The Reason Why I Started Fresh Saturdays

My mom and her beautiful spread of food in our dining room table

In this Article


Me eating spaghetti and the happiest kid ever

If you’re reading this, it’s because of my mum. Let me explain. 

I was around five when I realised my mum was the best cook. I remember waking up to the aroma of breakfast wafting through the air – and it could be as simple as noodles, rice with hotdog, or pancakes but for me, it would always be the best I’d ever have. 

I was around ten when I realised my mum loved to go out to eat. I remember, every Sunday, waking up early and eager to go out. Every after our 10 AM mass, we would go out and find somewhere new to eat or go have lunch at our tried and tested comfort food restaurants in the city. Either way, it made me excited to get out of the house and feast. 

I was around 15 when I realised my mum was a super cook too! See, she was an amazing doctor back home – a pediatrician who appeared on TV, had beautiful clinics, and someone loved by so many of her colleagues and patients. However, that’s not her only day job. Sometimes, she would cater for others too! She was so good at cooking and baking that she would get invited to events and ask if she could – and she would. She loved expressing herself through food that much. Her friends and colleagues always raved about her Food for the Gods bars, chicken a la king, or her simple but unique baked chicken. And as a young, impressionable teenager, that really changed my perspective of how food can be a fantastic vehicle for art, expression, and love. 

Later in her life, she brought up the idea of owning a bakery or a cafe – aptly called Thelma’s Blue Kitchen – and started that endeavour by selling her own goods that her customers loved. I was ecstatic as a little kid – seeing my mum own her talents and skills like that; and as the kids say today, that was very mother of her. 

I was around 20 when I realised I didn’t quite liked the path I was on. Like mom, I ventured towards the medical field but didn’t quite get the passion she had. I took a year off and while I was finding myself, I got lost in the world of baking. Somehow I ended up opening my own at-home bakery – providing for little cafes, selling online, and joining food expos. I would get up at 4 AM to bake and my mom would get up and join in the trenches with me. Not only that, she would also drive me around to deliver all the goods. I didn’t know what I was doing but to be honest, it didn’t matter. My mom was there with me, dedicating her precious time towards helping me express my own love for food and flavour. What mattered was I felt safe to do so. 

I could go on and on about all the little and big moments she let us know she loved us – sick days, happy days, birthdays, weddings, and most importantly – the days in-between the big ones. The ones where my sister and I would be watching our favorite TV show, probably bored and hungry, and mom would unexpectedly shout, “May pagkain sa baba! Tara na, pataying niyo muna TV at kain tayo!” (translate: there’s food downstairs! Let’s go, turn off the tv first and let’s eat!”) Those were the best days – as simple and as joyous as her screaming at us that there were snacks on the table. 

I was 25 when we found out our mom was sick.  A brain tumor that wouldn’t go away. She fought hard for two years and at the young age of 65, our mom passed away.

See – I am here, in this little corner of the internet where I get to share my thoughts about food, culture, and sometimes life, because of her. My mom’s loving devotion towards making sure we were well fed – whether by her or through her excitement of cafes and restaurants, is quite literally why I get so excited over food. I love making it, I love learning about it, and I love eating it; but most importantly, I absolutely love sharing it. It has now become a part of my heart – from the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep, my mind is filled with “what can I cook for my family today?” or “where can we eat today?”. It is such a privilege to be able to think this way – to freely express through words and actions my own love for food. Little did I know that all those years growing up, I was absorbing all the love she gave me. Now, my heart and my belly are full, and I fully know it’s my turn to share the same love. I have so much of it. 

I hope as you read through my posts, know that I appreciate you staying. More importantly, as you read a review or a recipe, know that you just read a piece of my heart. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms everywhere. and to my own up in Heaven, I promise to keep on cooking. 

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