My Roots in Indonesia

Aiding one of my brother to open a food cart craft in Mindanao was thrilling. Finally, try-outs in my humble home kitchen in Dubai was on. We invited some of his colleagues and friends, sample our main specialty- the pork BBQ meals. Opening was great, simulcasted on his local resident radio station. Heading back to Manila, I was optimistic leaving the island, hoping that one day, our little food cart start-up would prosper in time. It's small - but we made it and it's our own.  

Privileged to have days to spare before heading back to sandpit, I decided to visit Jakarta. I had no other intention than to visit an old friend and find more inspiration for our food business.  I got more unexpected encounters than planned. I feel at home and deeply connected to the people.  

While, everyone speaks to me in Bahasa, I could only reply in gesture but there are some words that are exactly the same with Filipino. Historical and cultural connections are alike. We may say that we are Spanish influence/blood - half race. But the fact is, Filipinos comes from the common ancestry of Indonesians.    
Noodle stall in front of hotel. This is a common cart in the city

Noodle was my fix for two days, staying in outskirt of the bustling business district of Jakarta. Whilst, I'm no stranger to South East Asian dishes, I find Indonesian cuisine more vibrant, well-balanced and full of flavor.

This eatery along the highway is my other kitchen, I tried all the dishes here.  The vendor gives me all the freedom to serve myself and eat whatever I want.

Reunited with Ricardo in another country was nostalgic tick. We had great times, back when, we were in the Caribbean island of Canouan.  But one thing has never changed, being a hospitable Italian that he is, food is abundant.  Only this time, showcasing the best Asian dishes, he knows best where to go in Jakarta. He is a kind of guy that ensures all his friends are well fed and taken care of. Yes, he can cook!

I could only wish to stay longer and explore more different cuisines but like all other vacation it has to end. Did I get more inspiration for our little business?  I got extra... learned about origin of being Filipino - I do appreciate the early civilization and history now even more that defines the Philippines today.  I will be back, Bali bound.