It's interesting to learn salutations from places all over the world. In Mexico you say, "Hola!" In, Hawaii, it's, "Aloha," in Australia, "G'day mate!" while in France you're greeted with, "Bonjour." I recently learned one of the most common greetings in the Philippines: Mabuhay!
May Neeshan, a native Filipino, tells me that Mabuhay means "live long and prosper," so she chose this name when she decided to open a Filipino and Asian market four years ago. Prior to opening her store, which is located just off Redwood Road in Taylorsville, May drove to Orem when she wanted to purchase imported Filipino products. To bring these products closer to home, May opened Mabuhay Mini Mart, Filipino and Asian Foods.
Mabuhay offers several mainstays of Filipino cooking such as Lumpia, the Filipino version of the spring roll; Adobo, a seasoning used in many Filipino dishes; and Longanisa, which is Filipino sausage. Other common Filipino products the store carries include Halo Halo, UBE treats and many other traditional desserts as well as young coconut, Calamansi and Manila Mango juice. In addition, the Neeshans offer a special service to ship packages to the Philippines. Customers appreciate this service since it gives them a way to send essential items to their family. Mabuhay also offers money remittances to the Philippines and other international locations.
The Filipino community in Salt Lake City has experienced rapid growth in the last few years, and May says this has contributed to Mabuhay's success. However, her ability to connect with customers on a personal level, greeting them with a smile and filling special orders, has also helped.
Eventually May would like to expand her business into a full one-stop Filipino strip mall with a grocery store, restaurant and boutique. For now she hopes to continue providing a place where Salt Lake residents can experience a taste of the Philippines.