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Cebu is carnivorous. She is a city that gobbles humba as much as pochero. Yes, a city of guilt. She murmurs a small prayer of repentance after guzzling a sinful slice of lechon. But such prayer disappears with the burp.

But with the contagious mantra of being healthy, she changes. She becomes more diverse. Yes, she is sinful. Yes, she is healthy.

Being omnivorous myself, it was tough to scout the sinful Cebu for healthy choices. But what is healthy? “If you listen to what your body says, respect it,” says a former vegetarian friend. Perhaps that what healthy means: to respect the body’s needs.

The main condiment to understanding vegetarianism, I have come to terms, is romance: the romance to chew the vegetables without the flirtations of sliced meat but with the softness of tofu instead, the romance to savor the slightest brininess in a vegetable shawarma, the romance to swallow with the heart of an understanding lover, the romance to not doubt that one is making the right choice: to be healthy.

Introduction:  Redefining Healthy Choices | Cebu Yearbook 2013

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It is my second year to be part of Cebu Yearbook—the annual magazine that reviews and condenses Cebu of another year past.  I’m always grateful to my travel editor—Kristin Lerin—for the opportunities.  I’m indebted to Mads—a lovely mom, one of the crazy friends found at Faigao, and a former vegetarian for the insights. She gladly  answered my queries over coffee.

Well, it was a challenge. Food writing is as taxing as travel. And until now, there are some parts of this rather condensed article that made me cringe with humiliation. I didn’t talk about food, and my culinary language is quite limited! Food writing introduced me to the world of modern culinary, food photography, and Jonathan Gold.

Yes, it was a learning curve.

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Cebu is carnivorous. She is a city that gobbles humba as much as pochero. Yes, a city of guilt. She murmurs a small prayer of repentance after guzzling a sinful slice of lechon. But such prayer disappears with the burp. But with the contagious mantra of being healthy, she changes. She becomes more diverse. […]
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