Food, family and relationships

Food to me means more than the nourishment it brings. While I take in food at least three times a day, its importance goes far beyond my (and my family’s) daily sustenance. As a member of a food-loving bunch and being a foodie myself, I see food as an integral part of my relationships not just with my family, but also with my friends and other people around me. In fact, I see food as an important ‘tool’ to help build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Let me explain why.

Apart from our usual activities such as sports, movies, vacations and others, our family bonds over food whether at home or elsewhere. This is why meal time is always a no-gadgets time for us. As I always tell my kids, we should connect with one another in the real world and not with some avatars and ‘netizens’ who we barely know in the virtual world. I make it a point to go home early from work to have dinner with my kids because it is at this time that I get to really talk to them and ask them how their day was and what their school needs are. Mornings are crazy as everyone’s rushing to school and work, and lunches are spent with other people, so dinners together are a must for me. As I don’t cook (partly because I don’t have time and partly because I have a very limited list of can-cook dishes πŸ™‚ ), I sometimes pick up their favorite food from a nearby restaurant on my way home, order food for delivery, or request their lola (grandma) to cook for us. In any case, we enjoy our food and each other’s company even more.

On weekends, we indulge our cravings for Chinese / Cantonese, Thai, American, Mexican, Italian and Filipino-Spanish cuisine and normally pig out at our favorite restaurants. Sometimes, we even drive a couple or more hours just to get to a popular place and try out their specialty dish. I don’t mind spending for food, really, but I make sure (yes, I actually do research!) we go to a restaurant that serves good and satisfying dishes for both adults and kids. Even occasional meetups with our extended families are almost synonymous with…(surprise!) food. πŸ™‚

Family celebrations and milestones are even more special. We dress up a little more than usual and go through the scrumptious buffet spread of a fancy restaurant or hotel. Birthdays, in particular, usually last more than a day and involve a lot of eating with different sets of people. Beyond the food, however, it’s the meaningful conversations and stronger relationships built through those dining sessions that matter the most.

In the same manner, my relationship with my husband is food-heavy. From simple lunch dates (when our work schedules allow us), to after-office quick bites before heading home on a Friday night, food is always present. And why not? It’s fun to reminisce about your boyfriend-girlfriend years while munching on your favorite comfort food, right? πŸ™‚ It is also quite a stress reliever to devour a nicely-grilled steak while you try to forget the office drama scenario you’re unfortunately in.

Food is likewise a big part of our ‘monthsary’, and more so, anniversary celebrations. We use these occasions as opportunities to try out the hottest and trendiest restaurants – usually quite far from our weekend go-to places – and dig into dishes that we won’t (or can’t) normally eat when we’re with the kids. And when we travel abroad, we see to it that we get to sample local delicacies and visit the must-try restaurants in the area. So, yes, we do spend a good chunk of our vacation for food because we know that experiencing new things and tasting new flavors together makes for a great bonding moment.

Of course, reunions or spur-of-the-moment meetups with friends always mean there’s food in front of us. It’s like it fuels our happy conversations and throwback stories, and makes us forget that we’ve been in the same restaurant table for five straight hours.

Even at work, food is at the front and center of every birthday, promotion, and other milestone celebration. It’s as if it’s impossible to have fun in a serious setting such as the workplace without having yummy food for everyone in the team.

Yes, I am a certified foodie, and I am proud of it! And since I love both food and writing, I decided to put my passion to good use by telling you about the restaurants and dishes that I think you should try (and the ones that you shouldn’t waste your money on). Please check out my profile and reviews atΒ Zomato.Β I will also start to feature in my website my favorite restaurants here and abroad, so please do watch out for that. πŸ™‚

Here’s to all foodies out there. Happy eating, everyone! πŸ™‚

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