Where Are You From?/What Brought You to Findlay? Renz Salanga moved to the Findlay area when he was 14 years old. Salanga came to the city to join his parents and siblings who were already here to help care for an ill grandparent who was living in Lima, Ohio. His initial reaction was, “There aren’t a lot of things to do around here.”
14 years later at age 31, Salanga has a different perspective. Salanga describes himself as comfortable living in Findlay along with wife La and baby daughter Raila Pfeiffer. He is owner and chef at the successful Asian-based Stix restaurant at 110 East Sandusky Street in downtown Findlay. Originally from Angeles City, Philippines, Salanga now emphatically states, “I love this city! Findlay is my home.”
Some Differences/Similarities Between Findlay and Home:
Salanga says both Angeles City and Findlay have tightknit communities with people who are willing to sacrifice time to help a neighbor in need.
“During the recent flood here in Findlay our neighbors downtown helped us fill up sandbags to barricade our block. In the Philippines, when I was little a volcano erupted. That’s the first time I saw how selfless and helpful Filipinos are. Even complete strangers will help you in times of need. The same is seen here.”
Salanga says that one difference between Findlay and Angeles City is size.
“Angeles City is a metropolis,” explains Salanga. “It’s a cross between LA and New York City and a tourist destination. We have an international airport. The city is located in the middle of the largest island (Luzon). A 30 minute drive west or east will get you to a beautiful beach for a quick escape. Seafood is also abundant and sold fresh daily everywhere. Findlay has the feeling of “city,” but is smaller and very laid back which I love.”
Favorite Findlay Spots: All of the Salanga family’s friends are restaurant owners in Findlay, so the couple likes to show support to their downtown establishments, but Renz jokingly says “Stix is our favorite with Bistro on Main a close second.”
Other favorite spots are Riverside Park where Renz enjoys taking solo bike rides down the trails. Wolfe’s Produce is the couple’s favorite summer and fall store, mentioning they frequent several farmer’s markets all year round.
Continuing Cultural Traditions From Home: “My parents are old school,” says Renz. “They made sure that me and my siblings never forget our traditions, but the most influential is food.”
The Salangas enjoy having friends over for meals and their friends like to return the favor. “Since they are all in the restaurant business, they can really cook!” said Renz. This is an opportunity where Renz can show off his culinary skills in his own home.
“Adobo, Sinigang, Kare-Kare and many more, which you’ll have to Google because they are very hard to explain!”
“There has been no learning curve to American food,” Salanga continues. “We have all of it in Asia!”
A Cultural Tradition You Enjoy Here: The Salangas have grown to love the American holidays Thanksgiving and Independence Day. “We get to spend time with friends and family, plus the food is great! Our Thanksgiving dinners at our household are legendary. A mixture of traditional Filipino Laos and American food will blow your mind!”
Parenting Tips: Renz and La recently became parents to a beautiful, now 2-month old baby girl, Raila Pfeiffer. When asked what style of parenting he and La will use when raising their daughter he stated, “Authoritative….I also want to instill in her to work hard, be independent and to always put family first.”
Lasting Impressions: Renz says he likes to remember his cultural roots by referring to one of his unnamed heroes’ quotes.
“I got loyalty but I got royalty inside my DNA.”
Renz goes on to say, “I don’t even have to try to keep my cultural roots. It’s in my DNA. I believe that my environment raised me and it shows in everything I do.”