The best breakfast for me consists of warm and buttered Filipino Pandesal and Coffee.

The bakery in my neighborhood in the Philippines serve this sweet-smelling creamy bread  by 6 in the morning.  The bakery starts making these soft bread 2 hours before.  I’ve always thought only those who are motivated enough can get up that early.  The baker must know how his bread affects the breakfast table, especially in my home, and the family who eats on it.  He must have an idea of how I prefer to eat his bread over buttery pancakes.

This year, pandesal has a special meaning for me.  It is those contained in brown paper bag that is delivered at our doorstep early morning.  My boyfriend who calls me as early as 6:30am to ask if I want some of it delivered.  He buys with what little money he has in the bakery and ask it to deliver at my door.  Once he tells me it’s on the way, I go downstairs and prepare for my bread with a cup of coffee.

If you purchase it locally, it only costs US$0.05.  I purchased it here in California for $0.70.  And I heard from relatives that it costs more in New Jersey.  (That’s why before I head to New Jersey, I’m going to have pandesal every morning.)

Now that I’m thousands of miles away from home (yes, I’m on the other side of the world), pandesal takes me back – lessens some of my homesickness.  A couple of cents more to pay for a single piece is worth it – even if I’m so tight in cash right now.

It’s a poor man’s bread, if you ask me.  Well, that would be the case if you buy it locally.  Because it is so cheap, even the poorest of the poor can afford it somehow.  Or the not-so-rich can buy it for the poor when they have some extra money to spare.  I’ve been eating this bread since I was a kid.  And I heard that we didn’t have much when we were younger.  My family belonged to the category of the poor.  And now that we are somehow well-off than most people, we still eat pandesal and brings the same kind of “happiness” in any other meal – pricey or not.

I remember the movie Ratatouille.  A person can find happiness in the simplest things like the dish ratatouille or in my case, Pandesal.  There are so many things that you think you need to have.  On the other hand, some don’t really know what they want.  It’s either your driven or not, to go after your own happiness.  For those who don’t know what could make them happy, they find reasons to live by to make their lives not as empty as it is.

Happiness lies in a little appreciation of what is served in front of you.  This applies to both the poor and not so poor man.  We don’t need to be served a fancy dish.  Sometimes, all we need is a hot cup of coffee and warm bread to get us through the day.


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