Triple Celebration

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Saturday, the fourth of August, was my birthday and the first Saturday I was spending time with Ericke in my three years as a Los Angeles resident (I officially became an Angeleno the day after my birthday in 2015. I’ve been working all weekends since I found a job, and I just got my best gift ever. Nothing tops the taste of weekend… cheers to life, love and family!

Literally stopped and smelled the roses.

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Nothing better than The Ivy in Beverly Hills for my birthday brunch with Ericke. Still in mourning black, yet feeling the freshness of life without my father — celebrating the full and long life he had, and my new existence with a guardian angel who I believe was instrumental in the unpredicted new normal week for me.

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Ericke brought me to Glossier, and we took photos at the Canyon Room. As we were strolling along the chic Melrose Place, we hatched a new project.

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Never one to back out from challenges, I was pretty stoked but anxious to claim the initial funding for a more purposeful pursuit, my actual birthday present from Ericke which we got from Blick. Praying for an abundance of energy and an overload of inspiration. Hello, heaven!

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My mom and I had an AYCE dinner date in the evening. It felt good to be home.

Sunday night was reserved for my sister Nikko and Ed. They brought me to one of LA’s finest, Redbird in the downtown. The restaurant used to be a rectory.

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I’ve been craving for foie gras for years and I got one on rhubarb jam with crisp and light as air lychees. Hurrah to the lifting of the foie gras ban in California! We also had hamachi with teasing kumquat, calamansi and coconut cream fraiche, beef tartare with egg yolk jam, perfectly seared scallops on a bed of oxtail orzo and peas, squid ink bucatini in uni butter (the burst of flavors hits you after a while, literally orgasmic), and halibut with charred corn, potato cream and unexpected chicharon (fried pork rinds).

Food here, by Chef Neal Fraser, is all about a masterfully crafted singleness of various elements, textures and flavors. I have nothing unpleasant to say about the honest “degustacion” treat.

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A universal tradition… not one, but two cakes — Vietnamese coffee and not your basic banana cake.

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Birthday wishes do come true… chase them.

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In memoriam my dad

ph1a6504Abraham Pesarillo Lo
February 12,1926 — July 8, 2018

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Never did I imagine I’d be wrapping the box of my father’s ashes, and the photo that I took of him at my brother’s home in Rancho Mirage, when I just arrived in LA three years ago, would be chosen by my mom for the missalettes and photo display at his funeral mass at the Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church in Los Angeles, but truly an honor to have done it, with much love, respect and gratitude, for the other person who gave me the gift of life.

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Since I was little, he was always there for me. I will always remember the mornings he drove me to school, the times he brought me to the karayan, the afternoons I tagged along to the record store when he bought more to add to his massive vinyl collection, the nights he had to help me finish my art projects, the vacations in Baguio and Manila, especially the food trips at his fave spots like Shantung, Selecta, The Plaza, Marquina and more (the love of food we all inherited from him), his loving arms even when I was at my most stubborn, and all the good things I learned from him like being generous and service-oriented (he was an active socio-civic-church leader during his prime). I also would not be confident taking the bus in America if it were not for him. No Google back then, but he knew all the lines and stops. He gave us more than we needed, but taught us the value of hard work. Forever thankful.

I will always miss your smiling eyes  I love you, papa.

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On behalf of the Los, thanking each and everyone who condoled with us, prayed for the eternal rest of my father, was with us to send him off to heaven and those who remember him. Truly appreciated.

Photos by Kiana Nicio and Blauearth

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