Filipinos Around The World Draw Their Pandemic Comfort Recipes

When the world is upside down, there are few things that can make it right — and for Filipinos, that is our native food.

On Sunday, May 3, A group of 75 Filipinos around the world gathered in a virtual workshop hosted by the artist Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream, The Digital Sala, a virtual Filipinx Literary Festival, to illustrate on a postcard a recipe of a Filipino dish that has given them great comfort during the pandemic. Each participant was matched with a penpal — and were asked to physically mail their postcard to someone else at the workshop. The idea was, in this age of social distancing, to create real-life connections and bring Filipinos together, literally, through food.

The writer Eddy Alegre, co-author of Sarap: Essays on Philippine Food, wrote about that special relationship that Filipinos have with food:

“We do not simply ingest our environment. We dance to it, dance with it, sing to it, caress it; we are in awe of it, and respectful towards it. Eating is not just ingestion. Eating is the occasion for the rites and rituals of our lives. Eating is praxis in social amenities. Eating is language that speaks of the nuances of what we are. Eating is making alive the various and variegated conjugations of our lives.”

Here’s a selection of illustrated recipes from the participants. Check out more recipes on social media with the hashtag #filipinxrecipecard — and make your own!

Adobong Talong

Zwei Lagat, Atlanta


Yasmin Tayag, New York City


Leilani Lynch, Miami


Izzy Docto, Canada

Hot Cacao

Amanda Andrei, Los Angeles

Vegan Sinigang

David Maduli, Oakland


Zim Dela Pena, Las Vegas


Tricia Guarin, Brooklyn

Lumpiang Togue

Julie Sayo, Baltimore


Leah Segui, Washington, D.C.


Emi Okikawa, Seattle


Nadia Mujalli, Massachusetts

Gising Gising

Betty Ann Quirino, New Jersey

Karne Norte

Greg Narvas, Los Angeles

Spam Sandwich

Abby Armada, Long Island, N.Y.

Tortang Talong

Mark Calaguas, Chicago


Katrina Regino

Ginataan Bilo Bilo

Rina Osawa, Virginia

Chicken Tocino

Kimberly Boral, Bay Area


Rachel Lucero, San Francisco


Hari Alluri, Canada

Fruit Salad

Katerina Montaniel

I’m adding more on a rolling basis! For now, good night! xx Malaka

Writer, editor and illustrator based in Washington, D.C.

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