a curious coconut

curious coconut

Hi, I’m Linda!

I was born to Filipino parents in the United States. We moved to Montreal, Canada when I was in grade school. As I was growing up, my mother and grandmother schooled me in Filipino cooking, and my dad in baking. I got married, and my military husband and I have trekked across Canada and overseas, living in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the United Kingdom. We’ve visited over twenty countries in four continents. Have I mentioned that I like traveling?

I have three small children; two boys and a girl, and I love them to bits – even though it’s been really hard to keep the house clean for two minutes, and practically impossible to lose any of the extra weight (I’m working on it; really, but not really)! These three small individuals have been a true education for me; teaching me the difference between tidy and clean, the true meaning of a late night, and absolute terror and joy. (The language geek in me also marvels at their evolving use of past tenses.)

By day, I am a language instructor and instructional designer. In the evenings, I scramble after my family. At night (or in the wee hours of the morning), I dream up recipes for this blog. Most of all, I just like to welcome people into our home for warm conversation and food cooked with love and care. I hope you find this site encouraging and useful.

I upload video recipes to YouTube, short videos to TikTok, and random food photos to Instagram.

I’m so happy you’re here!

 

 


Let me tell you about myself and why I started this site.

We are not always who you think we should be.

We’ve risen from the sacrifices of our parents and grandparents to occupy roles other than nanny or nurse. We don’t swap our Vs for Bs or Fs for Ps when we speak. We chafe against our collectivist culture while we search for imported ingredients to recreate ancestral recipes. We’re called coconuts or bananas by our first generation cousins while we brush off racial micro-aggressions from co-workers or the occasional spit-filled scream of “Go back to Asia!”

There are 12 million of us around the world. But as the second, third, or fourth generation of Filipino immigrants, we feel like we are living in between two worlds.

So, sometimes, we are not even sure who we think we should be.

Thoughts from a curious coconut

a curious coconut
Hi! I’m Linda
The Second Generation Gap
The Second Generation Gap (a simple imagining by the a curious coconut)

Why, you ask?

Well, as children, we were encouraged to be quiet, to work harder than anyone else, and to silently succeed as a response to real or perceived racism. But as marginalization exploded into anti-Asian violence in recent months, I have found strength and inspiration to raise my voice by sharing pieces of myself, including recipes on my blog, history bits on TikTok, photos on Instagram, and community awareness on YouTube.

When I share a recipe for mung bean tortilla wraps or for adobo chicken rice paper rolls, I am acknowledging what we all already know. Just because we take pride in our heritage, it doesn’t mean we deny the multicultural impact of living in North America. We are all looking for simplified, one-minute lessons on how to take the best of our culture and make it accessible to a wider audience. Why perpetuate the myth that authentic equals traditional, especially when faced with evolving cultures?

When I share a recipe for the Philippine national soup that unapologetically uses a slow cooker and local produce, or when I highlight North American Filipinos who use ethnic fabric and patterns in non-traditional clothing styles, I am carving out a space for the children of the Philippine diaspora. Our community seems simultaneously ashamed of our North American qualities and disconnected from our Filipino roots. I want my online community to embrace the evolution of our culture, and to stop apologizing for who we are not; instead, I want to celebrate who we are and can be.

I was born here, but there’s more to me than my place of birth. And I want to provide my children and the children of others with the tools to promote North American Filipino culture.


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