13 September 2007

Pinoy tummy

My three-year-old son, Angelo, is now in pre-school and last Friday I received a homework request.

"Dear Pre-School 3 Parents,
Please use the provided paper to help your child make an "All About Me" collage at home. We will share the collages in calss, and please be sure to include a family photo.
We will also love to bring in your child's heritage to our classroom. In order to do so, we would like you to provide information regarding your nationalities."

The "All About Me" and family part was easy. I just had to pick the appropriate picture with Lightning McQueen and Thomas the Tank Engine. We have a recent family picture that would go perfectly well with the collage, and now the part about heritage. I have a Philippine map postcard at home which I trade away (Pinay New Yorker is a postcard collector of maps and lighthouses particularly, and anything Pinoy and anything New York), but I needed something more visual to show this class of three year olds. So of course I landed on the web searching for a suitable graphic of the Philippine flag.
I was stumped when it came to defining our heritage in an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper -- then it hit me. What is it about my son that embodies the Pinoy side of him? I made a dialogue bubble and wrote, "Angelo is a Filipino and he has visited the Philippines already. He speaks both English and Tagalog and he loves to eat rice."

Sometimes I wonder if it's all the rice that he has been eating which makes him look more like a four-year-old (he is almost 42 inches now and over 40 lbs). Then I have to remind myself about the gestational diabetes during my pregnancy and how he was born a whopping 9 lbs and 8 ozs. He will be a big boy indeed! Still when I look into his eyes and I see how chinito they are, I know he will always be Pinoy na Pinoy in features -- and in diet. He will take a healthy serving of rice (anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 cups) any day to a burger. And he'll take it without any viand to go with it -- give him his kanin-rice and he is happy.

We Filipinos have always loved food -- and while Filipino dishes are not my strength in the kitchen, I'm trying to learn and brush up on those dishes that will bring my son in touch with his Filipino roots. Since he loves soups, nilagang baka, tinolang manok (with spinach instead of dahon ng sili), picadillo and sotanghon soup are just some of the dishes I try to whip up for him. And when he's all done, he'll say "Tama na. Busog na." Maybe when he's older, he'll like my adobo, kare-kare and binagoongang baboy. For now his tummy prefers Pinoy food -- and I hope he doesn't outgrow that.


mom2amara said...

The collage looks spectacular. I'm sure it was a hit with the teachers.

Amara is like Angelo -- she'll take white sticky rice over most "American" food. And she loves the sabaw of just about anything over her kanin. Heck, I'm just like Angelo...pass the rice and kare kare please!

Tea Time and Roses said...

Thank you so much for your visit and sweet comment to my blog... You have a very nice place here, and I think the "all about me" collage came out just lovely... I hope you visit again, I would love to hear from you..

Best to you and your family...