Thanksgiving Celebration ‘Pinoy Style’

By Lhu FlorentinoLong weekends are much awaited break for ‘the working class.’ We just celebrated a long weekend in Fall with Thanksgiving Day. It was a much awaited time for fam­ily gathering, reunion with relatives and friends.

With the presence of our guests from Calgary, we decided to celebrate our 3-day break outside the border just like our fellow ‘kababayans’. An early wake up time on a Saturday morning was very unwel­coming. Two hours wait at the border was another challenged. We managed to stay on cue until we were finally reached Cus­tom Officer who took our declared piece of grapefruit. Yes, that’s how strict the border custom officers in implementing the rules! While waiting, I also observed trained ‘sniff­ing dog’ roaming around cars. This was the scenario at the Blaine border last Saturday. Surprisingly, some fellow Filipinos claimed to be even grateful that the waiting time was shorter.

Well, they had countless expe­riences of crossing the border than we did. Most travelers were Filipinos who made a pact of celebrating Thanksgiving in Seattle every year. Filipinos celebrating Thanksgiv­ing across the border were looking forward for an extra ‘treat’ this year. ‘Seafood City Supermarket’ located at 1368 South Cen­ter Mall Tukwila was an added itinerary. Yes, we’ve been part of the Saturday crowd that swamped Seafood City Supermarket last weekend. We were amazed of well-stocked display racks of the stores. Small applianc­es seen in Filipino kitchens like Zojirushi/ Tiger brands rice cookers; air pots; steam­ers; turbo broilers; coffee makers; hand­crafted tissue dispensers. PNB remittance office strategic location was extra busy that day too!Since we arrived nearly noon time and we need to satisfy our hunger pangs, we immediately looked for Jollibee Restau­rant. Per special request of our teen travel­er, we have to taste all the menu items. We sampled out 9 –pc Chicken Joy (with rice; 1 mashed potato; gravy) Jolly Burger with Cheese; Palabok; Spahetti; halo-halo; Pan­dan Shake with Sago. The signature food presentation and flavor of the items that we ate were still the same. As we finished the last bite of chicken, we told ourselves, ’this is truly Filipino fastfoods that our body can afford to indulge for only once a year.’

After stuffing ourselves with Jollibee, we walked around the store to burn the extra calories we ate. We checked nearby stores like Red Ribbon Cakes where Dinu­guan, Lumpia, Sotanghon were best sell­ers. Valerio Bakery (I was informed that they originated from Cavite) had a wide assortment of Filipino baked products like ensaimadas; pandesal with cheese, whole wheat; monay; pandesal putok; pan de atis; Egg Pie. Native delicacies like Maja Ube; Sapin-Sapin, Halayang Ube; Biko; Nilupak; Turon; kalamay; puto; siopao. Despite our full tummy, we still managed to take out 2 bags of bread and Turon to be eaten while on the road.
Tokyo-Tokyo, a Filipino-Jap franchise from the Philippines; Grill City offers fa­mous skewed Pork Barbecue are must-try restaurants. Seafood City Supermarket carries fresh produce, fish and shellfishes catch from the Pacific waters and variety of dry goods. We grabbed our favorite wa­lis tambo (broom made of rice husks) and walis ting-ting (made center sticks of tiger grass bunched together).

For those who have not checked the place yet, find time to drive and enjoy the variety of Filipino foods and goods.

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Filipino goods can be available right in our neighborhood. Along Brunette Street in Coquitlam is Manila Foods. Austin Street corner Marmont in Coquitlam is Jeepney Store. Also, Ms. Amy Sundberg , Con­servative Rep. in charge of Community Relation Projects suggested her discovery of I-Mart store that carries a nice selec­tion of Selecta, including Ube Macapuno, Halo Halo Mix, Mango and Queso. Ice cream that used to sell at $9.99 are now priced at $5.99. The store is located next to Joe’s, where I get my produce, at Cam­eron Street.
Mart also sells Aling Mary’s pan de sal, ingredients for halo-halo, suman, and a whole array of Filipino snacks and ingre­dients. Thank you, Amy for sharing your Thanksgiving Pinoy Style tips!
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