Hello and welcome to my blog, Astig Vegan!
My name is RG Enriquez. I’m a cook and a purveyor of both traditionally vegan and veganized Filipino recipes.
I grew up in Cavite, Philippines until I was 15 years old. As a kid, I would help my mom in the kitchen prepare and cook Filipino dishes for our family. I owe my knowledge and passion for cooking to my mother who had me as her little “sous chef” by her side. Years later, My family and I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I acclimated myself to many diverse cultures and cuisines. I explored different kinds of restaurants and their vegan options and specialties. I learned from both chef friends and foodie friends. I also studied and practiced television broadcasting which later on helped me with my work at Astig Vegan.
My journey to veganism started more than six years ago. I started for health reasons that eventually led to ethical and environmental reasons as well. Luckily, my family and friends fully supported my decision.
Filipino Food is not necessarily the most vegan-friendly cuisine. Historically, the early Filipinos mainly ate aquatic animals, domestic fowls, vegetables, and fruits. Filipinos would eat land animals at special occasions and big gatherings. When Spain colonized the Philippines in the 1500s, Spain introduced the heavy consumption of beef. In the 1950s, the Americans introduced and encouraged the consumption of heavily-processed convenience food such as fast food and canned goods. Today, Filipino food is both figuratively and literally a melting pot of cuisines from different cultures.
Although I don’t eat animal products anymore, I don’t want to give up on the food I loved so much as a kid. Undeterred, I pursued to delve deeper in learning Filipino food as well as sharing my discoveries along the way.
One of these amazing discoveries was that it is possible to achieve delicious, healthy, and vegan Filipino food without losing its soul.
My passion for both vegan Filipino cooking and sharing my recipes led me to blogging on astigvegan.com and a cooking show on YouTube called, “Astig Vegan Cooking“.
I also furthered my education by taking the Rouxbe Plant-Based Certification Course, which led me to become a certified plant-based professional.
The meaning behind Astig Vegan
It’s a word play popularized in the Philippines in the 70s, when then-young generation would flip the syllables to create their own language (“ermats” as in mother, “erpats” father, etc).
“Astig” is slang for “Tig-as”, literally “tough” or “hard”, and is still widely coined by Filipinos to describe something gutsy.
I’d like to look at vegan Filipino cooking as being “Astig”.
Past Astig Vegan Cooking Demos:
Past and Current Astig Vegan Collaborations: