Reflections on our 3-week Trip to the Philippines

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As we transition back into day to day life in NYC, we reflect on what it was like to experience the Philippines for the past three weeks with each other. The warm temperatures rising in the morning, the rhythm of the roosters call and the patter of rain on tin roofs still plays in our minds. We recall our newfound skills with laughter; Shilpa is incredibly good at finding the biggest radishes and cassava plants...Cole is very good at peeling fresh taro stems. We had ample time cooking freshly harvested food as well. Shilpa is perfecting her chicken adobo recipe with simple ingredients while Cole is finding new adoration for greens like Kang Kong.

We also recall with agitation, the power of the people and their struggle for liberation in the countryside. We were surrounded by farmers and peasants who live simple, hard lives... struggling to sustain themselves and their families. Why are they struggling to keep their lands and farm the way they have for generations peacefully? Calloused hands and stories told us of corrupt landlords who find any means to terrorize them into paying more, the lack of industrialized farming methods due to a weakened economy that favors foreign corporate land grabbing and the crippling weather conditions like typhoons that can strip the land bare. 

Learning basic farming, harvesting fresh fruits & vegetables and then cooking them has encouraged us to bring new knowledge and skills into our work at Khao’na Kitchen. Carrying the stories of the farmers and the people in the farmlands has emboldened us to continue our efforts building a food movement that eradicates these types of oppression. Even though it is difficult to be in NYC with its freezing temperatures, we are so excited to jump into work that we love.