Hopia mongo, hopia ube, dried mango slices, various flavors of polvoron, pili nuts in all its candy shapes and forms. I grew up eating these Filipino snacks and candies as a kid, and although I lived in the Philippines only when I was a toddler, these treats were around our house every so often. As I grew older, I saw less and less of these treats, even though some of them were readily available at a Filipino store. But buying them at the store wasn’t the same as actually getting them from someone who just came from the Philippines. It didn’t taste as good, or more like, there was some Americanization done to them. Or maybe it was just in my head. I still remember, when I was around 8 or 9, and my family and I went back to the Philippines to visit relatives. When we came back home, we brought back with us boxes and boxes of polvoron and hopia. I was in polvoron and hopia heaven for a long time! And the kicker… some of the polvoron was made by hand by my aunt. That made it extra special.
For the past 3 weeks, my parents were in the Philippines visiting family and attending a school reunion. They came back last Sunday with a huge box of treats. And all week, I’ve been a kid again.