6-52nd ADA Battalion FRG holds Asian cooking class
Jobee Dumo demonstrates to other military spouses how to cook a Filipino fried noodle dish during an Asian cuisine cooking class on Osan Air Base.

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea - Jobee Dumo was ready to put the finishing touch to a fine Filipino cuisine known as pansit.

She skillfully poured in the golden stock and other colorful ingredients into a sizzling pan.

The tantalizing aroma of the soft rice noodle mixed with slow-roasted tender immediately filled the room, arousing the taste buds of all its occupants.

“Pansit is one of the main Filipino dishes and depends on which Island you go in the Philippines, each location will have a different style and taste of Pansit,” Dumo explained. “I personally enjoy my Pansit with more vegetables than other folks do.”

Do not mistake Dumo for a professional chef nor was she cooking at a fine-dining restaurant on Main Street.

Instead, Jobee Dumo is a military spouse and a Family Readiness Group Leader in the 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery, hosting an Asian cuisine cooking class for other military spouses inside the Jirisan Apartment Day Room right here at Osan Air Base May 23.

“All of the ingredients you can find right here at the Osan commissary,” Dumo told all the spouses.

As the Pansit and other Asian delights are being served over the dinner table, the spouses enjoyed friendly conversations just as much as the delicious food.

According to Dumo, the intent of this class is “to first, educate other spouses about Asian culture and even more importantly, to strengthen the bond among the spouses in the unit … essentially providing a platform for army wives to socialize.”

Joy Bow, one of the military spouses participating in the cooking class, agreed. “This is a great channel to socialize with other spouses while learning about each other’s cultures.”

Bow grew up in Thailand and met her husband while he was studying abroad.

“After all, the month of May has been proclaimed by President Obama as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and I thought to myself what better way to celebrate it than to showcase some of the best known cuisines from the area,” laughed Dumo, who is of Filipino descent.

The unit’s family readiness group routinely hosts spouse socials such as the Asian cuisine cooking class to promote the morale and welfare of the families stationed in Korea as well as to reach out to new spouses who have just arrived on the peninsula.

Bow was one of the spouses extremely grateful for the assistance provided by her FRG when she and her husband first arrived in country under command sponsorship over a year ago.

“It was my first PCS move out of the states as an Army wife, and I was a little worried about the ‘moving’ piece, such as how can we ship our furniture and all the millions of paperwork we have to go through to get everything we needed,” recalled Bow, who has been married since 2008.

She continued, “Luckily, the unit has an excellent FRG program, and other spouses kindly shared the most updated command information as well as guidance and tips with me to make sure my family can get situated as soon as possible.”

According to Bow, perhaps the most important function of an FRG program is to “share personal experience and the most current information on the ground” to the newcomers who might not be able to get these information during an official housing brief.

Dumo, who is the FRG leader for Foxtrot Company, 6-52nd ADA Battalion, echoed a similar sentiment, “FRG is here to help and to provide assistance whenever needed.”

“There was once I got lost outside of the base,” Bow chuckled, “and I called the only folks I know from FRG and they helped me navigate my way back.”

Bow is now fully acclimated into the Osan and Suwon community. And she is ready to provide the same assistance to other new spouses.

“It is really about mentoring the young wives and FRG leaders and prepare them to take on more advanced role as part of the FRG wherever their next duty station might be,” said Christina Darne, whose husband is the commander of the 6-52nd Air Defense Artillery Battalion.

Page last updated Wed May 25th, 2011 at 04:11