Paskong Pinoy: Christmas Merienda
I started an Interior Design program at Philippine School of Interior Design last September and had my finals the second week of December. Being a parent in school has been more work than I realized but I am really glad I am doing it. I am also super grateful for a supportive spouse and our incredible yaya, Chanda Poppins, she’s my saving grace. One of the finals was to set up a table scape using the elements of design we had covered during our first semester. Our chosen theme was Filipino Christmas Merienda and I’d love to share with you some of my favorite details from the set up.
The funnest part of the final for me was using local handicrafts to showcase the beauty of the Philippines after all, Philippine handicrafts are one of the reasons I love living here so much. I have felt connected to the Philippines through their textiles, handicrafts and markets. As a maker myself it’s been a cross culture bridge for me to cross and immerse myself more in our new home country.
I already owned much of what we used for the set up which was nice and then I picked up some new pieces as well. For example, the rattan divider is something I have wanted for a long time but had no real use for it, this was the perfect excuse to finally buy one. I picked up the rattan divider at the Marikina Dry market.
One of my favorite details was Manong Sorbetero and his sorbetero cart. Our classmate arranged to have him come for the day of the final, it really is more fun in the Philippines.
table cloth from AllHome, peacock chair sourced here, capiz dishes from Robinsons Galleria
Since our theme was merienda we needed to serve food obviously. We had a spread of pancit, chicken lollipops, lumpia, polvoron and pichipichi.
Being in school has been a wonderful challenge for my brain and also rejuvenating to my identity as an individual. It’s actually been quite nice to only be seen as a student, a Tita for sure, but a student. My batch mates in class are extremely talented and I have admired so much of their work. These were two of the set ups from the other groups in my program, Persian themed and rustic Christmas dinner. The transformation of our classroom was incredible!
We weren’t able to serve puto bumbong during our merienda but since this post is focused on this specific meal I wanted to share with my foreign readers a traditional Pinoy Christmas food. Puto bumbong is glutinous rice steamed and adorned with fresh shredded coconut and muscavado sugar. It is purple because glutinous black rice is mixed with traditional glutinous white rice and the blend makes a purple color. I think most often purple food coloring is also added for amplified color.
during my children’s darling Christmas celebration puto bumbong was served which is where I took these photos
Nobody celebrates Christmas like Pinoys and I am so happy to learn their cultural practices around this holiday, especially their food. This was extra special as I got to contribute to the celebration through my final at school. Manila, I am so grateful for the opportunities you always share with me.