Colorful banderitas lining the ceilings, traditional Filipino folk songs playing softly through the PA system, and concessionaires lining the otherwise barren hallways – ahhhh, the makings of a welcome breather in the hectic lives of the AIM community.
May 18 and 19 marked the two-day celebration of AIM Student Association’s Pistang Pinoy. The event showcased the age-old tradition of Filipinos partying it up with food, music, fun, and games, all in the spirit of celebrating with the community.
The first day of the celebration gave way to various concessionaires. There was definitely something for everyone – from those who wanted to find the next statement fashion piece (to complete their #OOTD) to those looking for something warm and fluffy to hug on nights when you just feel #foreveralone.
Of course, the fiesta would not be complete without the oh-so-awesome FOOD! We started this food walkabout with snacks. There was an assortment of baked goodies – cookies, revel bars, brownies, muffins – perfect for a quick bite or a random gift to that girl (or guy) you’ve been wanting to talk to since the start of the term (cue cheesy music).
For those who were craving for a more Filipino-themed fiesta snack, there was puto bumbong (rice cake steamed in bamboo tubes) – topped with brown sugar, niyog (dried coconut shavings), and cheese (not a normal topping, but definitely a yummy addition that cheese lovers would surely love) – as well as bibingka (rice cake made with ground rice, coconut milk, and eggs) with itlog na maalat (salted egg), and niyog (dried coconut shavings) on the top.
Afterwards, we moved to the main course. For those who wanted something heavy, there was empanada (stuffed bread or pastry that is baked or, in this case, fried) with different flavors to choose from. There was the original Ilocos longanisa, beef, and chicken variants for the meat lovers. If you were not into meat and going for the more “healthy” alternative, there was also a vegetarian alternative offered.
Alas, what is a fiesta without the popular ihaw snacks? Drum roll please… behold the favorite Filipino street foods! Pistang Pinoy gave the AIM community an opportunity to eat isaw (grilled pig or chicken intestines) and barbecue without having to go all the way to Mang Larry’s in UP!
Arguably, this was the stall that was the most crowded during the two-day event. We would definitely be cheating ourselves if we did not give in to our street food cravings, right?
To cap off this Filipino feast, there was also an array of desserts to choose from – mamang sorbetero (ice cream man) with his cheese, cookies and cream, and avocado “dirty” ice cream staple, manong magtataho and his combination of silken tofu, arnibal (caramelized brown sugar syrup), and tapioca pearls conveniently in what could be called diabetes in a cup, as well as halo-halo and mais con yelo, our summer must try’s, with the perfect combination of cold, sweet, milky, and savory goodness to help beat the heat.
Whew, I feel so full just writing about all this food! But, the event did not stop there. The second day of the festivities showcased more of the Filipino fiesta vibe with the performance of a marching band coupled with the dancing of our Higantes (or giants) friends (kudos to the people inside those huge things!) from Angono.
After the performance came the Filipino traditional games of kadang kadang, patintero, palo ng palayok, and finally the kid’s choice awards winner for most played in every Filipino child’s birthday party, pabitin! No matter how old you get, there will always be a place in your heart for these games, and it was definitely shown that night!
Playing could take a lot out of you so when dinnertime came along, what better way for our international friends to experience local culture than through a boodle fight-style feast! Filipino dishes such as kare-kare, lechon kawali, pancit, and many more mouthwatering dishes were served on top of rows and rows of banana leaves. Staying true to the one AIM community spirit, everyone lined up and started digging in to satiate their hunger after a week that has been.
Musical performances from AIM’s very own Music Club accompanied the drinking and catching up session that progressed through the night. Before the festivities officially ended, MBA 2017’s Emil Tanchico and his band, Demi, graced the AIM community with a special performance that made the whole event more special for everyone.
Sure, we may all be busy with homeworks, reports, and presentations, but don’t get us wrong. We still find the time to relax and celebrate the little milestones in our life at AIM. As the saying goes, we study hard, and fiesta harder! 😉
This article was written by our guest writer, Ana de Guia from MBA 2017. Ana was a Category Manager at 7-Eleven before AIM. Aside from being the Batch Secretary, she’s also preparing to launch her own business soon!
Photos from Mark Castaño and AIM SA Committee.