Fans and scholars can spend this whole day, her 68th birthday, defending the actress’s claim to a National Artist honor, but it seems Nora Aunor would be just as happy cooking a good meal at home. These days, Philippine cinema’s greatest actress is a reluctant YouTube star, sharing recipes she learned from her parents as a young girl in Iriga, Camarines Sur to her loyalists online. Yes, it seems there's a new "Cooking it Up with Nora" in town—but this Nora can sing, too.
Her six-month old channel is called Nora Aunor Official and has 44,900 subscribers as of last count. It’s a way for her to connect with fans in different parts of the world. There are clips from her variety show “Superstar,” an episode where she is parading her “Superstar” outfits (but don’t expect “Pretty Woman” production value), and episodes where she visits her fans at home (not sure that’s a great idea for a senior like her and her more senior fans in this pandemic but it’s there).
As for the cooking tutorials, she’s already two episodes in. She does them in a nondescript kitchen and with a lady named Tammy holding the camera. The first dish she prepares is Bicol Express (already at 305,000 views), which she follows up with another Bicolano recipe: Ginataang Laing (now at 53,000 views in four weeks). She wears no makeup, cooks with the most basic ingredients, and gives the most frugal instructions. She just lets her eyes do the talking. Jk.
But seriously, the instructions are flashed onscreen and, in true Nora Aunor fashion, a careful “po” or “opo” is inserted at every phrase. She is, as always, very apologetic—as if she’s imposing her recipe on everyone. “Sorry po,” she says about the oily turnout of the Bicol Express, which looks amazing to us. “Hindi naman po talaga ako marunong magluto.” Relax, Ate Guy, YOU. DID NOT. KILL. ANYBODY.
She is more confident on the Ginataang Laing episode and she promises to cook Ginataang Langka next. These dishes, she says, are stuff she learned from watching her parents cook when she was a young girl in Bicol. (Come evening time, the young Nora would sell the dishes in a market in Iriga.) Whether they taste good or not, we can’t say for sure, but how the lady turns the simplest ingredients into a delicious looking dish—hey, ad agencies, baka she can do food styling—is a little kitchen himala.