Wander+Trotter and Anna

Hello fellow wanderers and lovers of trotters! I am Anna, I grew up in The Philippines before coming to work here in Finland. I have my background in restaurant management from one of the exclusive colleges around the Metro. I’ve worked for a couple of restaurants back in Manila before grabbing an opportunity to come here and work in Helsinki and settling in with the freezing weather and the midnight sun. I have a chronic affair with food and traveling around while eating my way to a delicious experience.

This is me, with my Tiddly Pomme ♥

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I’m a cook by profession and a baker at heart. I grew up with my family’s cooking traditions hailing from Filipino and Hispanic flavours.

When I was a kid, my cousin and I used to stay at my Mama Lola’s (how we call our grandma within my dad’s family) for the weekend and stay there to play around the backyard and help our Mama Lola on her baking and cooking. She was more the Hispanic home cook slash baker slash crafts maker. She was our Martha Stewart. She’s the reason why baking is close to my heart.

On summer vacations, my family comes home to the country side in Laguna for a visit to my mum’s family. The creatives, the woodcarvers, the karaoke singers, and the fiesta goers. Simple, happy people, rich in old Filipino heritage. My Nanay Lola is (how we call my mum’s mum) the best Filipino cook I’ve known. Everything she used was local and fresh. Her techniques were unwritten, her flavours were honest and rich. When it comes to Filipino food, my palate comes from her cooking. The nostalgia of flavours whafting through the house whenever I cook Filipino food takes me back to her kitchen.

When I first came here in Finland on an autumn day, I didn’t know what to expect and basically how the weather is night and day compared to the tropical weather I’m used to! Imagine coming from a normal +36°C sunny weather to -26°C frozen city! I was god-smacked by the fact that I had to deal with this for almost half of the year!

It grew into me, though. ♥

If it isn’t for the cruel sea wind especially during winter time, this place is perfect. I love waking up on weekends (of course) and looking through my window to see my city covered in snow. Kids playing outside and enjoying the weather. And going out and walking around the city with R and sitting at some café and watch the city go by.

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Winter time is where I discovered things I have never imagined I could do. Since the freezing weather ceases me most of the time to go outside and be social, I was able to take my artistic side in to action. I started to paint and draw illustrations a couple of years ago, then i went on to trying out wood pyrography recently. I would say, this coming winter season would be my time to combine the two together. Who knows, right?

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Summer time, of course is my favorite amongst the seasons here. For the fact that, I get to go out and bask under the sun or just walk around and eat as much ice cream as I want. 🙂 Spring is good too, but still too cold for me to wear thin clothing. Autumn is lovely here, I never get tired of walking around and seeing the then lush green trees and parks transform to golden earthen hues of golden yellow and orange to lovely warm vintage red.

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Here, on my blog, I am in glee to share my love for the arts and crafts, my constant explorations of the city I am in, have visited, and plans of visiting to, to my cooking and my baking adventures, and to the occasional DIYs.

What’s defines me from the rest? Not so much, I suppose. I’m not here to compete with anyone. This blog is for inspirations and paying it forward, to YOU. I haven’t forgotten my Filipino background. I am in fact, proud of being a Filipino living here in Helsinki. I am on the quest everyday in to finding ways to inspire myself (and I hope YOU as well!) and to see the beauty of the possibilities around me. I am on my constant mode of advocacy to Filipino flavours. And having to be able to work with a limited familiar home grown products and supplies, I was able to adapt and reconnect with my Filipino roots with my own style. All you need is a little creativity, an adventurous appetite for the unknown and a keen eye for the small details.

Change is good. It let’s you grow to a better you. I have learnt this the hard way but I have no regrets. I am what I am now, and that’s what’s important.

I hope you stick around as I grow this ‘wander’ of a blog for everyone to enjoy!

All the best,

Anna ♥

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