‘Twas a Difficult Read

I’ve just finished reading the novel from which the movie My Sister’s Keeper was adapted. The book, which had the same title (of course) was by Jodi Picoult.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult was introduced to me by the very cinema where I saw the trailer of My Sister’s Keeper. And then her name was offered to me again by one of my friends who also loves to read. It actually took me a long time to get my hands on a book of hers, well, on My Sister’s Keeper. And it took me longer than that to actually pick my brain for decent thoughts about it.

On the Novel: Style, Content, etc.

Before reading the novel, I was already marveling at the idea of the story partly because I’ve seen it in the motion picture version and partly because it was the first of its kind that I’d ever heard. I deduced Picoult isn’t your ordinary writer. She’s got something else. A very visible heart, I guess. A heart that dictates the words more than her mind does. And a wide, wide range of thoughts on life.

While reading the novel, the next thing I marveled at was the amount of information Picoult was able to incorporate in her story. I’ve read a lot of Grishams so I can somehow say that law and fiction is a palatable combination for me as much as it’s understandable. But it was the first time that I saw both law and medicine together in a story. And if Picoult never even got to the threshold of either practice, then she’s one hell of a researcher. I was both annoyed and amazed at the facts she was able to research and include. Annoyed because, well, there were too much words that simply flew out the window before I managed to pronounce them. And amazed because these were words you’d really have to look for.

I also liked the way it was written in the first perspective point of view of each character. I always say I have reservations against the first person style. Like, if you write in that way, then you make sure your narrator is either omnipresent or omniscient enough. But this time, under Picoult’s hands, I got the best first person story ever. I didn’t have to wonder how the others were feeling over the entire story and conflict. And yes, maybe it was a bit difficult because I had to keep in mind who the narrator was supposed to be in a specific part of the story. But still, in a story like this one, you’ve got to know what each person was thinking. And that’s just well taken-care of.

I remember reading a movie review written about My Sister’s Keeper, about how the review-writer thought the film lacked enough transitory excitement because there were simple fade-to-blacks and fade-ins, as if the director didn’t think about how to do the storytelling with transitions. Well, I guess it was exactly the way the novel was written. One paragraph has Anna telling you about what’s happening at present, then in the next paragraph, talking about a past incident. That’s without transition, too. Like fade-to-black and fade-in. It gets irritating sometimes, because you have to keep your head into what you’re reading or you’d get lost in the stories and anecdotes told without a seeming pattern. But effective nonetheless.

Movie and Book

(WARNING: Spoilers may be included.)

I could say ‘movie vs. book’ or probably use ‘or’, ‘/’, or even a ‘-‘. But no, I’ve said before that I loved the movie and I’m not anywhere near taking it back. I can only merely compare, wish there are things that didn’t happen, and voice out my opinions. By that, I mean that as much as I love the movie, I still wish there weren’t parts or characters cancelled out or changed.

Judge DeSalvo as a male in the novel but was portrayed as a female in the movie, Sara’s sister Suzanne’s name was changed to Kelly, the more focus given to Kate and Taylor’s going out–all of these are forgivable alterations. I’ve had a lot of Harry Potters to understand that.

But Jesse being an ignored dyslexic kid in the movie but was actually a pyromaniac in the novel, I wish they didn’t change that. Someone from that family has to knock hard enough to be noticed in spite of Kate, and if Anna couldn’t do that then Jesse maybe could. I also wish they didn’t exclude Julia Romano and Campbell Alexander’s connection with her. I think there wasn’t a single important character in that movie who came in without a plausible reason. Campbell had to have that, which went beyond his being an epileptic, and Julia could have provided that. Lastly, I wished they didn’t erased Anna’s prowess at hockey because I thought it was the perfect metaphor for her character. As Sara said so, Anna always saves.

And then there’s the ending. Which I’m still working on right now and would have to wait for later. But I promise to make the most of it before I conclude.

Characters

Picoult’s characters will have you rocking back and forth and racking your heart on how you would feel toward them. That much I can say. I went constantly in conflict with myself and with my beliefs as I tried to understand and work my way around each person.

Sara. I don’t understand how a mother’s mind works. Maybe it really could make you do all the things Sara’s done, believe in all her beliefs, put Anna into all those painful surgeries for Kate to survive. Or maybe it won’t. That’s why I’m undecided whether I’d hate Sara or admire her potency. I could hate her for ignoring Jesse and using Anna just because she couldn’t let go of Kate. But then if she had let go before, then she wouldn’t have Anna. And everyone’s life wouldn’t change. So maybe I’d stick with something I’ve always believed in: that mothers have this tendency to love more the child that needs her most. Don’t tell me she could love every one of her children equally. She’s supposed to, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Brian. The firefighter through and through. I see a lot of my father in Brian Fitzgerald and maybe that’s why I like him so much. He’s there, both the beacon and the extinguisher. He’s as confused and conflicted as he is sure of the way out. I like him for that, too, although of course I wish he didn’t turn his back on Anna at trial. The kid could use one of her parents taking her side, too.

Jesse. At one point or another, there’s always a Jesse around. One who destroys because he couldn’t save. One who’s got more in him than what he lets meet your eye. His recollections in the novel aren’t the simple rants of some neglected kid, his are significances of just how much neglect a child can survive and forgive before they turn to the more harmful option of drawing attention to themselves through hatred. I would probably like it more if he was given a proper send-off, but I guess we could make do with him accepting his faults.

Julia. I’m partly irritated at the fact that Julia didn’t actually help out Anna, that her perspective of the child wasn’t even very different from the others. So why include her in the story at all? I won’t even be surprised if that’s the reason that the movie crew decided to leave her out. But Julia’s character had an effect over Campbell’s. She made him more humane and that helped because Anna’s case wasn’t as simply as an evidence-driven one.

Campbell. Well, he wasn’t the Campbell that Alec Baldwin portrayed. He made me happy that I read the book after I saw the movie. Because the difference was so striking it could’ve bordered on annoying. But he was very smart, very lawyerly, and very admirable. He was honest with several touches of lies. And I especially loved his witty retorts to those who ask him about the service dog Judge. I also admired the way he took care of Anna, which may be rude at some points but was very touching at others.

Kate. I don’t know what to feel about Kate. And I know that’s not the default attitude. You’ve got to be for her, siding with her, pitying her even for a while before you make your mind up about her. But I didn’t feel that. Yes, she was dying and that’s a very hard fact to deal with. But there were times when I felt like she was taking for granted the fact that her family was doing everything they could for her. I felt like she was being so much of a brat and a drat, feeling her way through her sickness, knowing it kills everyone around her. I didn’t feel enough of the weakness she was supposed to have. But I liked her having the last part of the book because I did expect that of everyone who grieved for Anna, Kate would do so the most.

Anna. For a thirteen-year-old, she sure had so much in her. She understood things the way others didn’t. In many ways, I hated losing her in the end of the novel (this is sooooo spoiling, sorry). But maybe it was what should really happen (I’ll explain why later). I liked Anna’s bravery, her wisdom, and the many lessons she’s taught us in terms of family and selflessness.

The Ending

The very controversial ending, if I consider all the differing opinions about how the movie ended and how altered it was from the way the novel ended.

I’ve yet to find out why the director/screenplay writer decided to change the ending–meaning, why they chose Kate to die instead. But as for the book, I side with Picoult for letting Anna go instead.

If Anna didn’t die and she was medically emancipated and she decided to keep her kidney, nothing would prevent Kate’s death. I felt like if Kate died, Anna would live with two things: grief and guilt. Grief over losing her sister and guilt because even if she didn’t want to, she didn’t prevent what she could. And even if Anna gave a kidney and Kate still died, Anna would hate Sara forever because somehow, she’s likely to feel worn and used. And even if Anna gave a kidney and Kate lived, it would create a crack too deep for healing between them. There would be a whole lot of possibilities in exchange of Anna’s living. And each one of those would hurt everyone else, probably as much as Kate’s sickness did.

But Anna died and everyone grieved. Kate was taught the importance of the life her mother has stanchly fought for. Anna died and everything that hurt was erased, and even if it was replaced with a very hollow ache, the pain was bound to recede. Anna died and saved everyone else.

I wish I could write like Jodi Picoult–sensitive, thoughtful, heartfelt, and intelligent.

I have a sister, she’s younger than me, and thankfully we’re both healthy enough to live independently. Because I wouldn’t probably know what to do if I were Anna and she’s Kate, or if it’s the other way around.

Pair Up!

Recently, I have been seeing discussion among Tumblr users on the pairings that have happened and not happened in their favorite series/books/movies. For quite some time now, choices are being made, rationalized, and challenged. One group goes for Team Person A, another for Team Person B. Amusingly, there are those who go for neither sides being presented and choose an entirely another character relevant or not to the argument.

But I’m not here to take sides, whether or not I have interests over a particular faction. I’m here to merely voice out, or write about rather, my thoughts on these arguments. I have only three categories, by the way, as they’re the ones most prominent amongst the blogs I follow. And because they feature the eternal conflict of choosing between the best friend and the love interest.

Let’s take them one by one.

Category: The Twilight Saga

Over Which Girl: Bella Swan
The Contenders: Edward Cullen and Jacob Black

Bella is a teenage girl who moves in with her father in a small town where she meets and falls in love with Edward who, she later comes to know, belongs to a vampire coven. The story is mainly about that: vampire guy and human girl, the threats of the relationship worsened by the fatality of the supernatural. Then Bella befriends Jacob, who later develops to be a werewolf and the vampires’ archenemy. The romantic triangle becomes a default conflict especially after Bella herself realizes the kind of more-than-a-friend feeling she has for Jacob.

Edward and Bella

Why I Think it has to be Edward:

This is a difficult thought because as just himself, Edward’s character has never gained favors from me. He’s way too romantic and superbly beautiful for comfort. But for the sake of objectivity, I’d say it has to be Edward with Bella because he cares for  her. As in honest to goodness, I’ll-die-for-you, caring. And okay, maybe that’s because more than half of the threats to Bella’s life has came from Edward’s supernatural world. But the way he cares for her somehow brings out the child in Bella, which she’s never gotten while she has to take care of her mother. In a way, he complements her and since the books are written in Bella’s perspective, I like that Edward gets to bring out thoughts within her that she doesn’t find easy coming up with.

Why I Don’t Think it has to be Edward:

Because he’s too addicting for Bella. And I can’t personally ever consider that as a healthy base for a relationship. Bella can’t be her 100% self when she’s with him, either because she’s gonna get hurt or he’s gonna be uncomfortable. For me, it just defies the entire relationship to more conflict. And then everything just turns into this huge cliché that’s too tiring to let on for four solid books.

Jacob and Bella

Why I Think it has to be Jacob:

While Edward can take a bullet for Bella, Jacob can also do the same. And much more. He lets Bella be Bella. Jacob and Bella gets to be halves of a pair and still keep their own selves. He’s everything un-Edward when it comes to dealing with Bella, which somehow enables him to know what’s up with her before she even speak of it. He trusts Bella to be strong enough, which I saw those times he’d rather tell her the truth no matter how much it could hurt her.

Why I Don’t Think it has to be Jacob:

Because they’re best friends. And the argument just ends with that. You may say it’s a good point, starting off from the best friends level. But it’s not always the case. Because they become friends for being so like each other. And someday, they’d have to choose between that level of togetherness or going up a notch higher, with both options threatening to break the solidity with which they’ve built their friendship.

Category: The Hunger Games Trilogy
Over Which Girl: Katniss Everdeen
The Contenders: Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne

Katniss volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a horrid reality-show style of games where 2 kids from each of the 12 district in their country are thrown together in a dangerous arena to kill each other. The rule is simple, kill the 23 other kids and you win. This is where she allies with Peeta, the boy who’s once saved her and her family’s life with a loaf of bread. But while in the Games, they had to act like romantically taken with each other when an announcement was changed: last 2 kids from the same district to stay alive wins. This whole act troubles Katniss and amidst her reasons is Gale, her best friend (and somehow, an indicative more-than-friend) waiting for her back home.

Peeta and Katniss

Why I Think it has to be Peeta:

He nearly died protecting Katniss. If that doesn’t merit a vote, I don’t know what else. More than that, though, Peeta serves as the guy who puts Katniss’ fire out when it gets destructive. He also represents the bread that satisfies her hunger. He’s entirely different from Katniss, background and values and perspective considered. And that’s what makes him a perfect fit for her: he gets to maintain her survivor’s instinct, being the one who needs the more care, and also provides for her in the form of hope against her despondency.

Why I Don’t Think it has to be Peeta:

He slows Katniss down, softens her up, and brings out her weaknesses. And being fast, hard, and strong are all Katniss has. She’s not very talented when she’s without killer weapons. She’s not very smart when she’s not adrenaline-pumped to be. But she’s constantly fast, hard, and strong. Being with Peeta erases all that ultimately. Because being with him makes her dependent, and not even in the way he depends on her. It’s a dependence that if made habitual would never let Katniss grow further.

Gale and Katniss

Why I Think it has to be Gale:

Gale has been around the entire time Katniss is having difficulty keeping her family alive. He’s there when she breaks the law in their district and goes out for a hunt. While Peeta slows Katniss down, Gale does the opposite. He makes Katniss stronger, even if he doesn’t always have to lend her some of his strength. Gale is also a comfort to her, being the only one she gets to speak truthfully with.

Why I Don’t Think it has to be Gale:

Gale is Katniss’ best friend. Again. And if you’ve read the whole trilogy already, you would know it didn’t do both of them any good. Because it hurt them to the point that all their years of friendship just practically burned. Especially after Katniss was named Victor of the Games. Somehow, I’ve seen him jealous. Not because Katniss won and became famous, he’s not as shallow as that. But I think it’s because she got to have choices while he remained stuck with the bound life in their district. Plus he remained a constant pain for Katniss. She realized there was something she felt for him, and he knew that because knew her so much. And he used that against her. Frankly, that’s what put me off–the fact that he couldn’t be selfless enough for her.

Category: The Harry Potter Series
Over Which Girl: Hermione Granger
The Contenders: Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley

(This isn’t even 100% valid, because we all know JK Rowling has already decided not to even start this type of discussion. But because it’s being rampantly argued over, let’s do this.)

Hermione has been friends with Harry and Ron since their first year in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Mostly, the story is about Harry, his adventures with the two, his mission to get rid of the dark wizard Voldemort. On the background, is a teen story as complex as a wizarding novel. There’s Harry with girl problems and Ron with no-girl problems and Hermione with boy problems. In their sixth year together, though, realizations start coming in. By the epilogue, partners are built for life.

But at present, discussions have started to question JK Rowling’s choice. Harry-Ginny vs. Harry-Hermione vs. Ron-Hermione. I’m not thinking about the Harry-Ginny thing because it’s not very conflicting. So here goes my thoughts on the other two pairings.

Ron and Hermione

Why I Think it has to be Ron:

I side with Rowling when she said she made Ron and Hermione go together because they were complementary characters. Hermione for me doesn’t need some serious guy who’s serious about her in a serious manner. Because that’s outright boring and utterly stagnant. I think she has to be with someone who can thaw her out, someone who can make her smile even if its at stupidity’s expense, someone who can be on the receiving end of her brash caring and turn it into something very soothing. And that someone is Ron, of course. He might not be the smart, brave, daring guy who would turn Whomping Willows for her. But he’s loyal and fun and full of heart inspired by a large, loving family. And for Hermione who’s lost her parents to oblivion, that’s just who she needs.

Why I Don’t Think it has to be Ron:

Because he’s too expensive. Emotionally and mentally, that is. You’ve got to invest a lot so you can take back what you deserve. Ron seems to be on that mould, for me. And Hermione would benefit from some time off the thinking, let someone else do it for her without risking too much. I don’t think Ron can do that for her. In the long run, if you think about it, she just might be tired of all the thoughts that’s in her mind. And if we’re completely honest, when that happens, a Pensieve could do more than Ron.

Harry and Hermione

Why I Think it has to be Harry:

Because he understands her and she does him. Because she takes away from Harry the hot-headedness, the danger-loving impulse, and the messianic trait. And he gives her a lot of the credit she deserves. If we notice it, they get to be the last two together–except in the second novel–before Harry sets off alone to do the imminent life-risking. As in the 1st book, they’re left together to decipher the Potions riddle after Ron has been knocked out at wizards’ chess. As in the 3rd book, where they’ve traveled through the Time-Turner. As in the 4th book when she’s the one who stayed and helped with the Triwizard tasks when Ron was being eaten up by jealously. As in the 5th book, when they scared Umbridge off to the centaurs. As in the 7th book, when again Ron ran out on them. These are moments you’d find hard to forget when you grow old. And sometimes, I am assailed with the thought of Hermione, old beside a sleeping Ron, and thinking: “Wherever is the guy I fought Nagini for?”

Why I Don’t Think it has to be Harry:

Again, the cardinal argument: they’re best friends. Best-er friends than Ron and Harry are. Or than Ron and Hermione. All of those incidents I’ve mentioned above? Those are events you’d never get pass through if you’re with your, say, girlfriend. He’d always turn back, try to make sure Hermione isn’t captured by dark wizards even as he himself prepares for a battle with one. He’d never proceed without thinking what happens to her. And that wouldn’t have worked for Harry’s character. Not even for Hermione, because she’d know. She’d understand what has happened and she’d hate herself for it. That’s why best friends mostly don’t work being together. Because they lose the friendship that allowed them to be themselves.

Let me get down to the common denominators.

The love interests (Edward, Peeta, and Ron) are guys who doesn’t compare and parallel too much with the girls in question. That’s why they become interests. They have provoked something out of the girls that have made them, us, realize how relationships are really composed of two individuals melting together as one.

The other side (Jacob, Gale, and Harry) are the best friends who, save for Harry, have indeed thought about optioning themselves out for the girls to choose among. But they have the disadvantage of carrying with them a whole other sense of a strong relationship–friendship. And that’s a relationship that would be hard put to bring back together if shattered.

In the end, we can only assume. I can only weigh. The options have lied and have been picked by their respective writers. We can only nod at that fact, whether or not we agree.

Photo credits: Rotten Tomatoes (for the Twilight Saga and Harry Potter photos), thehungergamestribute.co.cc (for the Peeta and Katniss fan art), & theboywiththebread.tumblr.com (for the Gale and Katniss fan art).

Why not Facebook?

[Believe me, please, when I say: 1) I don’t know why I’m posting this one here; 2) I don’t mean to offend other people; and 3) this is 80% personal–which brings us back to #1.]

(And that’s a disclaimer.)

A blank stare, a questioning look, a you’re-ridiculous glare, and a blatant voiced-out ‘Why?’

These are what I get from people asking me if they can find me on Facebook and getting a ‘No’ for an answer. And I must admit that it is a reply very rare amongst my age. If I am a 30-year-old mother of three, maybe that’s forgivable. Or if I am a work-round-the-clock family provider. Or, which could be a better situation than any other, if I live in a cave.

 

Yeah, that's what they ask. (Photo from scrapetv.com)

But no, someone who doesn’t even go anywhere outside her front door most days must have all the time for updating a Facebook status. I won’t deny, yes I have that luxury. So why not be a Facebook user?

To tell you the truth, I do not have a straight one-rationale answer for that. It’s always a complex-woven range of reasons. And ones that have changed as time passes by and my life takes altering turns.

SILENCE

The first time I ever heard of the social networking queen (or king), I was watching my officemate log into her Facebook account. I was then an intern in a post-production company. Puzzled, I watched on as she prowled her online corridors and poked her head into her friends’ online rooms.

Then I concluded Facebook was just like Friendster made more complicated. I had one, a Friendster account, before through a secret mission my high school friends launched against me. They created it and I edited and used it a bit just to save myself from their further interference. But I lost interest, needless to say. Add in the fact that before, we didn’t have access to the Net at home and going out to Internet shops was a tiring, avoid-if-you-can thing. So now, the entire account had long since died until I had it officially buried.

I did not create a Facebook account because of that–I thought it was and would be as useless as my Friendster. It was just the same drill: log in, status (or shout-out), check on friends’ pages, try some apps, log out. How different could it be that I would find more enthusiasm for it than I did for the previous one? The answer: nothing much.

Hence, a still non-Facebook user I was when I entered my senior year in college. And the mayhem happened. Suddenly, everyone had Facebook accounts. They were affronting Friendster and even Multiply because, well, they thought Facebook was really way cooler. People had started asking me to create one, too. A page where they could somehow ‘see’ me and know more about me and talk to me through when we’re not in school.

I envisioned myself doing that, frankly. But I didn’t like what I saw: debating against myself on whether to accept a friend invitation or not, beating my online friends into seeing I’m online because I don’t wanna talk to them, rummaging around my brain for a status declaration that would somehow appear like a case of life-and-death.

No, I didn’t and still don’t like those scenes. I wanted my silence, my private life. If my friends would really want to talk to me, they would go even beyond the comfort of logging in to their Facebook accounts. Yes, I was that mighty-thinking. But reasonable, wasn’t I?

ANTI-GOSSIP

As time passed, I saw Facebook evolve through my friends’ conversations about it. They started picking gossips from the pages of not-so-friends, talking about what one’s status meant and how someone else’s seemed to contradict.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not 100% abhor gossiping. It’s a valuable part of human interaction. But probably, something about the idea of getting the gossip from as detached a place as Facebook puts me off. And maybe I think I don’t think I am as much of a gossiper as I’m letting on.

I do understand that Facebook has uses more than that one. Like in college when our batch representative sent announcements via the social networking site. But always, the news found me wherever in the offline community I was.

PRIDE

But if there was just one reason that had strengthened my resolution to keep well away from Facebook, it was my pride. On being the only one among my batch who never had a Facebook account (some of my batchmates had activated and deactivated theirs). On being the only one who did not have any other social networking accounts (I do have blogs–yes, in the plural–so I’m not totally offline). On claiming that news, FB-related or not, find me even if I don’t search for it.

If I want to hold my ground enough, that’s what I personally would anchor all my reasons on. But ultimately, I stand by what my college professor has taught us. That in the world of clicks and links, you only alert people of your presence if you can stay. And stay interesting enough, I guess.

In the end, I would forever remember what I’ve read in one issue of the Sunday’s Inquirer Magazine (that which comes free with the Sunday Inquirer), I want to ‘sign out and get a life‘.

My Christmas Menu

Well, so much for my excitement over the coming Christmas season, right? Whether on Tumblr or Blogger, I have expressed this sense of enthusiasm. And of course, will this blog miss out? No, definitely not.

Hence, a food blogpost related to the coming Yuletide. *stomach churning* *nom nom nom*

I want these foods on our table on Christmas Eve. How I would ever get my mother to buy or prepare these, I still need to decipher. But I’m being very fueled by the idea that across the street and directly in front of our house are my paternal, superb-food-lovers relatives. This Christmas would be their first to celebrate in that house thus they’re thinking of cooking grandly for the occasion. *jumping around eagerly*

Which means every now and then, we get to discuss what to cook/prepare/buy for that particular Christmas dinner. And on my relatively short but equally demanding list are:

1. Tiramisu

I have to say that my mouth has 99% of sweet teeth in it. Figuratively, of course. This means that between sugar and salt, I prefer the former any time. Hence, my ardor for desserts. And Tiramisu is my second-greatest love. Its preparation is fairly easy: just arrange everything together into Pyrex containers and then chill.

Tiramisu (sweetdreamsweb.com)

A sweet, sweet treat for a happy Christmas heart, it really makes opening the fridge (and well, walking toward it) worth the effort.

2. Barbecue

Barbecue (iskandals.com)

Pork and chicken. Nothing beats the smell of barbecue mingling with the coolness of the Christmas air, don’t you think? I have always associated grilling activities to three events: Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and family outings. And since our family is a bunch of meat-lovers, I’m pretty sure we’ll have enough stocks of coal and my father’s homemade barbecue sauce for Christmas. Oh to stay awake ’til midnight smelling grilled pork!

3. Doughnuts, Cinnamon rolls, Chocolate cakes

Well, pastries in general. Weird, I know. Much more because my idea of Christmas pastries are not the home-baked ones. They’re either store-bought or gift offerings.

Doughnuts! (krispykremecoupons.com)

Cinnamon Rolls! (whatscookingamerica.net)

Chocolate Cake! (bbcgoodfood.com)

It’s been two years since we’ve started having Krispy Kremes on the table for Christmas. Somehow, the doughnuts’ sweetness and fullness are good stomach-fillers when the main courses are not yet ready for serving. Plus, it’s a handy baon for a December 25 road-trip, which my family takes pleasure over. The same goes for the cinnamon rolls, which, in some years are replaced with ensaymadas, food for the gods, or even small fruit cakes.

As for the cakes, chocolate is our best bet.  I’m not quite sure, but I think my family has as much sweet teeth as I have that we mostly search for sugar-filled items to have for Christmas.

4. Buko Salad

See, what I’ve been saying about our/my love for everything sweet? 🙂 Well, buko salads are another must-have for Christmas. This is the usual fruit salad–fruits, cream, and condensed milk–added with buko or the soft white inner part of a ripe coconut.

Buko Salad (summitmedia.com.ph)

Like the Tiramisu, the buko salad is also best served cold. We/I particularly like it with an ice cream consistency. Great for a Christmas that’s never white and yet just as cold.

5. Filipino kakanin

My maternal grandmother and uncle makes the best biko in town, I swear. And my father has the best tongue for biko-tasting.

Biko (panlasangpinoy.com)

Which means that, as much as we love foreign delicacies, we still crave for the local sweets like ube, sapin-sapin, and maja blanca. I’m not particularly certain if leche flan counts, but I definitely demand that to be with me this Christmas.

Leche Flan (images.mylot.com)

There you go. I’m pretty sure I can wing my way into my mother’s heart and get her to buy all the ingredients needed for these recipes. (But I’d have to connive with my younger brother and sister, for support and added wishful pressure.) Wish me luck, fellas.

And may the spirit of Christmas be always in our stoves!