Remembering Father’s Day

By Jim Bea Sampaga

Just because the official holiday passed, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Father’s Day. In fact, it can be even more memorable to skip tradition and the calendar for once and take your Dad out for a special celebration out of the blue – a day of giving appreciation he wouldn’t expect like a surprise “Dad”-day party. 

There are many reasons why some people couldn’t celebrate Father’s Day on June 21st. Some of were bogged down at work, yes, even on a Sunday. Some couldn’t celebrate as they’ve wanted to because of social distance restrictions during the pandemic. Some of us are far away from our families, living in a different city or country from our dad. 

Hugging itself this year couldn’t be as close or tight (for dad’s health safety) if he happen to be an essential worker. And of course, visiting our grandfathers in a care home was out of the question. 

Traveling is restricted so we can’t visit our Lolos and Tatays overseas, especially those in the Philippines. What could’ve been a fun Father’s Day summer celebration in the Philippines turned into an online holiday greeting session via online video call.

Every day, we are thankful for the men who gave our lives a start. Our grandfathers guided our parents. Our Dads taught us to be strong and to be the best version of ourselves. 

Even though the holiday already passed by, it’s never too late to celebrate Father’s Day. There are many ways we can celebrate in our own way. We can bingewatch our Dads’ favorite movies on Netflix. They have Filipino movies on Netflix now as well so we can watch classic Filipino movies with our Tatays. Buying our Dads some gifts will definitely brighten up their day. 

But nothing will beat a family-style salu-salo. Just like how the saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Paired with our Dads’ favorite cold beer (or wine!), here’s a healthy meal for you and your family to enjoy!

This simple and healthy Filipino dish will definitely make you feel comfortable and warm inside. “Pesa” means boiled fish with spices, specifically with pepper and ginger. For this fish pesa recipe, it calls for a lapu-lapu or opah fish as its main ingredient. However, it’s totally up to you to use whatever fish you’d like as long as it’s a medium-sized fish. How about making fish pesa with your Dad’s favorite medium-sized fish? 


  • 1 medium-sized fish (Lapu-lapu or Opah), sliced 
  • 10 slices of ginger, peeled 
  • 1 small onion, sliced 
  • 5 heads of native pechay and/or 1 small head of cabbage, quartered 
  • 2 pieces of potatoes, cubed 
  • 4 stalks of spring onions, cut into 3-inch lengths 
  • 8 cups of rice water 
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorn 
  • Fish sauce and salt to taste 

In a medium saucepan, combine rice water, onion, ginger, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Add vegetables and fish. Cook for a few minutes or until vegetables are halfway done. Add fish sauce and salt to taste. Cook for five more minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy with rice. 

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