I’ve been pronouncing Pateros all wrong for so long. I blame my northern accent. Goooo to PaterOHs, oh ho! No, no, no. Pateros is much more inclusive. The correct pronunciation is “Pa-tare-us,” with an “us.”
Sierra Golden set me straight and then sent me down the rabbit hole wondering how Pateros is pronounced in the Philippines — because the town at the mouth of the Methow River was named by war veteran Charles Nosler upon his return from a town of the same name in the Philippines. Still with me?
The rabbit hole reached all the way back to 1521 when Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Philippine islands for the Spanish Empire and invaders gave towns Spanish names. A municipality in the Philippines famous for its culinary dishes featuring duck, was given the Spanish name of “duck-makers,” Pateros. The Spanish colonial period came to an end during the Spanish American war, closely followed by the Philippine Revolution.
Enter Lieutenant Charles Nosler, an American soldier from Washington, deployed to the Philippines, where he enjoyed dining on roast duck and sending postcards of Pateros to his family back home. In 1900, Charles Nosler returned to Washington state and moved to Ives Landing. He renamed the town after his Filipino experience. Pateros, Washington, officially became an American city on May 1, 1913.
Next weekend, enjoy all the Pateros holiday festivities and culinary delights with Christmas in the Park and the Pateros Holiday Market. Christmas in the park after dark is something to experience — festive holiday lights decorate Pateros Memorial Park and reflect on the smooth surface of the Columbia River. Stroll through the display with a cup of hot cocoa and cookies from the SweetRiver Bakery.
Events start Friday, Dec. 2, at 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., and continue all day Saturday, Dec. 3, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The holiday market is located inside the Pateros-Brewster Community Resource Center along the mall walkway.
On Saturday afternoon at the Pateros Holiday Market, Donnie’s Fresh Jamaican cuisine and catering stand will be open in Pateros, serving up authentic Jamaican food. No word on if he will have roast duck.
Exciting news just up the river from Pateros — the Methow Valley Interpretive Center is open on Saturdays, noon-4 p.m., through the winter. They have an excellent selection of natural history books and novels by Native American authors with close ties to this land. In addition to engaging, beautiful exhibits and a book shop, visitors to the center on Saturdays can learn how to make woven baskets with Janice Kasala.
The Interpretive Center’s Winter 2023 Book Club starts off with “The Seed Keeper” by Diane Wilson. The book club will meet at the end of January for discussion and snacks. Refer to the November 2022 newsletter at www.methowvalleyinterpretivecenter.com/newsletters to sign up for the book club.
The Interpretive Center can continue to “foster awareness and understanding of Indigenous people, geology and natural history of the Methow Valley and Upper Columbia region,” through the generous support of local donors. Visit the website or the center for more information.