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Tradition, tradition, tradition! This month reminds me of the age-old Filipino tradition – the Fiesta! The day of the Fiesta is usually a celebration of the town ‘s patron saint. A great institution we inherited from the Spanish regime, the fiesta is generally upheld by all the townsfolk, both believers and non-believers of the town’s patron saint.

The town plaza and the streets of the whole town are brightly decorated with colourful bunting strewn across buildings and houses. In the days leading to the fiesta, musical bands parade the streets going from one house to another, playing festive songs to exchange for a token. Fiestas are always such great fun with countless activities line up, with the festivities usually coming to a head with the coronation of the town’s Fiesta Queen.

Of course, the day would not be complete without the feast itself, which keep the housewives and other women folk, busy attending to the extravagant feast table. The Fiesta is a wonderful example of our famous Filipino hospitality, whereby houses are open to both invited and uninvited guests and the feast is generously shared to all. So much so that, at the end of the night, the hosts of the feast will certainly encourage their guests to ‘bring home’ or take-away their share of the abundant food left-over.

Menudo is a famous recipe at any Filipino gathering, and is a standout fiesta favourites. Spanish in origin, Menudo takes on many varieties, differing from open township to another or from one household to another. This particular recipe I share  is exceptionally authentic and a crowd favourite from my personal archive.


Pork meat 1 kg. cut into ½ inch cubes

Calamansi juice 1/8 cup

Soy sauce ¼ cup

Black pepper 1 tsp, ground

Canned or fresh chorizo de Bilbao 4 pcs, cut in half length-wise

Olive oil 4 tbsp

Garlic ¼ cup, minced fine

Water 2 cups

Tomatoes 250g. chopped

Laurel leaf 2 pcs

Sweet pickles 100g. sliced

Salt 1 tsp or to taste, iodised

Patis (fish sauce) 1 tbsp or to taste

Carrots 3 pcs, cut into cubes

Capsicum 1 pc, cut into cubes

Garbansos 1 large-can, cooked

Banana ketchup 3 tbsp

Tomato Sause 2 tbsp

Pork liver 250 g. cleaned and cut into strips

Reno liver spread 1 can

Cooking oil 1 cup for frying, cubes potatoes

Potatoes 500g peeled and cubed.


  1. Marinade overnight in the refrigerator pork cubes with calamansi juice, soy sauce, and ground pepper.
  2. Heat the marinated pork, including the marinade in a wok and let the piece run out of the pork. Stir occasionally for even cooking. Once pork changes colour, remove pork pieces from the park juice and set juice aside separately.
  3. Stir fry chorizo de Bilbao in a large saucepan.
  4. Add garlic and sauté. Mix well with chorizo de Bilbao.
  5. Add pork cubes and stir fry.
  6. Add reserved pork juice and water.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes, laurel leaves, and pickles. Mix well with pork.
  8. Season with salt, pepper, and patis. Cover saucepan and let boil, then let simmer at lower heat juntil pork is almost cooked.
  9. Add carrots, capsicum, garbanzos, banana ketchup and tomato sauce. Mix well, cover and continuje to simmer.
  10. When pork starts to get soft add pork liver strips and liver spread. Mix well. Continue simmering until liver is cooked and sauce has thickened.
  11. Adjust flavour to taste, then add well-drained, pan-fried cubed potatoes to the M Menudo.