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Monday, February 01, 2010

Catching up with cousins at Italianni's

My cousin Bong is a human rights lawyer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He was in town recently to visit family and friends, and more significantly, to promote his self-published book, "God Loves Bakla". It talks about his painful struggle to stay in the closet, and the liberation he felt when he finally found the strength and courage to step out of it. I'm very proud that he has come out (no pun intended) with this book. It's going to be a very controversial book for some, and a helpful one for many others. But... that's a whole different story.

Anyway, I was lucky that he had some time to have lunch with me during his brief holiday, and he decided that we should meet up in Italianni's, because he missed having the caesar's salad there. Along with our other cousin Treena, we discussed his book over pizza and pasta. Luckily for me, they were agreeable to having pescetarian-friendly choices, so we ordered their Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp, some Pizza Margherita, and of course, Caesar's Salad.

Pizza Margherita

Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp

It was great to catch up with my cousins, since I very rarely see them. I only see Bong (whom I call Kuya Bong or KB) on his occasional visits home, and Treena during rare clan reunions. Italianni's was a good choice for our lunch. This restaurant has become a fixture in Metro Manila, and is often a choice for families. Italianni's seems to be a perfect fit for Philippine culture, with portions for sharing, and the ambience perfect for a cozy meal with loved ones.

Unfortunately for me, KB had an appointment after the lunch hour, so we didn't have much time to linger over coffee. But I was grateful that he made some time to see me. Hopefully the next meal I share with him will be one in the place he now considers home, Phnom Penh.

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