Made gising-gising for the first time

Made gising-gising. This is a vegetarian version that uses patis and vegan bagoong for umami and chili chutney for heat because I had no chilis on hand. It’s… okay. It lacks the savory sweetness that pork offers as well as the bite that fresh green peppers can bring. But all in all, not bad for a first try and with improvised ingredients.

Being in quarantine has taught me a few things: how to cook rice on the stove. How to make vegetable-forward Filipino dishes like inabraw and now, gising-gising. How, because of misadventures with cheese, there’s no substitute for good quality.

I hate that there’s a pandemic that’s affecting everyone, and I try to keep sane by finding the lesson in everything. Human beings are programmed to search for meaning. When it comes to nebulous things such as making sense out of uncertainty, sometimes, whether something does or doesn’t actually mean anything is irrelevant. What matters is that it is significant to you.

This of course doesn’t apply to things like facts and science. There’s a difference between finding meaning and refusing to face facts. The first can be a tool for growth and survival. The latter can be dangerous. I try to stay on the former side as the latter never does any good for either myself or everyone else.

Anyway, I digress. The point is I learned to make gising-gising. Something to be proud of.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.