French, Vietnamese, Thai, and, of course, Filipino cuisine. She’s a member of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier and was voted one of the top 100 most influential Filipino-American women.

My dad? He’s got some high school baseball trophies collecting dust somewhere.

Sorry dad. You lose. But that’s ok. You’re on vacation so you’re off the hook for cooking detail. And that makes us both big winners!

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