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January 31, 2008


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Kids are stupid! Peanuts is totally the coolest. Plus, if it was a vintage lunchbox, its value is probably through the roof now :p Mine had She-ra, Bow, Glimmer, Madam Raz, and Kowl on it. Kidding. I do not know what those names are.
You guys are mean to your mom!
Though looking back, we probably did not practice the best pack-lunch hygiene. The rice and whatever viand was cooked fresh in the morning, and packed together (after steaming a little). No use. The steam still precipitated and wet the whole thing. I HATE that!

Ah yes...the lunch baon bringing days...when I was in pre-school out lunchbox came with the maid!!! how dorky is that? can you believe up until highschool our lunch was brought to us in school via driver??? I soo envied my classmates who were just given lunch money to buy food in the canteen..thought that was cool then. But now I am older, I realize how lucky I was to have very caring parents and nanny who made sure we ate lunch cooked fresh around lunchtime and healthy food to boot =)

brown bagging is indeed healthier and can be tastier, like in your case =)

i had an Alladin brand Wonder Woman metal lunch box. just checked on ebay, these things are apparently VINTAGE now!?! :-(
can u imagine what it was like to have rice for baon and no microwaves to nuke your food in? cold left-overs are the worst.
that pinakbet looks great marvin!

I hated how fried chicken, freshly cooked with skin crisp and tasty was wasted on me at lunch because I couldn't bear to eat it once it transforms into the wrinkled, sweaty piece of meat that it always does...
Oh, and the unnatural, rubbery, tupperware smell! Urrgghhhh!!!

Really great post. I can totally relate to what you were saying. I'm Korean-American and grew up in the Bay Area and also had a mother who wanted me to bring our food to school. But like you said, there's always this pressure to try and fit in. I think that's something that people in other parts of the world don't really understand about us "Americans". Thanks for this, it really hit home with me.

Loved this post! At first, I thought the title was *Bacon* Blues!

I remember wanting to bring my lunch in a brown bag because that's what everyone else was doing.

I was in elementary school well before microwave ovens, and I think my mother understood that room-temperature leftovers in a plastic container wasn't very appetizing.

Thankfully, my 4th grader is more than happy to bring her lunch in an insulated lunch box (no characters). And often I pack rice or noodles in a wide-mouth Thermos for her.

Growing up I never brought baon to school, I bought food and drinks from the school cafeteria. Also, my children had their twice a week baon in a brown bag like everybody else.

Cool blog Marvin. I know more about Mediterranean food than the food I grew up with. I'm starting to experiment more with baboy and pinoy ingredients like Calamansi and coconut vinegar.

Like Jen Tan my baon in grade school came with a maid. *hides face* to my defense there were 3 of us - my younger sister, brother and myself. So the snack was for the 3 of us. But for lunch we were lucky enough to live pretty close to our school so we would go home. But in high school we wanted to eat with our friends so now our lunch was brought to our school by the driver, hot and freshly cooked by either my mom or our cook. But, the food sent to us was enough to feed a small army. My mom would send more than enough so that my friends can eat it as well. So it was fun. Now I miss it because for me to bring baon means I have to prepare it. But its so much healthier than buying the same food over and over.

I was laughing so much while reading this post. Thanks! Made me reminisce the past =)

I love this post! It made me stop and take a walk down childhood memory lane which can be filled w/a bunch of crappy not fun to remember stuff. But all the while, I was totally entertained by your descriptions of your memories. You have a particular knack (is that the right spelling for that word?) for tackling topics that are full of emotion such as family, belonging, and race and bringing a full range of human emotion and experience. the funny (very funny), the not so funny, the meaningful, the hurt/pain. all written about in ways that both entertain and touch the heart and memory banks.

Thank you! I'm always glad that I've stopped in to read your blog. junemoon

dude!!! don't be hatin' on the Peanuts gang...seriously, Lucy would whoop any superhero's ass...lol, if you don't believe me, read the comic strip (yes i am semi-obsessed).

i was embarrassed to bring baon as a kid...both of my parents have (and still) bring baon. i'd bring baon too if i didn't work at a restaurant.

you have great topics to comment on, marvin! When I was in elementary, we had good ol' Tupperware. I was envious of all the lunchboxes around with Wonder Woman and yes, Peanuts! That's my era...:-) I also envied schoolmates who are brought their baons piping hot or those who have lunches at the cafeteria. I like hot lunches! My mom somehow liked cooking adobo and the sauce turns usually stone cold when lunchtime comes---yuck! Microwaves are godsent for baons...if there is one in school. Here in the Philippines, there are so many carinderias (or sidewalk canteens) that offer hot lunches for students' budgets making the word "baon" also meaning "school money".

Try bringing *balut* to school in your baon.

I did that and everyone circled around me to see if I would actually eat the whole thing.

I was so humiliated that I never had Filipino food at school ever again.

I had a Strawberry Shortcake tin lunchpail. :)

PS Thought you might be interested in this.

great post, reminded me of my baon memories too..my lunchbox was just plain pink color but i'loved it .:-) but my worst memory i could remember when my adobo baon leaked inside my bag including books and notebooks..yuck!! i was stinking adobo inside the class

My lunch box had Little Orphan Annie. Two of us had the same box. I drew in Annie's eyeballs in to distinguish which was mine. And my god how I miss baons, though yes, I was teased horribly. I actually rarely got them--usually, they were torta sandwiches (tortas being those small round omeletes with random veggies like eggplant or carrots shredded in). Mom's recipe used eggplant and ground beef, making a muddled, dark brown-and-grey concoction. So dang delicious, but so creepy looking. My classmates always made gross-out faces when I'd pull it out. I love the occasional baon I have nowadays. The only dishes I won't bring and heat up at work are fish- and patis-based. They'd kick me out and throw my canvas lunch bag over the rail! And I like my canvas lunch bag ...

Ah... the lunchbox. Try nuking binagoongan in the microwave when most of your co-workers are not used to it...he..hee... I was almost ostracized.

You've distilled a common dilemma among all first generation immigrant children. I, too, had to endure "Eew, what's that?" when I brought strange Indo food as lunch. It seemed like my mom got the message, although I don't know whether I actually told her I was embarrased to be eating rice at lunch while everyone else was having a sandwich. She made me Spam or bologna sandwiches from then on. I love my mom.

when we moved to Greece we did not bring baon... my mother wanted us to assimilate at school we had a very good canteen that sold hot toasties and sausages. There were times I craved for rice but it dod not take long we got used to the idea that we had sandwiches and when we get back from school there is always hot rice waiting....

Manggy, I used to love She-ra. I especially loved the end of the show where you had to find that weird rainbow/animal thingy.

Jen, yes, the maid and driver thing sounds a little over the top. Funny how different things are when we grow up compared to now.

Desie, I also looked at those vintage lunch boxes and their worth a good amount of change depending on what's on them. And yes, I guess my mother never considered the whole left-over thing for us.

Ruy, tupperware does get unnaturally funky, especially when it's hot out.

Thanks TK, I was hoping I could connect somehow with this post. I'm glad you liked it.

Hi Sandy! No characters on your 4th grader's lunch box? Times have changed.

Hi oggi. In elementary school I usually brought my lunch, but as I got older I bought more from the cafeteria too.

Thanks for stopping by, James! I checked out your blog. Have you ever made longanisa before?

Wow Raissa! Sounds like you were a pretty lucky kid in school.

Thank you very much junemoon! I'm glad I can connect with readers like you.

Janice, you're crazy. Lucy would get the crap beaten out of her;)

Hello bernadette. I didn't know baon also meant school money. Maybe my mom was offering to give me money then ;P

Yikes krq! I can't imagine bringing balut to school. I would have surely been outkast for that.

Thanks for the link Dub C. Good lookin out.

Hi dhanggit. Yes, leakage was another problem with baons. Today, I make very sure that nothing leaks at work for me.

Julie, I actually remember those Orphan Annie lunchboxes and how her weird cartoon eyes creeped me out. It's probably better you drew them in:)

Hi veron, I might've even turned away from you if you did that at my workplace... but then I'd ask if I could have a bit.

Elmo, I'm not sure I ever explicitly said I was embarrassed to my mom. But I'm sure she got the point.

Hello sha. It must've been wonderful to have grown up in Greece, though it's always tough to assimilate.

I was nine years old when we first came to America. My dad would bring baon to school for me and my siblings’ everyday and all the other kids just stared at us. We finally mustered enough courage to ask for an allowance so that we could just buy lunch at the cafeteria. Looking back, we should not have been embarrassed. It just shows how much my dad cared for us. Now I bring baon to work instead of eating at the cafeteria. Go figure.

Sooo, I only learned in college that BYOB means "Bring Your Own Beer." I SWEAR...for all my life before then, I thought BYOB was a Pilipino-American phrase meaning "Bring Your Own Baon."

I made the mistake of bring balut in my baon one day. I was forever nicknamed Duck Egg.

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