To kick off the new year, the Kauai Museum hosts a day of food, dance, traditions and culture from the Philippines. The event, Filipino Fiesta Saturday, has become an annual happening for this homegrown museum and welcomes the public to join in.

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The day kicks off with show-stopping performances by Kasibulan Filipino Dance Company and volunteers from the St. Raphael Filipino Catholic Club. They demonstrate various Filipino folk dances for the entire family to enjoy. To be honest, although I’m Filipino, I have never seen this kind of dancing until I went to the festival. I remember watching in amazement and thinking, this is like the hula of the Philippines!

Before you sit down to enjoy the show, make yourself a plate of authentic Filipino dishes. After all, we all know that’s why you came! I’m pretty sure most of the people who show up to a cultural event do so for the food! That’s because, most times, certain dishes can only be found at these big events.

The Filipino foods included, pandit (noodles with shrimp, fish and vegetables), kankanen (sweet rice with coconut and milk and sugar) and ablating (mung beans with shrimp and spinach). Don’t forget to save room for dessert. The event also hosts a dessert contest, where judges choose the best based on taste, texture and appearance.

Writing about all these dishes makes me hungry and reminds me of some of the foods my Tutu used to make. Hopefully, you will get a chance to enjoy these ethnic flavors, too!

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