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Blog Article

Asian American Heritage Month 2022: Filipino Food, Culture and Traditions

May 05, 2022

Anjanette Abad

Reservations Agent
Eden Roc / Nobu Miami Beach

I was born and raised in the Philippines, from the undiscovered paradise Naval, Biliran. It is one of the 7,107 beautiful islands in the country. When I was young, my mom and dad taught me the basic and most important part of a Filipino’s life, the family. My dad, who worked hard all day and did all he could to feed and provide for our family, and my mom who tirelessly took care of us. Which I’m very much thankful for. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. And thanks to them, I was able to focus on my studies and given the opportunity to travel and begin a new life here in the United States.

For the last 4 years, living in the United States has been one of the toughest decisions I have ever made in my life. Living away from my family and being in a new country all alone, even without their presence, I know they are always with me, in my heart. On the other hand, it gave me a chance to challenge and discover myself, to find friends, land a job and strive for the best.

Living in the Sunshine State (Miami Beach, Florida) became my second home, this place is full of a unique and exciting array of diversity and rich, cultural exchange. And I’m glad to be part of a team that embraces such diversity.

In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month, and as a full-blooded Filipino living in the United States, I’m thrilled to share the traditional dish called Chicken adobo.

Chicken Adobo
1 cup white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 whole garlic bulb, smashed and peeled
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 bay leaf
2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks
1 cup water


  1. In a shallow dish, combine the first 6 ingredients. Add chicken; refrigerate, covered, 20-30 minutes. Drain, reserving marinade. Pat chicken dry.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken. Stir in water and reserved marinade. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until chicken is no longer pink and sauce is slightly reduced, 20-25 minutes. Discard bay leaf. If desired, serve chicken with cooking sauce.

What does chicken adobo taste like?
Chicken adobo is a very flavorful dish with a mildly sweet, tangy garlic and soy flavor. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the fibers in the chicken, making it very tender.

Shayne Cyrene Hawinay Arcojada

Front Desk Agent
Hyatt Regency Cincinnati

As most of us knows, Filipinos are the first Asian who migrated in the United States, Asian gave and share beliefs, skills, and knowledge to Americans. Americans embraced our ancestors for being part of their culture and history, together we help each other to build a better country not just for Americans but also for the other foreign country. This is some of the reason to celebrate Asian American Heritage, to reminisce the history that made our present meaningful with strong bond.

Tinolang Manok (Chicken Stew)
Chicken pieces
Fish sauce
Chayote (sayote) or unripe papaya
Chili leaves or moringa (malunggay)


  1. Sauté ginger, garlic, onions in hot oil until aromatic.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and fish sauce and render until fats and juices come out.
  3. Pour in water and bring to boil. Cook until meat is tender.
  4. Add the sayote or green papaya and cook until soft.
  5. Lastly, add the chili or malunggay leaves. Let it boil until Chicken are tender.

Abigail Grace Austin

Heritage Grille – Server
Little Rock Marriott

From the Quartz Crystal Capital of the World to the cast iron Dutch oven, Arkansas is home to so many beautiful panoramic views and rich cultural traditions. I first fell in love with this state when I moved here 2011 and experienced its southern hospitality. Its laid back culture makes me feel I’m back home in the Philippines. The kindness of the Arkansans and Arkansawyers reminds me of the same distinct virtue of my very own Kababayans- the Filipinos.

Remembering my roots during the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month had always revolved around the theme of togetherness. Being away from my whole family the past years as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), my definition of togetherness no longer necessarily meant about coming together in physical presence but has been about being in one spirit with your loved ones. Having a video call with my family back home in Davao City has always filled my love tank while cooking my favorite Filipino dishes filled my food tank. Celebrating this month alone would suffice but sharing it with other members of the community over drinks and karaoke would make it even better.

So I’m sharing below a recipe of a Filipino dish I commonly serve on special occasions with the people I consider friends and family here in America.

Lumpia (Filipino Egg Rolls)
Lumpia is a type of egg roll except it’s mainly filled with meat. You could use pork or beef or both. Its yummy recipe and great to serve as finger food.

1lb ground pork
1lb ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
¼ cup soy sauce
1 egg
2 ½ teaspoons black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 (16oz) package spring roll wrappers
1 ½ quarts oil for frying

In a Large bowl, combine ground pork, ground beef, onion, and carrot. Make sure to completely mix everything. I suggest getting down and dirty and use your hands. Knead the meat in the bowl if you must. Gradually blend in the egg, soy sauce, black pepper, garlic powder, and salt until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Lay out a few wrappers at a time on a flat surface, and place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in a line down the center of the wrapper. Make sure the filling is no thicker than your thumb, or the wrapper will cook faster than the meat. Take the bottom and top edges of the wrapper and fold them towards the center. Take the left and right sides, and fold them towards the center. Moisten the last edge of the wrapper to seal. Now repeat using the rest of the wrappers.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or heavy skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry 3 or 4 lumpia at a time. Fry for about 3 or 4 minutes, turning once. Lumpia are cooked through when they float, and the wrapper is golden brown. Cut in half, or serve as is with dipping sauce. We like sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce with lemon, or banana ketchup.

Ericka Pagurayan

Aloft San Francisco Airport

What Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means to me is learning about the food, culture, and traditions. Personally, I love working in hospitality because I get to learn about different cultures and how beautiful they are. Every day I would ask my colleague, Katlyn Woo, about her culture and she would show me the different types of food and celebrations that they have. I am always excited to learn about their food because of the flavors that is in the dish itself. I am born and raised here in California, but my family was born and raised in the Philippines, but migrated here for a better life. My grandparents didn’t really talk to me in English as it wasn’t their first language, so they taught me how to speak Tagalog. I’m so thankful that they taught me how to speak Tagalog because now I am able to speak it fluently and understand it as well. I love learning about the Philippines because there is a lot of celebrations and festivals there. I believe that I will never forget my roots and I will always be thankful for my family for sacrificing a lot just for my sister and I and for our future family to have a great life.

A recipe I would like to share is Filipino-Style Spaghetti. We usually have spaghetti in every birthday celebration. The joke is that you know it’s a Filipino party when you see the spaghetti and lumpia together LOL.

Filipino-Style Spaghetti
1 LB uncooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon oil
4 Filipino-Style hotdogs, sliced diagonally
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded cored and chopped
1 LB ground beef
2 cups of tomato sauce
½ cup of tomato paste
1 cup banana ketchup
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of Eden cheese shredded

In a pot over medium heat, cook spaghetti in salted boiling water and once fully cooked drain
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. (Medium low heat)
Add the hot dogs
Once the hot dogs are cooked, add the onions and garlic
Add the ground beef and stir occasionally until the ground beef is broken into small pieces and browned. (drain the excess fat)
Add tomato sauce
Add tomato paste
Add banana ketchup
Add sugar
Season to taste with salt and pepper
Put the spaghetti noodles into a foil tray
Put the sauce on top of the noodles
Add the shredded cheese on top of the spaghetti sauce

Another traditional recipe I would like to share is Sinigang. Sinigang is a tamarind soup where the flavors are sour, but savory. There are many different types of sinigang; pork, shrimp, fish, etc. Personally, my favorite is pork (either pork spare ribs or pork belly) because it pairs really well and the pork soaks up the flavor from the broth. There are varieties of vegetables that you can add to the soup such as bok choy, radish, string beans, eggplant, taro plant, okra, etc. I love eating Sinigang especially on a cold day it really hits the spot! I also have the fish sauce with chili peppers mixed in it (this sauce with the sinigang hits DIFFERENT) Here is how to make Sinigang Spare ribs:

Pork spare ribs
Fish sauce
Long beans
Bok Choy
Sinigang powder mix
Chili peppers

Cut the onion and the tomatoes into 4 pieces
Grab a large pot and add a lot of water
Add the onion and tomatoes while the water is boiling
Add the pork spare ribs
Wait for the spare ribs to become tender
Once the ribs are tender, add the Sinigang mix
I prefer to use the mix to save time, but you also have the choice to make it from scratch.
Add the vegetables last so the vegetables are not overcooked.
Use fish sauce to season to taste

Maricel Walker

Restaurant Supervisor
Hotel Viking

Asian American Heritage Month means a lot to me because I take pride in where I came from and am proud to share the culture with all of my team and embrace the traditions, specifically food.

I love Christmas, because we all get together at midnight and do the Noche Buena. We cook a lot of food and have a party (which means to us lots of food) and karaoke.

One of the most popular dishes is Pansit Adobo lechon (Whole Roast Pork) which we have at every birthday.

Our Big Birthday celebrations are 18 for girls and 21 for boys, similar to a sweet 16 in America or a Quincenera in Spanish culture.