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orientalia

Posted in artifacts, culture, food, history, lifestyle, locales, travel with tags , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by mijodo

The rite of Chinese New Year has been more pronounced for some years now in the Philippines (This year, it was celebrated on February 14, Valentines Day). Before, only the Filipino Chinese celebrated it, with all the trappings. Yet somehow, Filipinos in general, have regarded the Chinese New Year as an important occasion, thanks to the feng-shui experts and geomancers who graciously advise on people’s luck and fate for the new year through the use of the 12 animal signs during the many television interviews.

If the Chinese New Year is quite relatively new in many parts (beyond Binondo) of the country, Chinese food though has been relevant part of our rich Filipino food culture. There are all kinds of pancit – Bihon, Canton, Lomi, Mami, Sotanghon – all coming from woks and pans of our Chinese ancestors.

Of course, there are all sorts of lumpia or spring rolls. Crispy Lumpia Shanghai. dipped into the tangy sweet and sour sauce. There’s old filipino favorite Lumpiang Ubod (coconut palm hearts) or Lumpiang Gulay (vegetables), beautiful for merienda, served with thick brown sauce (if eaten fresh) or just plain vinegar (if fried).

Dimsum staples such as siopao (bolabola or asado) or siomai can be ordered from ritzy Chinese restaurants or just neighborhood eateries. In fact siopao and siomai have become popular streetfood themselves and should satisfy hunger and craving in a jiffy.
 
Aside from Chinese cooking,  Japanese food have become slowly part of food interests of Filipinos, particularly among the urbanites.  Some metro dwellers have already acquired the taste for sushi and sashimi although raw in preparation.  Japanese mimimalistic food entrees may not be as popular as the Chinese yummies, still such delights from Japan have already made signficant inroads to the Filipino tastebuds.
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Although Chinese New Year celebration comes only once a year (obviously), it is quite reassuring that all the oriental gustatory gratification can be had all year round right from our favorite restos or just from our own kitchens.
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