Remembering: The kind of Adobo I am

Nothing I could do at 72 mph…Brapabump!

By Monica Anne Bauer

This Sunday morning was heavy mist, light drizzle on my way to work. Sunday morning at 5:00 on the Deegan Expressway is smooth sailing. No trucks, few cars, lots of long bends, and long gradually sloping hills. 70+ is just nice. I came over a rise at about 72 and directly in front of me was a fresh carcass about 20 pounds of fresh ground meat. Nothing I could do at that speed. I was not about to swerve and kill myself for some recently killed animal.

Brapabump, one second and it was over. I thought to myself, “Poor bastard…I wonder what it was.” I imagined a cute bunny or a fluffy cat. Then the smell of skunk filled my car. I smiled and thought, “Of course.” I rolled down the windows and turned on the air. The aroma was brief but amusing enough.

Social media has turned us into spontaneous storytellers. Our new feature called “Remembering: Pinoy. Powerful. Personal” is a collection of short essays of memories pushed aside by time and making themselves apparent in the writer’s present. Some of the essays are contributed; others culled from social media posts. To send your essays, email

The kind of Adobo I am

By Audrey Enriquez

There was a time I became desperate to learn how to make my own Filipino food. The easiest? Adobo

Thank goodness Pinoy cuisine is as versatile as it is forgiving. With just garlic, pepper, soy sauce, and vinegar (I’ve been told to add a bay leaf, but where do you find that in the concrete jungle?), I’ve been able to experiment and somehow, conjure memories of home on my own with my ‘puede na’ Adobo. Whether it be straight up Adobong Manok with Sinangag, Adobong Spinach as a side dish to the deep-fried pork belly or Adobong Mushroom pulutan on a baguette with wine, just the garlicky/peppery/soy-saucy/vinegary scent brings me back to Manila.

I’d sit in my apartment lost in thought after every bite, remembering my mom and her earrings (because Lola would get angry if you didn’t wear earrings!) and my dad and his shirt sleeves rolled up (because that’s how he wore them in ‘Garay).

Next thing you know, my foot is up on my seat and I’m resting my elbow on it as I take the next bite because that’s the only way you  know ang sarap ng kinakain mo – itaas mo ang paa mo!

I’m laughing at how much I’m like my own ‘puede na’ Adobo as I adjust to living amid a pandemic, or as good as a traditional Adobo as an English teacher. Or I could be a side dish Adobo with my Pinoy ingenuity.

Excuse me while I put my foot up.

Forever Business Owner: Nieva Quezon Burdick

(C) The FilAm 2021

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