It feels like a homecoming!

With my luggage in tow, I hold tightly to the pole as the elevated tram moves towards the main terminal of the Orlando Airport.  I immediately felt the peculiar sensation of deja vu; I felt like I was home.
At the curbside, Benedict, my brother in law gave me a warm hug and says “Welcome!”
“Where are the kids?”  I asked.
“They didn’t come with me” he said.

Just as I was beginning to believe that yes, they are now older and could be left home, there was a duet of   “Hello Tita Malou”  Pia, (my niece) and Peter (my nephew), hiding in the back seat.  Their giggles and happy faces were the warmest welcome I’ve had in quite awhile.  The thrill escalates even more when I heard the voice of my sister Marvie on the phone.  “Welcome to Orlando” she said.

I’m in Orlando to visit my sister and her family.  I’m doubly excited because I’m also here to show my support to her- she just opened a new medical practice in the city. I’m beaming with so much pride and joy as she starts another chapter of her medical career.

There is always something special about visiting family. A semblance of home is re-created through loving arms, warm hellos and  partaking of a comfort food that is distinctively from your roots.   And now I’d like to share  one of my brother in law’s specialty, a local fare in my hometown of Tuguegarao we call Igado.

Igado ala Benedict (Pork and Liver Stew adapted from Philippine Cuisine, by Michaela Fenix)

If you follow my blog, chances are you might have read a post or two about my brother in law Benedict.  I have shared his recipe for Ibanag longanisa, one of my all time popular posts.  My brother in law have so many “pogi points” (wink wink, he might be reading this post) but I think his greatest charm is that he is a wizard in the kitchen. House guests’ visit is always highlighted with the dishes that he creates because they are spot on. His repertoire is mostly traditional Filipino food. definitely a bridge that connects you to home.

64bf1795468b7864cfd2209bb410d1f8 Igado




  • ngredients:
  • 2 lbs pork
  • 1/4 lb pork liver
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 pcs red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tbps soy sauce
  • 1/4 c vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp lard (he says this is his secret)
  • 3 pcs liver, mashed (again he says this is the other secret)


  1. Procedure:
  2. In a pan, saute garlic and onions with lard. Add meat and cook for 15 minutes. Add water and after 4 minutes, add red bell pepper and green peas. Cook until the pork renders its fat. Add the mashed liver to thicken the sauce. Enjoy

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d7f78beffd653acc197b8a2fa23b86dd Igado
a5b507c706b054c8cd776435183c98ec Igado

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