Anna's Birthday at Grill 21

I've always been very resilient when it comes to homesickness. I think it comes from being an only child raised by a single parent. While my mom was away working, I would spend hours playing clay and watching TV. In the beginning, of course, I used to cry a lot when my mom would have to go to work. But in time, as with many other things in life, you get used to it. Which is why, I think, it wasn't very difficult for me to join JVP or study here in NY.

But, you know, there are just those days when there's nothing I wouldn't give up for a sniff of dirty Manila air. And the closest I can get to home, other than coming home to relatives in New Jersey is eating Pinoy food. And so I was a very happy kid when Anna said she would be celebrating her birthday at a Filipino restaurant so her husband's non-Pinoy friends can try Filipino food.

They served lumpiang shanghai as an appetizer. And they kept the supply coming! I don't think I've eaten that much lumpia in my entire life. Thank you Anna!

Anna looking good here!

They had coconut juice in their menu but I was disappointed to find out it was canned. Booooo.

Anna's friends! Thankfully most of them loved the food!

I think this is caldereta. So yummy!

This is their special pancit.

Tinola! While I've never been a big fan of tinola, because I'm a sinigang boy, I really loved their version.

Dan whispering sweet nothings. haha.

Of course the Russians brought alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

I love the wall decor!

And Red Horse! But I never got to drink it because, uhm, there were other options.

Halo-halo for dessert!

Happy birthday Anna!


Everyone was in a jolly mood.

The other wall.

With Llenell and some Rando she met on the street. haha. I kid. :)


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