I’ve been wrestling with words lately, thinking of what to write, of what to tell you today. This happens when I get too sentimental. My blog just turned four. Yes, it’s been four years since I started writing. Two hundred seventy nine posts. Hundreds of recipes. Over three thousand email subscribers.

My blog means a lot to me, obviously. It is more than a cooking blog, more than a collection of recipes. It is a journal, a very personal one. It is a place where I go to write about what matters to me. About my mom whom I love dearly. About my late dad whom I wish I had better connected with. About Dennis and our life together. About where I am from. About who I am, about what I value.

A lot happened in the last four years. I went through so many changes. I left Silicon Valley, one of the most audacious decisions I’ve made in my life, then returned after nearly two years. I tried. I really tried. I blogged while I sorted things out, while I figured out what I can and cannot do, what I want to do. I promised myself to keep on writing. But there have been days — plenty of days, in fact — when all I want to do is anything but pick up the pen or pick up the camera. Days when all I want to do is quit because keeping my promise — keeping my blog — seems like a lofty idea.

But my blog is still here. With accolades to boot. I am still here. Four years later. Four years wiser, I hope. I’d like to believe I no longer write for the clicks and the comments. I no longer write for the thrill of the web’s fleeting attention. I’d like to believe I write simply because I want to. Because I inspire, I influence. Because I make lasting connections through food, through stories around food.

Thank you, my dear friends. The last four years have been good. More than good. They have opened opportunities. I don’t know where this leads, what lies ahead. Your friendship means the world to me and for this I will always be thankful.

  • Christine Davis

    Hello, congratulations on your 4th year blog anniversary! I am a new reader and new blogger myself and exactly why you keep your blog going, reasons for you and your journey, I also strive for, and like you, have made a commitment to that. After becoming a new follower of yours, you have done exactly that for me… you’ve inspired…you’ve influenced and I thank you for that.

  • MARGARET

    Jun, please continue your passion, I am so inspired with your recipes and me and my sister are your fans! Love you Jun!!!

  • adam @unorthodoxepicure

    Congratulations on four wonderful years. May you continue to chronicle your story for years to come. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Happy Birthday JunBlog!! Many happy returns. I for one am very thankful that you have stayed the course and continue to write. Your blog and your friendship have opened up my world a bit and for that I am grateful. I know I am not alone in finding comfort with your stories, photos and recipes. You have helped me reconnect with my Filipino roots through the most elemental thing-food! Thanks Jun and congratulations!

  • Jennifer Delos Reyes

    Congrats Jun. I just started to follow you and appreciate your openness. It takes so much courage to put yourself out there. You certainly inspire me to share our heritage and to keep myself and my family connected to it. I hope you keep writing. Much love to you!

  • Bianca Avelino

    You’re very welcome! I love your blog! Keep at it ok?

  • Rob Marais

    Congratulations, my friend Jun-Jun! Your posts about food and now your back yard farming enrich a lot of people’s lives, and continue to show how remarkable you are to make this blog so compelling. What a pleasure it is to learn from you, a proud grounded and gifted pinoy. Ako Tatangkilikin ang lahat! Cheers buddy!

  • Mindy

    Well now I’m feeling a little left out that I only found you a handful of months ago. I’m glad to be on board as a faithful reader and look forward to the next four years of stories and food.

  • http://adoboloco.com/ adoboloco

    Congratulations… That’s not an easy feat by any stretch. Looking forward to 4 more. Aloha & Mahalo

  • Elizabeth Hoskins

    Happy blog birthday!!

  • Anonymous

    And thank you, thank you for your wonderful recipes and advice! You have introduced me to the world of Filipino food plus and I am so appreciative of that!

  • pupulebarbi

    Wow! Four years, congratulations! Jun, you are like a baby brother to me and I look forward to every new post on your blog. I pray that you continue to share your recipes and your life with us all, we enjoy you so much. Mahal kita! (I hope I spelled that right…:-)) – PupuleBarbi

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations Jun! Please keep it up!

  • Anonymous

    Congrats Jun! Love this blog, thank you for the four years of hard work.

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Amy, thank you!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Elizabeth, thank you!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Tim, thank you!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    I will! Thank you, Bianca!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Arthur, thank you!

  • Leigh

    Long time reader here. Just wanted to say congratulations on 4 years! I’m going to have a family of my own soon, and your blog has given me a bit of confidence that I can make some of the same comforting dishes that my mother made me when I was a kid. I can’t wait to make them for my baby! (You know, when they have the teeth for it =P )

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Leigh, maraming salamat for following Jun-blog! Here’s wishing you all the best for your family!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Maraming salamat!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Christine, thank you so much for the thoughtful note! Thank you for following the blog and I wish you all the best with yours!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Margaret, maraming, maraming salamat!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Adam, thank you!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Jennifer, maraming maraming salamat for the thoughtful note. Thank you for following the blog!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Maraming salamat!

  • http://blog.junbelen.com/ Jun Belen

    Mindy, it’s never too late! Thank you for following the blog!