Thursday, July 10, 2008
I am bigoted (Jel’s word of the day) against certain (although nutritious) food, which partly explains my slim body built. That shall dismiss your theory that I adore Judy Ann Santos so much that I didn’t even spare her endorsed Fitrum with L-Carnitine and achieved a “Wow na Wow” figure in the end. I might have a voracious appetite (what planetary gay can devour adobo, pork sinigang or tinola and a casserole full of rice in a single sitting?), but offer me food laced with tausi, guava fruit or banana heart and I will run hollering at the opposite direction. Like a conceited Latina beauconera, I am also sure to turn my nose against beef tapa as tough as leather, frogs (that have since stopped croaking), or meals cooked in coconut milk. Pangga knows I have to stop mentioning the rest of my gastrointestinal abomination lest I lose my craving altogether.
Meanwhile, I have a strange fascination for street food, notwithstanding warnings from healthcare friends that I might catch polysyllabic diseases for indulging in consumables exposed to virulent microorganisms and the toxic gases of the metropolis. Not that I have a death wish or don’t care about what caring friends say, but I want to sustain my oneness with the masses by eating what they eat. Hence, popular culture colors my sojourns at barbecue stands where university-bred elites buy “six pieces ng pork isaw,” fishball-chickenball-kikiam carts, makeshift stalls peddling calamares, mekekekwek or egg balls, sago-gulaman, goto-lugaw, siomai, among other exotic offerings from ingenious Filipino small and medium enterprises. These places thrive, too, with materials for writing, such as this Wow-a-cart I and my academic colleagues recently visited to gorge chicken entrails in. Our wise Supremo from the Business Administration department recounted to us that the owner won the kiosk from the carnivalesque noontime show Wowowee. Spotting a small child placidly asleep underneath, next to the frying area, wisecracking Edwin asked, “kasama ba sa napanalunan ‘yung tulugan ng bata?”
Another goldmine is this Guadalupe siopao stall whose nightshift attendant is a moreno, broad-chested boy direct from the fiction pages of Valentino, Coverboy or some other parlor-read gay magazines. Last time I and Mama Joni stopped by, Sexy Attendant asked in a provocative baritone, “Sir, ano po’ng kakainin n’yo?” Joni replied, “Hong Kong-style noodles!” while I merely pointed at the luscious siopao filled to bursting with meat (hopefully not cat’s) in his front, to which SA reacted, “ako po ang gusto n’yong kainin?!?” Or the tisoy-manned shawarma joint in UP which I blogged about recently. Hmm, featuring yet another foodstuff very soon (i.e. the beverage joint attended by two cuties near Ruel’s place) might confirm RR’s observation that I’m turning into a Doreen Fernandez or Nora Daza of the gay sort.
My makamasa appetite has likewise brought me to this hole-in-the-wall bulalohan within the axis of my residence. If some pamintas think that this bulalohan is a gay wordplay for a place for m2m action, sorry guys. It is really a joint offering tongue-scorching bulalo soup and spicy sisig at—don’t look now—P20 only. Rice is at P6, so it is not a wonder that the tiny place is a blockbuster among the drivers, parloristas, construs, salesclerks, students, etc. round-the-clock. The escalating inflation rate has somehow affected this favorite enterprise, for a month ago the owner decided to add P5 to the original price of the bulalo and the sisig in order to make up for the rising marketing expenses. It proved fatal, because the next two weeks saw the dramatic decline in customers savoring both the oily brew and the fiery sisig. Food rates have since retroceded, with the glassy-eyed manang explaining that the management will have to bear the economic burden if only to get by. I could see that their survival is their low-class customers’ survival as well, so I’m happy that I’ll still be seeing commoners, even families who eat there together because the lowly bulalohan is aware of what customers’ budget can afford. Without even knowing the meaning of corporate social responsibility, let alone hear it, the bulalohan is conscious about looking after its kind. I’m convinced anew that heroism lies in the masses.