Almost all of my friends already know that religious traditions, like undas, are rare in my system and everyone knows the reputation of Pampanga in culinary matters. So my Pampanga trip, I filed a vacation leave for it, became a feast for my peptic juices especially since October 31 and November 2 are my mom’s and grandma’s birthdays.

Imagine 3 days of non-stop eating. From the very first steamed talangka (crablet) served by the time we arrived on the morning of my mom’s birthday to the fresh tilapia and hito (catfish) we grilled and fried.

Viands as ordinary as lumpiang shanghai and as exotic as calderetang bibe (duck). Sweets like maja blanca and ubeng calamay aside from the usual merienda of spaghetti, pancit canton, pancit bihon and siopao. Ice cream (Coffee Crumble and Very Rocky Road) were also bought as requested by the kids. My brother-in-law also cooked some Japanese snack of vegetables and squid, the name of which sounds too awkward for me to remember. A hot bowl of Sinigang na Baboy sa Bayabas is not bad to cap those three days, right?

No wonder Ikkang sarcastically told me that I might be 30-pounds lighter by the time I got back here in Manila. My girlfriend is wishing aloud.