I found a letter in my inbox the other day from someone in Melbourne, Australia who had just discovered my blog.

“I love your blog,” Maria wrote. “It’s homey, practical, intelligent and still very Filipino. It’s writing like this that can take Filipino cuisine into the mainstream, which sadly it isn’t yet in Australia.”

Those are big shoes to fill, I thought. She apologized for sounding too patronizing, which, of course, I didn’t mind. Hers is the kind of letter I am always thrilled to receive. I always get so excited to hear from people who get it, who get what the blog is about.

She told me she made taisan from the blog and thanked me for the recipe. “I hope you keep going,” she wrote and I started to tear up like I always do.

It’s been quiet around here, I know. But I’m still here! After five years, my humble Filipino food blog is still here! Yes, my blog turned five in July and there wasn’t any fanfare. Oh, how I wish there were more hours in the day to cook and write. I miss waking up at five in the morning before I head out to work to sit at my desk and write. I miss reading your comments and your emails telling me about how a recipe or a story has struck a chord with you. But I must say I have been enjoying the time away from cooking and writing. I have been spending quite a lot of time outside in our garden with Dennis. I find it so relaxing to be out in the sun, to watch something grow, to weed, to water.

And for those who just started following the blog — I am getting married in September! Yes, after almost eight years of living together, Dennis and I are finally getting married. At long last. And so planning the wedding and getting our house and our garden ready for the big day have consumed most of our free time.

But I’m still here! The blog is still here. And, hopefully, when the dust settles I can keep going like I promised Maria. Until then, I am hoping all is well with you.