SUARA FROM THE GULF
by Gamson Jr Mawallil Quijano
To opt to be away from beloved families, loved ones and homeland in order to sacrifice and help uplift the well-being of one’s family is one of the hardest decisions that every overseas Filipino worker (OFW) has ever made in their entire life.
Relentlessly, for the sake of unwavering love for family, every OFW is more than willing to exhaust all the possible good means abroad fueled by hopes of giving them a better life and education. Undoubtedly, the courage and perseverance that they have always shown are truly admirable.
One of the biggest things that people like us who work overseas struggle with every single day is homesickness. We are always longing for the company of our family and loved ones; likewise, we are also occasionally yearning for our native food, especially during special occasions such as Eid (Feast) Day.
Thankfully, here in Qatar, we have this experimental home-based initiative lovingly dubbed as “Kadday Tausug”, for pre-ordered delivery which started only recently. “Kadday” is Tausug word for coffee shop and eatery.
Overseas Filipino worker Farhati Tulawie Sadjari who works as an assistant teacher in Doha, Qatar, plays a vital role for the Mindanawons, particularly for the Tausug community in Qatar through by being an indefatigable chef who cooks a variety of Tausug cuisine that most of the Tausug in Qatar are longing and craving for while away from home.
“Since I was young, I have always watched my grandmother cooked. I learned a lot about cooking by just seeing her cook. I enjoy cooking, and I put so much effort into it, and the feedbacks of our customers motivate me to keep its standard and authenticity,” she narrated.
As an OFW wife to an OFW husband living together with their four children in Qatar, time management is too much crucial for her especially that she is also the leading chef of “Kadday Tausug.”
“I manage my time by setting schedules for my family and myself. Prioritizing both my family and my cooking tasks. I have the help and support of my cousins and siblings, who are also an OFWs running Kadday Tausug,” she added.
“It all started by small talks and we came up with the idea of making it available online where food is pre-ordered by customers for delivery before we cook it in our home-based kitchen during the pandemic. We named it “Kadday Tausug” to represent and promote Tausug cuisine here in Qatar,” narrated Arnie Asgal Lerios, who is also an OFW and one of the personnel who is meticulously managing “Kadday Tausug.” Arnie was also the one who named it, “Kadday Tausug”.
Moreover, “Satti“, “Pastil“ and “Pianggang” are its best sellers.
“We cooked it by heart and Alhamdu Lillaahi for the great feedback of our customers which signifies they were all satisfied,” Farhati added.
Considering that some of the ingredients of Tausug food are not readily available in Qatar, “Kadday Tausug” has to personally prepare it in Qatar. For example, the “TIYULA’ SŪG (ITUM)”, one of its important ingredients is the charred coconut, so it is freshly prepared.
The Renowned TIYULA’ SŪG (ITUM) is of the Tausug’s exotic delicacies that we can truly be proud of to showcase at home and to the rest of the world! A Tausug peace warrior chef Warina Sushil Jukuy once said: “A Tausug feast would never be a feast without TIYULAH SŪG!”
“I may be miles away from my homeland and family, especially during this Eid, but having true friends around who treat me as their own family plus the native food makes me feel that I am just like in my beloved homeland with my family and loved ones,” says Ashley Tiamwatt Mercado, Tausug OFW in Qatar. He is also one of the covid19 OFW toughest frontliners.
“I had a simple eid celebration with my family. We ordered Tausug food from “Kadday Tausug”. We are very excited and happy because we missed eating such delicacies from our hometown. We have been craving for it for a long time and finally we tasted it at last. My favorite is “sindul gandum.” I indulge every taste of it,” shares Morsidi Agir Isnani, another one of the Tausug OFW toughest frontliners in Qatar.
“The importance of Tausug food to eat during the last Eid (Feast) Day is, we are able to remember that where ever we are around the world there is no place like home,” Isnani added.
Noteworthy to mention during old normal days, OFW siblings Farhati Tulawie Sadjari and Jennalyn Tulawie Sadjari are customarily fond of inviting fellow OFW closed friends including us, their cousins to their residence for get-together to enjoy eating delicious native Tausug food that they personally cook for us.
“For two years in Qatar, I just endured my longing for my native food every time I crave for it. That is why, I was exhilarated when I learned about “Kadday Tausug” because through it, I can now enjoy all my favorite food,” enthused Al-Faizal Abdurahman, Tausug OFW in Qatar.
Interestingly, Tausug food is popular even to other Filipino tribes in Qatar. In fact, on one occasion, some of our Egyptian expatriate friends once tasted the “Tiyula Itum and “Piyanggang” and they really loved it.
“Personally, I believe that at par with caviar, foie gras to name a rare few, Tausug exotic cuisine is already long ago global class being amongst the epicurean delights enjoyed by both local Tausugs now in diaspora as well as other foreigners across continents all over the world. As a Muslim Tausug, I take pride with the fact that satti, tyulah itum, pyassak, tapay, hantak, balu’ balu’, wadjit, syagul tauti or pagi’, ukuh-ukuh, junay and piyanggang are some of our many exotic dishes which have gained both national and global recognition. Alhamdulillah,” says Warina Sushil Jukuy, Tausug peace warrior chef and PAHRA paralegal volunteer.
Truly, every food that they perfectly cook is a manifestation of their love towards their fellow OFWs. It does not only satisfy the cravings of the OFWs Tausug and non-Tausug alike, likewise, it makes them feel like they are not in Qatar at all but they are back home in Lupah Sug eating a variety of Tausug cuisine that is their all-time faves.