Today, December 17, we celebrate the birthday of our beloved Pope Francis, head of the Church and the Vatican City.
Lolo Kiko has now been in this world for 84 years— having survived wars, lived through recessions, pandemics, and natural disasters. It’s absolutely something to be proud of, especially in Pope Francis’s case where he still has the strength to lead an entire Church and still meet people. (LOOK: NASA’s fascinating images taken on the day of these local idols’ birthdays)
Achievements like this definitely call for a celebration. But because we can’t go to the Vatican right now and see the Pope personally during his general audience, we have to make do by celebrating at home. We can greet him through social media— Lolo Kiko has his own Twitter account— and throw him a Filipino-style birthday celebration right in the comfort of our own homes!
Here are three Filipino dishes that you can serve on Lolo Kiko’s birthday. Just be sure to send him pictures of your celebrations so Pope Francis could feel the love all the way from the Vatican!
Pope Francis’s Birthday: Sweet, Saucy Spaghetti
A Filipino birthday party is not complete without Filipino-style spaghetti. The sweet, meat-filled spaghetti is a crowd favorite and we all know why. It’s both sweet and sour, has sliced hotdogs, and lots and lots of cheese, which makes our mouths burst with flavor. Just remember to not cut the pasta as it is said to symbolize long life— which we all want for Lolo Kiko!
Find a recipe for Filipino-style spaghetti here.
Pope Francis’s Birthday: Sisig
The greasy goodness of sisig is something many Filipinos look forward to at gatherings. The savory taste and spiciness of the dish, mixed with the crunchy chicharon, is definitely a treat. (Read: The Filipino Comfort Food: Sisig, Its History, And Its Variants)
Of course, a Filipino-style celebration for Pope Francis’s 84th birthday deserves sisig on the table! While it takes a bit of effort to prepare, the outcome is worth it. Don’t forget to take a picture of the finished product and send it to the Pope so he can see your creation!
Here is a recipe for sisig.
Pope Francis’s Birthday: Barbecue
Ihaw is one of the signature cooking methods of Filipinos— barbecue, liempo, and even most street foods are all grilled! And in parties, barbecue is one of the ihaw-ihaw that always makes it. You would often see it at the table stuck upright on a piece of styrofoam so you could just grab a stick and enjoy it while socializing. The sweet and tangy taste of the meat plus the sauces is just a good mix!
Follow the barbecue recipe here.