Sinigang in Dublin

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Sinigang in Dublin
A tale of meeting fellow Filipinos in Dublin, Ireland

It was late afternoon on my last day in Dublin when unexpectedly I met a very sweet couple from a town nearby to my hometown.

After a daylong tour, I was hungry because I hadn’t eaten any good food since I left Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Despite being frugal, at that time I was willing to splurge just so I can eat good food. I walked a long stretch of a main Dublin street looking for an Italian or high-end Asian restaurant. I didn’t find anything Italian, other than a pizza place.

Desperate as I was I thought maybe I should just settle for pizza but I also thought I could still stretch my patience and walk a little further. “Maybe I’ll get lucky and I’ll find a good place to eat”, I thought. When I reached a corner I saw a sign that read “CAFÉ MANILA” ! My eyes dilated, my heart pounded in excitement, and my feet were itching to cross the street right away. I thought, “OMG, a Filipino café in Dublin?”

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Chicken sinigang, adobo, ginataan, banana que, and many familiar pastries greeted me as soon as I entered the café. Although I was looking for Italian food, sinigang was even better.

Dublin, Ireland

I was eating alone and was quiet the whole time until I heard a familiar sound – my Cebuano dialect. In my excitement I immediately made conversation and spoke in Cebuano to a couple with their two kids who were at the next table. To my surprise they were from Butuan, a city next to my hometown of Surigao.

They were very hospitable and they felt bad that I was not really able to go around the city since I was there only for one day and all I did was take a hop-on-hop-off bus. They offered to drive me around the town for couple of hours before I took the ferry to Hollyhead.

Maricar and Noynoy took me to the Ha’penny Bridge, one of the best known landmarks in Dublin. Ha’penny is a pedestrian bridge where couples put a padlock as a symbol of their love and toss the key into the water.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

It was odd to meet people from my province so far from home, to become friends with them suddenly. Their son and daughter became my instant nephew and niece. It was their first time at the Dublin port.

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

When I was about to say goodbye I was still in awe that my trip to Dublin turned out to be the most amazing trip I’ve ever had. Had I decided to settle for pizza I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet Maricar and Kuya Noynoy and their kids and get the chance to see other famous sites in Dublin. Sometimes you’re just lucky to be at the right place at the right time.

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