Rewind.Fast forward.

Group time 2, originally uploaded by joeytoofresh.

There was a time when most of my days were spent participating in Filipino community events. Since finishing up undergrad, my involvement has waned. Not because I wasn’t interested, but because I wanted to explore other things. I also felt pressured by old acquaintances and peers to be involved in certain ways and that turned me off. I don’t think being Filipino is defined by how involved I am. It encompasses so many more things than that.

Lately, I’ve been in an introspective mood. My life in Brooklyn is pretty permanent now and it’s interesting to see just what communities/niches I find myself gravitating to. The Filipino community is one of them. And even if I am not heading off to the next protest or gathering petitions as I did before, I would like to think there are ways to express and enjoy a huge part of who I am.

Thanks to FiRE (gotta love the acronyms) – – I’ve found a group of people to connect with. This past Saturday, I hosted my first FiRE event. They have monthly brunches, but this time they decided to do an evening affair so I volunteered my place. It was fun meeting new people and making connections without any pressure or pretense. It’s a great thing to see in NYC. I hope to do it again.

Enjoy the pics…

Eating Healthy. Eating Tasty.

For those who don’t know, I started the South Beach Diet after Thanksgiving.  I’ve never really cared about watching my weight, since my metabolism has always been pretty high, but I’ve noticed over the past year that it has slowed down considerably and none of my clothes fit.  Moreover, relatives took note in August and they’d NEVER said anything about my figure before. I knew something was up. During my physical on November 13th, I learned I’d gained 30 lbs. since I graduated in May 2006!I decided that after Thanksgiving I would start cutting down on the bad food – starchy carbs (white rice), junk, sugary sweets, and increase my intake of the good stuff. I sought out a diet that best fit my needs – I wanted to eat good, tasty food and work on eating healthier (not high fat, low carb).  I decided on the South Beach since it emphasizes all those things and so far I’ve lost a lot of the belly flab.  Best of all – I can still eat things like sirloin steak and not feel guilty! The first couple of days without white rice was tough, but I haven’t really craved it since then. I did eat a little carb over the past weekend because it was me & Joe’s 1 year anniversary (had two fries and dessert at Les Halles), but I didn’t fully lose my grip. I think if I ate fast food right now, my stomach would rebel!So in the spirit of sharing – I decided to add a ‘foodie’ tab and post up my recipes and Yelp! restaurant reviews of good eats.Bon appetit! 


The holiday season is in full swing and I am excited to go home.  Christmas w/ the Cuenco and Santos clan is one of the funnest times of the year.  I arrive in California on Christmas Eve, just before midnight and in time for Noche Buena.  My dad usually prepares a ham, nilaga or tinola, and other trimmings so that we can have a snack as we open presents.  The next morning is the nearly all day affair at my grandmother’s house on the Cuenco side.  

Walking into my grandmother’s home is like being ported back to the Philippines. She has an outdoor kitchen for all the major cooking since all the extended family start flowing in shortly after noon.  She typically wants her immediate family there in the morning so we get first dibs on the food. We spend much of the morning and afternoon there and then head home to rest. We will probably see my mom’s side of the family later on that evening.  

It sounds really tiring, but spending Christmas away from immediate family is just not the same. Furthermore, this will be my sister’s first time home for Christmas in 3 years. It’s going to be a blast. I hope to revel in the noise, family personalities, stress, and festivities the whole week that I’m there. Best believe I’m taking pictures.