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Food is a very important part of a Filipino's life. No gathering would be complete without the lechon and so many other Filipino delicacies that we so enjoy. In my personal observation, it can be said that Filipinos seem to live simply for the pleasure of eating. You can't visit a home without being offered a drink and food from the people there. It seems that food and the Filipino have been deeply rooted together. It may be that through food that brings the Filipino family close together.
Indeed, we have come a long way from simply catching our prey and eating it raw and bloody. We have turned cooking and baking into an art form. Of course, through the help of modern inventions, cooking has evolved so much that it doesn't even take you the whole day to prepare a meal that tastes like a feast! Microwaves and electric stoves replace all those clay pots and stone oven used a long time ago. Everything we need comes in neat little packages that just need to be opened, reheated and, Voila! Dinner is served.
It wasn't this easy during the time of our grandmothers although there were many improvements in the culinary arts. Women still had to slave over hot stoves, go to the market each morning to buy fresh ingredients and transform it to the sumptuous meals we all enjoy. Hard as it was to prepare food, this was the daily chores women did together that has bound them into one close-knit family. Yes, modern equipment have made lives so much easier, but some things in life that can't be replaced by machines. In addition, some very important things are completely lost thanks to the modernization.
Just imagine this quaint little scene in the lives of our grandmothers in the provinces. Come the day of the feast of whoever their patron saint, all of the women would gather in houses to start the preparations for the feast. Congregating in a specific spot (most usually the house of the wealthiest neighbor), they would formulate their game plan. Who would cook this and that, who would be in-charge of doing every little thing imaginable. For almost a week every year, they would busily go about their cooking with the other women in their village. This secret ritual is somewhat like the essay of straightening hair as a secret society. These cooking pros are in fact secret societies of the villa
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