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Out of the many Filipino delicacies there is there’s only one that’s been my favorite–and that’s adobo.

adobo1.jpgI don’t like Sinigang (that much). I don’t like Mechado (that much either). And I don’t like Laing (at all). I only like Adobo.

Mom had a penchant for cooking Adobo and experimenting with the ingredients. Now I’m not out to lash out at my mom because I love her so much, but let’s just say she’s not the perfect cook out there. Once she cooked Adobo that was so dry it tasted like Fried Chicken (hehe). Then she learned that we didn’t like dry Adobo, so she peppered her next serving with lots of Soy Sauce and Vinegar, and it actually tasted better.

Adobo has been well known to be the Ultimate Filipino Food. It’s even been dubbed as the Philippines’ national dish, for that matter. But have we come to think who prepares our favorite, sumptuous Adobo?

It’s called the Ultimate Filipino Food but the delectable Adobo is almost always prepared by–guess who–the Filipina.

It’s been said that there are as many recipes of Adobo as there are households in the Philippines. Truly, every serving of Adobo differs from the other. Some taste salty, some taste sweet, and some taste sour. But they’re all Adobo.

I have a friend who prepares Adobo in a unique way. When I saw her Adobo, I thought it was Afritada or even Mechado. It was soaked in orange sauce and had some vegetables to go with it. I asked her what she put in it and she revealed her secret: atsuete. When I tasted the dish, I was surprised. It tasted exactly like the Adobo I was used to having!

Another friend of mine does Adobo in another way. She lets the concoction simmer until all the sauce have been absorbed by the chicken or the pork. After that’s done, she takes it to a kawali then fries the adobo until it starts to flake. This adobo, therefore, tastes something like adobong fried chicken and tastes absolutely great!

All this talk about adobo has got me thinking how the Adobo is very much similar to the Filipina I’ve come to know.

Each Filipina is different in her own right. Some are sweet, some are stubborn, some are very caring. Some have become very liberated, changing with the flows of the time. Some have broken from the clutches of the classic Maria Clara image and emancipated themselves to become whatever they wanted to be. Some have fulfilled their dreams. Some have followed their own stars.

But just like a play I watched some months ago (entitled Damas de Noche), the Filipina comes back to her own image even before the Spaniards conquered the Philippines and gave us the Maria Clara image of the Filipina–caring, compassionate, loving, gentle. Understanding but assertive, patient but fierce.

Just like the adobo that’s a mix of totally different ingredients mixed together to create a very beautiful concoction. But no matter how different the adobo mixture is, and how different the manner of cooking is, it’s still adobo–a unique dish that the Filipinos can always be proud of. Anytime, anywhere.

And of course, adobo that’s always proudly made by none other than the Great Filipina.

This post is an entry to the Filipina Writing Project.  This writing project will not be possible without the support of sponsors such as Barangay.ph, Kababayan.ph, MyUSMailbox.com, RegaloService.com, Acclaim Butterflies, and Chikka.com.

*Photo from http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/tagalog/Adobo1.jpg


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