I’M leaving in a while to deliver these orders but the sight of my mom entertaining customers and my dad busily cooking in the kitchen compels me to linger a bit more.

It’s a joyous sight to behold. That, in there, is my family working harmoniously as one.

You see, ever since I was in college, I’ve always wanted to join the seminar / program called Leap. Honestly, the program was quite costly. (Not to mention, it was held in Manila. So, the airfare and accommodation cost made it impossible for me to attend.)

When I knew that Leap was finally going to run the program in Cebu, I decided to do everything in my power just to join it.

I asked the counsel of my parents on what I could do to raise funds to pay for the program. They suggested to me some things I could try to do but the only suggestion that resonated well with me was that of selling the Spanish-style bangus (milkfish) of my lola (grandmother).

I did exactly just that.

I courageously sold the bangus to my friends, officemates, and even to random strangers. My parents were just so amazed at how I was able to go home with the empty bags that carried the numerous containers of her bangus time and time again. The earnings I got helped me join Leap. We were very inspired by all the encouragement we got; that is why we decided to build a little food place after I finished the program.

Unbiasedly, I always believed that my lola’s bangus was the best. My lola’s bangus will beat any lechon at any day. In fact, her bangus will be consumed before the lechon at our family gatherings. Even foreigners crave her dish! When my lola went to the United States, her friends and neighbors always requested her to cook her signature bangus for their parties.

Today, my family’s love for my lola and for her delicious bangus has finally found a humble home along A.S. Fortuna St,. Mandaue City, Cebu to serve the public.

The structure may not be as grand as The Temple of Leah or as stunning as the 10,000 Roses Cafe. But, to us, it is home. A shrine where we can celebrate her and her masterpiece forever. For as little as P29 to P68, you can already enjoy her bangus and other family recipes.

Taste for yourself so that you will know what I mean. See all of you soon.

Today, I surrender to the power of new beginnings. Jiri Othello Dinsay