曾宛穎 TSANG Uen Wing
伍津樂 NG Chun Lok
孫禮樂 SUN Li Lok
Family relationship is a crucial part of the Filipino life. The Filipinos love spending time with their families, no matter it is an ordinary night or a great festival. Among all festivals, our interviewee Sherry’s favorite is Christmas.
In the Philippines, around 80% of the locals are catholic, hence the religion has a strong influence on the country and thus has led to a unique culture and festival custom. The Filipino Christmas is different from the Christmas in other countries. It begins as early as September and ends in the next January. This is the most important festival throughout the year. The Filipinos overseas, including Sherry and her mother, all return to their homeland.
When Sherry was very young, she was raised by her grandparents because her parents were too poor to bring her up. She has three younger sisters, but they have little chance to meet and stay together, even though they are all in the Philippines. Every year, Christmas is the day she looks forward to and treasure, since she and her mother, who work in Hong Kong, will return home for celebration. Sherry’s sisters learnt to cook the essential Christmas dish, Filipino spaghetti, when she was thirteen, and they cooked it for the whole family during the festive season.
Spaghetti is prepared in various ways in the Philippines. Sherry’s sisters know that she loves deliciously chewy food, so they cook the spaghetti with the simplest method and ingredients to ensure it has Sherry’s favored texture. Sherry knew from her sisters that they spent more than half a year to find out how to prepare her favorite spaghetti. They ate all the “failures” in the trials. To Sherry, spaghetti is a symbol of her reunion with her family. It also reminds her that family relationship is the most important and irreplaceable.
Translated by YIM Yuen Hai, Carolina