Gyeongnam Foreign Residents Support Center held a series of national food festivals with migrants to promote different cultures through sharing of food.
This year, the festival started with Mongolia, followed by Cambodia in August, Vietnam in September, Nepal in November, and the Philippines in December. On December 17, the center hosted a feast for the Filipino community.
The event was held from 3pm to 7pm on the second floor of the center which is located in Palyong-dong, near the Changwon Train Station.
Members of the Filipino community volunteered to prepare and serve the food. The venue has a kitchen where food preparation can be done.
The theme of the festival was “popular Filipino street food”. A variety of small bites and snacks were available to satisfy one’s craving.
“Pancit” is a staple dish served in every celebration or important gathering in the Philippines. It is a traditional noodle dish cooked by sauteing garlic, onions, vegetables, meat, and noodles.
It is quite similar to the Korean stir-fried noodles “japchae”, but instead of sweet potato starch noodles, rice noodles are used.
“Lugaw” is a Filipino rice porridge that is usually topped with hard-boiled eggs, green onions, toasted garlic, and calamansi.
It can be considered the ultimate comfort food for Filipinos. When feeling sick, nothing comforts like a bowl of “lugaw” cooked by our mothers–it is hearty and easy to make.
“Pisbol” (fish ball) is a popular street food in the Philippines. It is cheap and readily available everywhere.
The fish balls are deep-fried and usually served with a spicy vinegar sauce or sweet-and-sour sauce.
“Kwekkwek” (fried orange quail eggs) are boiled quail eggs coated with an orange batter and deep-fried until crispy.
It is a common snack in the Philippines sold along with fish balls. It is usually served with spicy vinegar sauce, sweet-and-sour sauce, or ketchup.
Filipinos love chicken, and the best way to eat it is on a stick. Barbecue chicken skewers are a favorite. Boneless chicken is marinated in a special sauce, threaded onto skewers, and cooked on a grill. It is usually eaten with rice or as an appetizer.
For dessert, “palamig” was served. This is a chilled beverage that is sweet and usually includes jelly or tapioca pearls and shredded fresh coconut.
“Palaro” or fun games were played, and special prizes were given to the winners. Win or lose, the entertaining party games were fun for everyone. The event ended with everyone feeling full and happy. After the party, leftovers were packed and given away. This is a traditional Filipino custom – everyone goes home with a takeaway bag.
If you are an expat living in Changwon, chances are you have had cravings for your country’s food. While there are several places that offer international cuisines in the city, nothing beats popular dishes from your own country. For migrants living here, it is sometimes a challenge to find restaurants serving food from their respective countries. Food festivals like this help ease the pain of living abroad, especially when one is craving comfort foods.
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