Saturday, February 14, 2015

Four US Journalists Dead In The Last 24 Hours... What Did They Know..and ‘who’ Is Trying To Silence Them?

Let's play, "CONSPIRACY THEORY"...

February 14, 2015 - What did they know..and 'who' is trying to silence them?

Ned Colt of (NBC) dropped dead of a stroke yesterday.. he was "supposedly" kidnapped during the Iraq war for several days, then freed?

Bob Simon of (CBS) died in a car crash yesterday.. he was "supposedly" kidnapped held captive for 40 days in an Iraq jail

David Carr (NY Times) just died suddenly after interviewing Edward Snowden, and had just come out against Brian Williams from NBC while on CBS… calling Williams out for lying about being shot down in the Iraq war.

Bob Hager the NBC aviation expert now has a head on crash. hmm.

And of course Brian Williams is off the air for lying about the Iraq war.

FOUR journalists dead within 24 hours, here in the United States (not in a war zone).

Did they know something that 'we' do not know? Is there a current campaign to silence the truth?

( via )

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WHAT I'M WATCHING: Heat / Michael Mann / De Niro

One of my favorite scenes...


Friday, February 13, 2015

Dön Season: How to Survive the Next 10 days of Chaos.

I try not to complain and dwell on the obstacles as they present themselves, but its interesting when thoughts as below seem to be an answer to a question never asked but an answer welcome nonetheless...

Via Lodro Rinzler on Feb 7, 2015

Warning: adult language ahead. 
Bonus: Video: Waylon Lewis on how to mindfully survive Don Season.

How to Work with Obstacles: Dön Season

One morning I woke up and read an email from someone I had never met. It began, "Dear Lordo—you are a hipster f*ggot b*tch."
The gentleman went on to say that I should "take off the f*cking rimmed glasses, put on an orange robe and stop f*cking girls." This raised many questions, such as, "How would I see?" "Can my robe be a bath robe?" "Is J Crew acceptable?" "Will my girlfriend be okay with a sexless life together?" This email, while largely bizarre and misinformed, caught my eye. More importantly, it reminded me that we are now officially in dön, or obstacle, season.
From a Tibetan Buddhist point of view, we are entering the New Year on February 19th. For a period prior to the New Year there is a time that is traditionally known for being a rough patch—a time of obstacles. It begins on February 8th and continues until February 17th. Lodro Dorje, an acharya in the Shambhala tradition, has written a lovely piece about it. In it he says,
"Just as the motion of the earth and the cycle of the seasons take place, there may be also a cycle of the karmic forces on a psychic level. Traditionally the end of the old year is seen as a time of the ripening of karmic tendencies."
This dön season is a time where the accumulated karma from the past year rises up and, at times, feels like it's slapping you in the face. This is said to take a variety of forms: arguments, accidents, heated conflict. On a more inner level, we are more prone to fixed emotions and opinions, sickness and feeling unbalanced.
Perhaps you're having a delightful week so far and think that this is Tibetan hooey. That's fine. There are lots of lovely posts on this site, so go check them out. But if you've been feeling suddenly blue, fatigued or have been called a hipster f*ggot b*tch, it might be helpful to consider that the ending of an annual cycle may very well be having an effect on your well-being.
My root teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, has said that this is not a time to freak out, but instead a time to regroup. Some methods of doing that include reciting traditional protector chants (often held at Buddhist centers this time of year). These chants help rouse us to address our life in a straightforward and fearless manner.
It is also a good time to face the coming wave of aggression and conflict with an open heart. You can engage in shamatha (calm-abiding) meditation or loving-kindness practices. Given that this is dön season, you may find that one obstacle you face is getting to the meditation cushion. So you have to exert yourself beyond whatever laziness may arise.
Interestingly enough, in his book Turning the Mind into an Ally, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche writes about another form of laziness that seems to be applicable to this dön season: speedy-busyness. This is the form of laziness that is based in coming up with all sorts of activity to avoid doing something. For example, you want to meditate but first you have to vacuum, then there are a few emails that need your attention, then you realize you need to return someone's phone call, then shower, then it's already 1:00 a.m. and it's too late to meditate because it's time for bed.

The best antidote for a speedy lifestyle is simple but not easy: slow down.

Take the time to notice when you're speeding up during this dön season. Recognize it, and then consciously take some time to slow your pace, or the speed with which you eat, or allow for more space in your conversations. When we take the time to be more present then we can see situations clearly. From that vantage point we can then find a way through whatever obstacles arise.
To return to Lodro Dorje, he recommends we keep our conduct and awareness straightforward and kind. Seems like good advice for any season! He went on to say that we can remain open, ride on our own personal energies, and pay attention to the details of our lives. This may mean cleaning your house, double-checking your projects at work or making sure you're eating three meals a day. This advice, particularly the paying attention to the details of your life, seems very potent indeed.
So if you are encountering a lot of obstacles during this period I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that from a traditional Tibetan point of view, you may continue to experience a rough patch for another week or so. The good news is that you can face these obstacles fearlessly, with openness and through slowing down and appreciating the details of your life. Bonus good news: everything is impermanent, even the bad stuff, and especially mean e-mails.
Adapted from an article Lodro wrote on this topic for the Interdependence Project in 2012.
Photo: Google Images for Reuse

About Lodro Rinzler

Lodro Rinzler is a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the author of the books "The Buddha Walks into a Bar" and "Walk Like a Buddha". Over the last decade he has taught numerous workshops at meditation centers and college campuses throughout North America. Lodro's column, "What Would Sid Do", appears regularly on the Huffington Post and he is frequently featured in Marie Claire, Reality Sandwich, the Interdependence Project, Shambhala Sun, Buddhadharma and Good Men Project. He is the founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership, an authentic leadership training and job placement organization, and lives in Brooklyn with his dog Tillie and his cat Justin Bieber.
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Mirrors of Bergman

Created by :: kogonada
Music: Vivaldi, Concerto for Two Mandolins in G RV532

A Boomer Childhood in 25 Objects — Midcentury Modern — Medium

From the transistor radio to Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book," must-haves from the middle of the past century.

I never did visit the Museum of Childhood at the Victoria and Albert last time I was in London, even though I went so far as looking up the Tube stop. But I've always been fascinated with childhood as a lens for viewing different time periods. I've seen so many shows about the London Blitz that I almost feel sentimental for it, as if it were my own era. Likewise, I carry a romanticized notion of Laura Ingalls Wilder in my head.

Alas, though, the childhood I lived through was my own. I entered the 60's in a suburb outside of Washington, D.C. as a 4-year-old and emerged to relative adulthood in 1977. There are baby boomers on either side of me: Hillary up ahead, Jon Stewart pulling up the rear. Few artifacts would describe either of them equally well. Still, I think there is a canon of experiences and things that those of us coming to age in the middle of the 20th century basically shared.

So I crowdsourced it, on Facebook, to a thousand or so of my closest friends, asking what was the one object they would put in a time capsule to tell the story of a midcentury childhood.
The list below is based on, but not limited to, those suggestions. It's predominated by, but not limited to, toys. The objects themselves straddle several themes: a more unstructured pre-playdate world where kids went outside to play, scientific innovation of the "flubber" variety, the "British Invasion" and a late adolescence that veered wildly between rebellion and psychedelia.

Transistor Radio

The item that got mentioned the most, especially by men, was the transistor radio — a device that prefigured our iFuture. Countless boys sneaked transistors under their covers at bedtime, listening to distant ballgames or Jean Shepherd spinning tales on WOR. "Transistor radio changed my life!" proclaimed media studies professor Harry Haines. "I could take my transistor radio to bed, plug in the earphone, and be exposed to subversive rock on the underground FM stations in Philadelphia."

45 Adapter

Source: Wikipedia
This little plastic disk, the 45 adapter, was the very first nomination to land on my Facebook wall. It allowed you to play 45's on a record player made for the platterlike 33's. The smaller 45's cost 99 cents — an amount a kid could buy on an allowance. Perhaps why iTunes started in 2003 with its 99-cents-per-song pricetag?

Go-Go Boots

Schoolgirls wore white ones. Nancy Sinatra got black ones. Look how short the skirts were in this video! Footwear as female power object.

Meet the Beatles

My mother bought me my first Beatles album. I didn't ask for it. It just showed up, a successor to my Popeye and Yertle the Turtle albums. I was an awkward, unpopular kid. My mother intuitively understood the importance of pop culture in the juvenile pecking order.

McDonald's Hamburger

Source: Wikipedia
Though it wouldn't survive a time capsule, what could possibly be a more fitting product for the baby boom's monstrous collective appetite than the world's first exercise in scaling diner food?
Everybody's favorite babysitter. We were shamelessly parked in front of television sets for hours, lying belly-down on the shag carpeting, playing with plastic toy soldiers and wooden blocks, and making friends with the likes of Lucille Ball, Dick van Dyke, Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Captain Kangaroo and Superman. Once a year, and only once a year, the Wizard of Oz came on. It was wonderful.


Source: Wikipedia
Barbie inverted the idea of a doll as an object that would allow a girl to play at being a mother. With Barbies, little girls started collecting—and accessorizing—models of sexually-mature women. And with doll feet molded to accept fuck-me heels, where do you think our shoe fetishes came from?

Wood-Paneled Station Wagon

A late Facebook entry from food writer John Lee: "riding backwards all the way in the back of the station wagon." Seconded by grade school pal Walter Gomez, who went on to become a car designer.

Crayola Crayon 64 Box

Source: Wikimedia
Mass-produced wax crayons have been around since 1903, but the 64-color assortment, complete with built-in sharpener, wasn't introduced until 1958. Bigger, better, more more MORE. It was one of our first experiences of irresistible product upgrades. Who wanted a 8-, 16-, 24- or 48-pack when you could have a 64? Like the lucky recipient of the biggest Tinkertoy tin, the child with the biggest crayon box knew he or she was a fortunate soul indeed.

Etch A Sketch

But why stop at crayons, when you could invent a mechanical drawing instrument that separates the artist from his creation with a screen? "Etch a Sketch," recalls artist Dan Kirk. "Technology that made it difficult to draw, and allowed you to make your hard work disappear with a quick shake. Much like drawing on my computer today!"


And then there was those sets of plastic steampunk that produced atomic-looking iconography.

Metal Lunch Box

For sale on Etsy
One great thing about growing up in the mid-century: metal lunch boxes. It's so much more satisfying a material than molded plastic. And who knew, when we picked out school lunch boxes every September, that they would also become collectibles? Too bad we didn't keep them.

Ballet Case

Ballet case for sale on Etsy
"Our moms all made us take ballet lessons in kindergarten!" said writer Martta Rose Kelly. True enough. Even as the British Invasion brought rock music and go-go boots, our twinset-wearing mothers tried to impose classics. And unlike today, leotards were always pink or black.

Banana Seat Bike With Sissy Bar

Source: Wikipedia
Before any of us had real wheels, we all had bicycles. And the cool kids had Schwinn Stringrays. Maybe that accounts for the fact that so many boomers still ride on two wheels—at least in my town, where the bike racks in front of the high school are always empty, but the ones in front of the commuter train station are always full. The Stringray, which facilitated wheelies and led to BMX, turns 50 this year.

Hula Hoop

A gazillion kids in a time of prosperity? Perfect timing for novelty fad toys like the hula hoop and the pogo stick. 1…2…3…4….5…

Roller Skates

Source: Wikipedia
Before childhood was partitioned into an endless succession of playdates, lessons and sports contests, kids strapped these onto their feet and went outside to kill some time and scrape their knees. And we didn't wear helmets, either.

Matchbox Cars

Like the crayons, you just couldn't have too many of them. And like the lunch boxes, they had the satisfying solidity that came from being made of metal.


These hit when I was in sixth grade, and came in endless varieties, including tiny ones you could stick on your No. 2 pencil. Like Barbie, they were made of vinyl and endlessly accessorizable. But they unlike Barbie, they were grotesquely ugly. Early kitsch? Or proto-feminism? And as I discovered a few years ago, many boomers still have their collections.

Girl Scout Sash

For sale on Etsy
If you were going to have millions of kids, why not break them into troops, put them in uniforms and march them lockstep toward utilitarian wholesomeness?


Source: Wikipedia
A different kind of uniform. And, before dress codes were loosened in the late 1960's, you could get in trouble for wearing them to school.

Protest Buttons

Photo by Erika Bleiberg
When I was in high school, I started going to peace rallies in Washington with my dad. These buttons, however, belong to my friend Erika Bleiberg, who grew up in a suburb of New York. Question Authority was a classic. So was the iconic 4/24 button. And decades before Occupy, I had a button that said Take The Rich Off Welfare.

Lava Lamps

Source: Wikipedia
And black lights, too. Psychedelia moving in.

VW Van

Source: Wikipedia
You probably didn't have a flower power VW van in high school or college, but you know you wanted one. Relive the era with this Pinterest board.

E-Z Wider

Passport to another world.

Steal This Book

1970s edition available on Etsy
I can't say it better than Wikipedia: "Steal This Book is a book written by Abbie Hoffman. Written in 1970 and published in 1971, the book exemplified the counterculture of the sixties. The book sold more than a quarter of a million copies between April and November 1971;[2] it is unknown how many more copies were stolen."

Hit "write your response" and make your own list. All generations welcome. Be sure to subscribe to Midcentury/Modern for updates.

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Someone In Puerto Rico Won The Powerball And People Freaked Out / BuzzFeed

All you stupid motherfuckers... Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States and Occupied as a "Commonwelath" (tax haven) and everybody who lives there and those who migrated are defacto CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES since the beginning of the 20th century, go back to school and learn some American history... do I sound pissed?

Wednesday marked the first time someone has won the Powerball jackpot outside the continental United States. And some people in the U.S. weren't too happy about it.
posted on Feb. 12, 2015, at 3:55 p.m.

Adolfo Flores
BuzzFeed News Reporter

Mike Blake / Reuters
A Powerball Lottery ticket is shown in this photo illustration after being purchased at a gas station in San Diego, California.

A winning Powerball ticket purchased in Puerto Rico sent some people into a fury on Twitter, with some questioning whether the U.S. territory used the euro as currency or even paid taxes.

The $564.1-million prize will be also be shared with winners in North Carolina and Texas.

"@DillonChance: If #PuertoRico is too good to be a state, then they don't deserve to win our #Powerball! #Shenanigans" wow your stupid
— wizdarev1 (@STOP SIMPS2k15)

The holder of the winning ticket had stopped by a Shell station in southern Puerto Rico.

The winner can claim the prize starting on Friday, choosing between a lump sum payment of $101.6 million or 30 payments over 29 years, Antonio Perez Lopez, assistant secretary of the Puerto Rico Lottery, told the Associated Press.
"We are beyond thrilled with the news that we already have a multimillion-dollar winner just four months after Puerto Rico began selling Powerball tickets," he said.

But as reaction on social media mounted, it was clear there were a lot of people out there who were anything but thrilled.

If I'm the guy from Texas or NC I'm pissed I have to share the powerball with someone from Puerto Rico. Should have to speak English to win
— SniperLouisiana (@Sniper)

Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Texas tickets win Powerball No taxes but can win Powerball?!?
— FlossedMind (@Justin Miles)

Puerto Rico winning Powerball is everything that's wrong with America & then some
— CourtneyDuhban (@Courtney)

A winning #Powerball ticket was bought in Puerto Rico? How's that legal? That's not America.
— pshuck (@Patrick Shuck)

Wednesday's jackpot was the third-largest in Powerball history.

The last time the Powerball jackpot got so huge was in 2013, when a ticket purchased in Florida won a $590.5-million prize, the AP reported.
But at $656 million, the largest payout in U.S. history belongs to the other national U.S. lottery, Mega Millions. Three players in that game — one each in in Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland —won that prize in March 2012.
Adolfo Flores is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Adolfo Flores at

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Coconut, Vinegar, and a Whole Lotta Pork: An Introduction to Filipino Cuisine

Chicken afritada: the good kind of fusion.

[Photograph: Paul Yee]

In restaurant circles, the dreaded F-word—fusion—is usually reserved to describe some sort of disparate multi-culti combination, like sauce soubise on top of tamales. But in the case of Filipino food, there's no stronger term to capture the essence of Asia's most unique, idiosyncratic, and underrated culinary tradition.
To novice eyes, the food of the Philippines, the archipelago of 7,000-plus islands due east of the Malay Peninsula, is weird. Hell, it's weird to me, and I grew up eating it. There's oddity in unfamiliarity, and this is a cuisine that doesn't quite resemble, in elements, execution, or intention, anything else in Southeast Asia.
And that's what makes it so fascinating. No sound bite can accurately answer the one question Filipinos get plenty: What is Filipino food? "The simplest way to put it is our food reflects our history," says Yana Gilbuena, founder of The Salo Project.

Lumpia. [Photograph: Paul Yee]

It's a history shaped by colonialism. The Spanish, led by Ferdinand Magellan, made landfall on the islands in 1521, and controlled the Philippines until 1898, introducing Iberian ingredients and touches from other colonial holdings, like Mexico, to the natives. Though the two countries are ancient trade partners, the 16th century also saw the first major wave of immigrants from the Chinese coastal provinces of Fujian and Canton, who brought their own specialties across the South China Sea. Then there's America, which took control of the archipelago from Spain following the Treaty of Paris until it officially became an independent republic in 1946.
Unlike neighboring nations like Malaysia, where many immigrants recreate their recipes relatively free of outside influence, the Philippines has seen these immensely different traditions commingle over the centuries, creating a remarkable Euro-Yankee-Latino-Malay amalgam—capital-f Fusion, fo' real—built on big, uncompromising flavors.

Bold Flavors...

Pancit palabok and laing.

[Photograph: Paul Yee]

Regionality plays a huge role in Filipino cooking, as it's a geographically divisive country populated by dozens of ethnic groups. "Each island has their own flavor," says Gilbuena, who's originally from Iloilo City in the Western Visayas. But there are commonalities that inform the Filipino palate regardless of longitude and latitude.
"Bottom line, it's the boldness," says Nicole Ponseca, owner of Maharlika and Jeepney in New York City's East Village. "It's the audaciousness of the ingredients."
The pillars of the pantry is a good place to begin, as they double as building blocks for the cuisine itself. For starters, you're going to find vinegar—most commonly sukang iloco, derived from sugarcane—in every Filipino kitchen. Used for marinating, braising, and glazing, as well as a table dip for entrées and pulutan (drinking snacks like chicharrón), vinegar is also the backbone of adobo, the Philippines' most lauded dish. (More on this in a sec.)


 [Photograph: Drew Lazor]

Vinegar is the most prevalent holdover from the pre-colonial era, a truly indigenous distinction. "The Filipino penchant for lip-puckering zest is not without reason," writes food blogger Marvin Gapultos in The Adobo Road Cookbook. "In the tropical climes of the Philippines, the preservative powers of vinegar were a culinary necessity for centuries, long before refrigeration was available."
Sour notes also crop up in the form of calamansi, the versatile citrus fruit that finds its way into innumerable dishes; sweet and sour tamarind, stirred into soups like sinigang; and green (unripe) mangos, an everyday snack. In fact, those mangos are often topped with another building block: bagoong, or fermented shrimp paste, which, along with patis (fish sauce), speaks to the aggressively salty/funky section of the Pinoy flavor wheel.

And plenty of pork.

 [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Given the environs, bananas, plantains, and coconuts pop up constantly, in myriad forms; banana ketchup is perhaps the most curious to outsiders. White rice is also a must with every meal of the day, starting with silog-style breakfasts—a breakfast meat, like longaniza, accompanied garlic fried rice, fried eggs and sliced tomatoes. In heavily Filipino Daly City, California, the joke goes that it's permanently foggy because all the residents are running their old-school R2D2-looking rice cookers ragged.
Unlike Thai cuisine, with which Filipino is often confused, heat is not a defining characteristic, though it does factor into individual dishes like Bicol Express, a pork and coconut milk stew garnished with sliced long hots.

...Served Family-Style

Sitaw n kalabasa.

[Photograph: Paul Yee]

It's tough to make many more blanket statements about Filipino food, given how much it varies from island to island, city to city and household to household. But this much can be said: Meals are rarely Western in structure. "Filipino, as a basic rule, is ordered family-style," says Ponseca, who encourages guests at Maharlika to approach chef Miguel Trinidad's menu with the fierceness of a tactical strike. "Get in there and get as much as your tummy can handle. These dishes are made to be enjoyed this way." Kamayan-style feasts at Maharlika involve a huge spread of shareable food laid out on banana leaves for diners to eat with their hands.
"We cook food in big batches to make sure everyone's fed," says Prometheus Brown, the Seattle-based rapper and poet who last year launched the "Food & Sh*t" Filipino dinner series with his wife, Chera. "It's not so much an individualized thing, with individual plates and individual portions. It's one big pot."

The Big Three: Gateway Dishes

Chicken adobo.

[Photograph: Drew Lazor]

If you come across one big pot simmering away in a Filipino kitchen and you dare to lift the lid, you've got a puncher's chance of that pot containing adobo. A prominent example of colonial mind-meld—conquistadors used their tongues to talk up local cooking, and it eventually became de facto Tagalog—adobo describes not only a dish, but a cooking technique. To qualify, a meat (chicken or pork, most commonly) must be braised in an elixir of vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
If that sounds boring to you, you've never had adobo. Something alchemical takes place when these ingredients get together, a universally celebrated innovation that inspires both creation and consternation. Everybody, their mom, her six sisters, and all their kids tout their own, adding in proprietary ingredients they'll swear creates a superior result. The "new-school" inclusion of soy sauce, in particular, is an endless topic of debate, the designated hitter rule of adobo preparation.


 [Photograph: Drew Lazor]

Adobo is the Philippines' proudest crossover dish, and we're always stoked when non-Filipinos pick up on it. The two remaining dishes in the gateway trifecta, meanwhile, have their roots in China. Inspired by the spring roll, lumpia are a must at the Filipino table, tightly wound wrappers filled with wildly personalized fillings (including banana) and deep-fried. Lo mein-like pancit, too, has countless variations, from the staple bihon and cellophane sotanghon to palabok, blanketed in hard-boiled eggs.
"When it's done well, you can't go wrong. It's universal," says Brown of this triumvirate. "Once they've had that good-ass pancit or adobo, they're hooked. They want to see what else is out there."

Our Love Affair With Pork

Carving up lechon.

 [Photograph: Drew Lazor]

Seafood obviously plays an enormous role in the Filipino islander diet. Ubiquitous preparations here include kinilaw, the indigenous ceviche, pickled with vinegar, calamansi or both; and fried bangus, or milkfish. As is the case with many peasant cuisines, oxtail is a big deal, too—it's the base of kare-kare, a beef-and-peanut stew (thanks, Malayans) tinted orange with achiote oil (gracias, Mexico). And let's not forget the Philippines' lusty obsession with canned meat, especially corned beef and Spam (thanks, American Navy rations).
None of these proteins, however, come close to touching our special snout-to-tail relationship with baboy.
"Next to fish, the pig is the most important and accessible source of food for Filipinos," writes Amy Besa in Memories of Philippines Kitchens. Cebuanos enjoy the distinction of being top dog hog when it comes to the preparation of lechon, or whole roasted suckling pig (fight you for the cheeks), but they spin on spits everywhere. Numerous dishes can be gleaned from the whole animal, including lechon kawali, deep-fried pork belly, served with Mang Tomas "all-purpose sauce" and/or vinegar for dipping; and my personal Pinoy porcine obsession, crispy pata, or deep-fried pork knuckles.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Pork shoulder is the go-to for "Filipino barbecue," a skewered and grilled street snack marinated and glazed in a garlicky, tangy and sweet sauce made with a base of Coke or 7-Up. The other white meat is also where to look for offal-based preparations. The Kapampangan specialty sisig is a headcheese hash of sorts, featuring finely chopped cheek, snout, ears (awesomely referred to as "face" on some menus) and organs doused in citrus and spices, tossed with white onion and served in screaming-hot cast-iron pan like Chili's sizzling fajitas. Dinuguan is a thick brown stew of pork blood, which multiple generations of Filipino parents have sneakily mischaracterized as "chocolate meat" to get their progeny to eat it.
You may have noticed that we haven't touched much on vegetables. (Servers at Maharlika sardonically refer to their meat-free sides as the "Filipino allergy section.") It's true that the cuisine is unabashedly meat-centric, but there are plenty of veggies that play an important role in day-to-day cooking. The indigenous dish pinakbet brings some of the most popular—eggplant, string beans, ampalaya (bitter melon)—together in a bagoong-flavored stew that sometimes includes coconut milk (gata).

Why Isn't It Bigger?

[Photograph: Neal Santos]

Filipinos are one of the largest immigrant groups in the U.S., up there with Mexicans and Chinese in terms of stateside population. So why is it that Filipino food still seems to lag behind other Asian cuisines in terms of mainstream acceptance, "next big thing" nods notwithstanding?
Reasons abound. One of the most common is the fact that it's always been a staunchly family-oriented cooking tradition. "To this day, the best Filipino food is usually found in homes with a tradition of excellent home cooking, rather than in restaurants," writes Besa.
For dessert: shaved ice and ice cream, called halo halo.

[Photograph: Garrett Ziegler]

"For some reason, we've always been very apologetic about our cuisine," says Gilbuena. "I even get it from my mom. 'What, you're serving them dinuguan? They're not going to eat it!'" She's out to change that mentality singlehandedly, currently traveling the country with the goal of staging kamayan pop-ups in each of the 50 states.
Ponseca, who was motivated to open her restaurants by what she perceived as a dearth of accessible options, is optimistic about integration into the mainstream. "It's only a matter of time before everyone in America has tried Filipino food," she says.

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