Celebrating Independence: A Day of Patriotism (and Pigging Out) at Rizal Park!

Written by Annika Villarroel, Photos by Fj Daniell Chua

Food, and sharing food, has always been a huge part of the Filipino culture. It’s like second nature to say “halika, kain tayo” or  “come and eat with us” to anyone who arrives when we are eatingwhether they’re strangers or close friends. There’s something so personal about sharing a meal between people that it becomes a bridge in building great relationships. Which is why it’s the one thing that’s never missing during meetings, family gatherings, and parties. Food—it simply brings everyone together.

WATCH: The Funny Reactions of American Kids Trying Filipino Food

Last Monday, the Philippines celebrated its 119th Independence Day. I was a 17-year-old looking for a place to relish in patriotism, and it was such a sunny day outside that it just seemed like the perfect time to hang around in green fields, while of course enjoying great food. What is an Independence Day celebration without food, anyway?

Eventually, I found myself at Rizal Park. The historical venue was awash with colorsparticularly of blue, red, and white. The Philippine flag was being waved everywhere, by kids, by vendors, and on the poles of tents of the countless booths set up for the celebrations. Rizal Park was so alive that day.

Strolling around under the striking heat of the sun, it didn’t take long before I started to feel a bit hungry. There were a ton of choices surrounding me, but I came across this blue food truck, and it just stood out. I was pulled in.

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So I went, deciding to grab late lunch thereat Nutri-Asia’s Joy Ride Food Truck. One look at their menu and I was stoked! They had all sorts of international dishes made with a Filipino twist. And a great assortment of super refreshing drinks, too. The best part? They’re super affordable, only ranging from 60 pesos to 80 pesos per snack. Wow.

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I got myself this snack, called an Adoburrito, because it’s an adobo flavored burrito! I loved the flavor of the humba—not only does it give the adoburrito that sweet twist that makes you want more, there is nothing like the taste of humba to remind you of home. How patriotic is that?

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I loved these crispy Skinny Chicks too, which is basically chicken skin. There are three flavors to choose from: cheese, sour cream, or barbecue. I enjoyed the barbecue flavoring so much, I brought home tons of the Fry and Shake breading and flavor mix packets (which is what the Skinny Chicks were flavored with) that they were giving away!

Now for my drinks, I had a selection of Locally drinks that came in all sorts of cute names.

Nutriasia 8Calamansi’s The Day!

And just look at how cute that packaging is!

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Being a certified calamansi lover, I ended up drinking three bottles of the Calamansi’s The Day (don’t judge me).

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While enjoying yet another round of Skinny Chicks, I stood by admiring the higantes mascots, with dozens of people asking to take photos with them.

And not long after, the Animo Squad of DLSU joined in on the celebrations that day, and performed a little routine complete with a lot of jumps and twirls called the “Fry and Shake Dance”! They did some stunts and throws too, which really left us impressed.

What a great way to end my day!

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Fiestas, salu-salos, boodle fights, Filipinos do really love to celebrate with food.

The Filipino spirit can be found in our foodin the sapin-sapin, sinigang, kare-kare to name a few, and of course, in the world-famous adobo that is considered a staple on dining tables across the country. And that’s what Nutri-Asia’s Joy Ride Food Truck is all about. Celebrating Filipino spirit through the flavors we love.

Do you love Pinoy food? Comment down below your most favorite food hybrids or Filipino dishes!

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