Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays that most people look forward to every year. It all started with the Pilgrims and Native Americans way back 1621. They had a three-day celebration as a way of saying thanks for a successful harvest.
Have you ever wondered why we don’t celebrate this holiday in the Philippines? Well, I believe we do. We don’t have thanksgiving, but we do have fiestas. Fiesta or festivals are celebrated for various reasons: founding anniversary of a barangay (local community), gratitude for a good harvest, or honoring a patron saint. Imagine how many of these local festivities are held each year. Tons! And it isn’t just a one day celebration; some lasts a few days or an entire week. Remember the amateur singing competitions held during a fiesta? How about the traditional Filipino games such as breaking the palayok (pot) while blindfolded, and palo-sebo wherein you would have to climb an oil-greased pole? Do you still remember wearing your best clothes to a community dance night?—here you get a chance to ask your crush for a dance as your friends giggle and tease you.
Fun isn’t it? How wonderful would it be if you could hold a thanksgiving party that could capture the Filipino fiesta spirit for a change? You can always go the extra mile by decorating your place with banderitas (triangle party streamers) and preparing parlor games. But, if you want a simple thanksgiving party that’s only a little closer to your roots, then why not give your traditional Thanksgiving recipe that much needed Filipino touch? Food, after all, is the highlight of every Filipino celebration. With the following recipes, you’ll surely hit close to home.
Instead of a traditional roast turkey, why not cook Rellenong Manok and have Mang Tomas on the side as your gravy? You can also have Chicken Inasal as another option. Sautéed beans is another thanksgiving staple that you’re better off. Serve Chop Suey or Adobong Kangkong for your veggies and even the kids will enjoy it. Last but definitely not the least, would a fiesta be complete without the undefeated tandem of Ube and Leche Flan for dessert? Of course not!
These dishes are your must-haves, but considering how big a usual Filipino extended family is, you’ll surely have to prepare more. Feel free to browse our long list of quick and easy recipes to help you out. One last tip: it’s the perfect time to use the special dishes that your mom would only bring out during special occasions. Savor the chance, because the next time you get to use them might be on Christmas day.