Having four seasons in a year is an idea that is quite foreign to Filipinos who grew up in the Philippines. Back there, we only have the dry (summer) and wet (rainy) seasons. Then there are those, like me, who migrated outside the Philippines to a place that has more than two seasons. This change also requires a change of wardrobe, food, scenery, and pastimes. So how does the typical “Pinoy” deal with the changing of the season?
Filipinos love to eat and foreigners know that about us. One of the running jokes about Filipinos is: “Wherever there’s food, that is where the Filipinos are.” Now that is good if they meant that we cook great food; otherwise, it could mean that we’re known as gluttons. Either way, food is a just at the core of every Filipino. And a food-loving Filipino has adapted the ability to adjust his or her palate according to the season. Spring season calls for a parade of spring rolls. And by that, I meant spring rolls of different varieties such as Lumpiang Shanghai (pork spring rolls), Lumpiang Sariwa or Lumpiang Ubod (bamboo shoots spring rolls) and Lumpiang Gulay or Lumpiang Toge (bean sprouts spring rolls) are the best sellers in a company potluck or spring banquet. And because we just love to dip everything in sauce, we even have the appropriate sauce for each of spring rolls. Sweet and sour chili sauce, peanut sauce, and of course, lumpiang toge’s faithful partner: sukang puti (white vinegar).
Spring is also a great time to check out the newest Filipino restaurants or Asian fusion cafes that invaded Southern California. You can also venture further south to San Diego and I bet you will the aroma of inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly) would lead you to a Filipino restaurant or a park filled with Filipinos with picnic baskets filled with Filipino delicacies. Filipino food is just everywhere and I credit that to the talented cooks and chefs who make Los Angeles such a delicious place to live.
Spring is the second season of the year. And second to adjusting this season’s menu is switching clothes. This is the time where thermal jackets and winter boots are stored away. Unless you have a perfectly good reason for wearing that fur coat, it should be in the closet.
The “petite” pinays like to don flowery sundresses, spring colored jumpsuits, or some cute separates like a good statement skirt with comfortable and flattering cotton top. Pair this look with an accent pump and minimal accessories, and they swing their way to spring! For the men, skinny jeans are not as cool as they were before but still is a known staple in any man’s wardrobe. It’s the season to loosen up a bit, so straight cut cool print chino pants is a great alternative to tight and dark jeans. Pair these up with a lightweight cardigan and a statement eyewear and you’re off to great spring.
One of the best things about this season is the blooming of flowers and fruit trees. This is also one of the things about spring that we, Filipinos, can relate to. And it’s not because we have the spring season but because planting and harvesting is a way of life to us. We harvest vegetables and fruits, and plant more tropical plants that our gardens could handle.
This season means a picnic at the park, checking out a botanical garden and Knott’s Berry Farm, you know, the stuff that you do while you bond over food and wear your flowery and light cotton shirts.
Forget about hibernating in your pajamas or walking around your house wearing thermal socks — that is so last winter! Go out there and watch the cherry blossoms and tulips, open the windows and enjoy the warm sun.
As this new season unfolds, we should make the most of it by welcoming spring in all its glory. I do that by thinking of spring as the snow finally melting, trees blooming, and the streets looking lively and green again! For most people, spring is a time of change.
Thoughts of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and hope come to us when we wake up from a cold winter night to a warm spring morning.
Oh, Spring, you bring so many beautiful things. And as Filipinos fondly say – and let me say it with cheers to a spring season full of hope: “Mabuhay!”
Monet Lu is a Marikina-born, award-winning celebrity beauty stylist with his own chain of Monet Salon salons across Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Ultimately, Monet is known as an all-around artiste who produces sold-out fashion and awards shows as well as unforgettable marketing campaigns. Monet is also the founder of the revolutionary all-natural beauty products such as Enlighten, your solution to discoloration . To contact Monet, please visit www.monetsalon.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org