Sharing meals together lets the Sotto-Pingris and Hermosa-Sotto families give thanks for the simple things in life
Traditionally, the Philippines doesn’t celebrate a formal Thanksgiving Day unlike those living in the United States or Canada. It is meant to be a day where families would take time and gather around the dinner table to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Over the years, the tradition has evolved to highlight scrumptious, heart-warming, home-cooked meals. But even if we don’t have this holiday set in our yearly calendar, there’s no harm in giving thanks for a year’s blessings. For the Sotto-Pingris and the Hermosa-Sotto families, this is what brings them together.
The importance of a family dinner
Sharing a meal together lets these two close-knit families give thanks for the simple things in life. Oyo Sotto and Kristine Hermosa-Sotto are hands-on parents when it comes to putting together a small family celebration, even with four kids underfoot: Kiel, Ondrea, Kaleb, and Vin. Food has always been a focal point in their get-togethers, and it helps that neither of the kids are picky eaters. Just as important as the food is everyone’s presence. Even if the preparations aren’t grand, everyone is gathered around the table to partake of the meal.
It’s a similar scenario at the Sotto-Pingris home. Marc Pingris, along with his wife Danica Sotto, says that it’s important for the kids to finish their food as a sign of thanksgiving. They don’t want any of what’s served go to waste. Aside from that, it’s a great way for the family to bond—widening their culinary palettes.
Seeing the best in every situation
Gratitude has always been a core trait instilled in both households. Oyo says, “We don’t spoil the kids. We teach them to not choose and complain, especially when it comes to food.” This trait has also aided them during times of need. Danica recalls a time when Marc was sidelined due to an injury. They relied on the strength of their faith and focused on the smallest blessings to get through that rough period. “We got through those [moments] and became a stronger family as a result. Now that we’re okay, we can breathe again and celebrate more,” says Danica.
Similarly, Oyo and Kristine teach their kids to put life’s inconveniences into perspective. “We [often complain] as kids, and our parents would remind us not just of being grateful for what we have but the simple rules we practice at home. Kids may not fully understand their purpose yet, but they will, eventually.”
To express gratitude is to be humble. These families always seek to find life’s simple joys through family bonding and delectable food. At the end of every year, they all look forward to a grand reunion where they can forge new memories to be thankful for.