Week 7: Back in the East!

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Sunday, July 17, 2022


Justin Andre Avendaño

This week was another week of just "travelling around the world" in DC! Yesterday, was jam packed with diffferent cultures from across the East! It was the Fiesta Asia Street Fair and almost all the asian heritage organizations were there, and to my surprise alot of Filipino organizations showed up! It felt like I was back home, with all the filipino food and people conversing and teaching filipino. There were so many performances also from different people, and they were all amazing! Some people decided to sing and others danced, some did both! Early in the morning there were people who also showcased different martial arts from asia such as Tae kwon do, karate, and the filipino martial arts; eskrima and arnis! It was so cool seeing all the disciplines collaborate to showcase how we defend ourselves as well as show how innovative each culture is! Towards the middle of the festival, the Filipino-American Heritage Ensemble performed a bunch of traditional dances from across the Philippines, literally ranging from the north's ifugao river dance to the muslim mindanao's cloth dance to the spanish era dances like the cariñosa and our national dance: the tinikling!

After the festival, I went to meet up with my aunt who I have not seen in 11 years, last time she saw me was when I was 11! 11 years ago she went to the US to work for a culinary company here, and she was opening up a new branch in DC so we decided to catch up. We went to an amazing Russian restaurant called Mari Vanna! Mari Vanna refers to a woman who welcomes travellers and guests to her house and comforts them with good food and company. The food was definitely a worthwhile trip, their Herring under a fur coat (or Shuba, pronounced shooba, for short) was a palette rollercoaster. At first, its salty from the herring, then it becomes sweet and savoury from the beets, mayonaise and egg. On top of that, we were given free vodka shots for posting on social media and tagging them. Their fruit infused vodkas are something that you have to try when you come to this restaurant, of course only if your 21+. I ended this eventful saturday by doing some karaoke with all the other interns, and lets just say that the dorm walls werent enough to hold in all our singing... 

Picture of the Fil-Am Heritage Ensemble with Me
Herring under a Fur Coat

Justin Andre Avendaño