PP & B creator Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins (it’s standard to have several middle names) shares her unique perspective when it comes to most things Filipino. Born to a Filipina mom and white dad, she was raised in Los Angeles.
Karena kicked it with lots of Filipinos, mostly her cousins and her cousins’ friends. She has fond memories of playing in her Koreatown neighborhood, “galloh-ban-ting” around the city with her friends and visiting her aunts for their home cooking. Picking up bags of fresh pan de sal for family parties and watching her ninang strain the custard mixture for leche flan are some of her favorite recollections.
In 2008, Karena designed and opened Butter Tart Café in Eagle Rock. “Delicious Not Nutritious” was the motto. Butter Tarts with bacon, coconut cupcakes and empanadas were menu items with nods to her Canadian and Filipino roots. The Tartizzle was spotlighted in the LA TIMES, ABC’s weekend magazine and Kababayan TV (Filipino-American entertainment magazine). Karena holds a BA in Communications, California State University Los Angeles and a Post Baccalaureate in Interior Architecture and Design, UCLA.