September 26, 2010

Halal Food and The Philippines' lost industry

Last Friday, September 24 in the year 2010. It was a hectic, fun and disappointing day for me, a lot of good things happened but there were flaws during that day.

It was the final day of the College Intramurals and the cheering competition was underway, The team that I was in, ICOMM or the Institute of COMMunicantion. The team included the Advertising, Broadcasting, Communication Arts and the Journalism programs. I didn't really expected ICOMM to win the cheering competition or even had a place because only a few were cheer leaders and that was not the programs' forte, ICOMM's battlefield were in production, film and script writing and any other stuff tgat but I was dumbfounded when we were named 1st runner up in cheering, that was sweet.

Then after a short celebration, we were scheduled to eat at a Halal Cuisine, what the Muslims eat. We were about to go there when suddenly the rain poured hard and we couldn't go there, but we wouldn't be stopped by rain, it's just water! So when the rain subsided a bit we braved it and went to Quiapo via Jeepney. 

When we got there, people inside got a little surprise, well of course they will be because we were not in the same religion as they are and it's also their territory, so I behaved myself to respect them ( I have a deep respect to other religions, we might be praising other Gods but as long as someone believes in a supreme being, that's all good for me). 

The place was called "Mofara's Halal food haus" it was not a fancy restaurant, it's not air conditioned and it's beside the busy streets of Manila. The felt anxiety and a little fear, not because of people staring at me like I'm a criminal but because the place was new to me and my eyes just go wandering around it.

The 8 of us sat in the Muslim canteen including our Professor who was by the way going to treat us lunch. So I ordered my first meal, "RELLENONG BANGUS" (Stuffed Milkfish if I'm not mistaken) and my Professor said "hey get more, this happens only once" so to my delight I rushed back to the waitress and asked for another viand called the "CHICKEN TAPAR" (Chicken with minced young coconut meat) and the soup called "BALBACUA" which tastes like a spicy curry.

From the first bite I knew that I was going to be in a stomach battle. EVERYTHING WAS SPICY! My stomach hates all spicy foods, it just doesn't get to my system. Not that I don't like the way they cooked it, it's just a little stomach problem of mine.
This is just delicious, forget the presentation, what matters is the taste!
In fact, THE FOOD WAS SO GOOD THAT I ATE MORE AND MORE AND I KEPT COMPLAINING HOW SPICY IT WAS BUT AS MUCH AS I COMPLAINED THE MORE I ATE! I just couldn't stop eating at the moment! It was delicious! I drank lots of cola too! The food wouldn't be a perfect experience if you wouldn't sweat while eating. The place was like mecca of food for me that time.

After the great lunch experience I told my Professor I wanted to go hunt for classic Filipino films around the stalls, yep those pirated DVDs and my professor told me there's this one place where I could find it. So we went there and when I got there, I was again dumbfounded by the wide range of Filipino movie collections all in one stall! A stall dedicated for the classics, that's amazing! So I quickly asked for "Oro Plata Mata" "Ganito kami noon, Paano kayo ngayon?" and Tito Vic and Joey comedy movies. I ended up buying 25 DVDs, it was a haven for the lost Filipino film industry.

It's a bit frustrating when you compare the movies of the 80's and 90's to the 2000's. Back then they made such excellent movies, they did it well and it was worth keeping, but now, movies are produced to only one purpose, money. Yes, today's movies were no match of the movies before, today's movies might have all the technological advantage but they lack substance, heart and passion to do masterpieces. It's very rare to have such good and deep movies today.

After buying DVDs we went back to school to have our afternoon class.

Quiapo has become the classics' refuge
So Halal food? Excellent, definitely recommended. Pirated Filipino Movie DVD stalls? Illegal but awesome, definitely recommended. I know those films were pirated, but there's a good side of it, they kept the movies alive, they preserved it for people like me and the youth and the children of the future, they preserved it for us so that we can remember how The Filipino Film industry used to be the best.

September 21, 2010

Blissful tragedy

This episode of my life happened last September 16,2010 in what I call a "Blissful Tragedy"

The day started as usual, I slept 1am and then woke up around 5am and went to attend my Thursday class from 9am-12pm. A text from my EIC said that we have an emergency meeting at 5pm, so 12pm-4:59pm, what I was going to do?

A blessing in the name of my good friend Edward butted in with "come to my place first" and at I was not in to it cause of the travel that was kinda hot and tiring (We ride the jeepney, yes I am no high end blogger, I'm an average citizen that can travel and eat anywhere you put me, just don't give me cheese) but then the weather went on our side, the sun wasn't scorching and it became windy, so I said what the hell, let's go!

So on our way I asked what are we going to eat, I was thinking a simple carbohydrate overload meal for me. That's 2 instant pancit cantons together with rice (Yes, I also have a different tongue) but he had better ideas, knowing the place better he took me to what he claimed to be the "First BEEF PARES Cafeteria" place, where the Elite, Average and the poor come together to munch on their favorite viands.

So I told him "hell yeah! I love pares!" so we went there and true enough, all three classifications are there, The Elite park their expensive cars while the Average go down the public jeepneys and the poor just walk in. So the cafeteria isn't like tables and chairs, it's like a long bar where you get to have someone on your left even if you don't know the person.
The "Original Pares" Place

Looks simple but the taste was extravagant
I ordered of course the famed beef pares, the presentation was simple, plastic plates and viola! you have mouth watering meal. The experience is not worth it if you eat and not perspire there, the place was "the best hottest" place to be in, it was just awesome.

Surprisingly, he treated me and I really don't like being in that position especially when a friend of yours is trying to save money to pay for his laptop. After that we went to his place and just hang out there and rested, killing time by watching "showtime".

ah! so tragic.
Fast forward I left there at 4:20 and at the LRT Blumentritt station I saw the old railway, it was full of informal settlers, my fellow unfortunate countrymen. If I was the President I would offer them "back to province" program, because most of them left their province to look for a better life but ended unsuccessful, not enough money to go back to their simple lives.

I arrived at the meeting but it didn't push through because they were all busy and I understand that, so I just watched some of my friends play starcraft. Around 7pm we were on the way home when suddenly heavy rain started. We were stranded until 9PM. The train's last ride was 9:30pm and I made a decision to just outrun the rain, so we did it and we were wet, my polo was dripping with water and it's embarrassing but what the hell? I wanted to go home. The best part was that the card for the train I didn't use for 3 months worked miraculously! Truly amazing indeed.

The day was a mix of bliss and tragedy. More bliss actually :)

September 12, 2010

Public Utility Drivers of the Philippines: Professional Amateurs

Last Thursday, September 10, I was with my buddies and headed to a friend's house to drink the night away after attending the school's acquaintance party. We stopped by McDonald's to grab something to eat before we drown ourselves to sleep with beer. So after that we were leaving the premises of the fast food and then suddenly, taxi appeared up in my rear and I hit his front, my rear lights was broken. I was thinking how unlucky I get from trying to be extra-careful.

I just concluded that Public Utility Vehicle Drivers (PUV-D) are the worst drivers in the Philippines. You can prove my claim by just asking around 10 random non-pro licensed drivers and they'll tell you what kind of driver they hate and it's always going to be a PUV Driver.

In my knowledge, the Philippines has 6 PUVs around the country. This are the Pedicabs, Tricycles, Jeepneys, Taxis, FX and the big Bus. Those are 6 form of public transportation, a lot of ways to go around in a small country.

Each of those kinds has its own driving problems, they are all unique and amazingly, they're stereotyped and it's a proven stereotype. It's like each driving specie has its own driving skill, whether good or bad.

Let's get it started with the smallest.

PEDICAB - A bicycle with a sidecar, the good thing is that it's earth friendly, no gas needed just pure energy and endurance from the driver, the problem is that because they are small, they get into one way streets and if you're going fast, you're in a collision course with these people.

TRICYCLE - A motorcycle with sidecar, what's good is it's close to the size of the PEDICAB, it's also faster, the problem is that they aren't the most polite drivers, they tend to race with other tricycles even if they have passengers on board.

JEEPNEY - Was invented from the WW2 military Jeeps left by the Americans in the country, then grew to be the most popular of all PUVs and a country's icon to the world. What's great about the Jeepney is that it's the cheapest transportation and it practices passengers to be honest while paying the fee. The bad thing? well you better not get too close from these guys because they just hit the break whenever the passenger halts them, they drop passengers like paratroopers, literally anywhere they like.

TAXI - The closest to having your own driver take you anywhere, that's the good thing but, will he agree on taking you there? or it will cost more than it should be? They always complain about not getting enough profit, it's because they refuse to take people if the passenger won't give extra tip or a plus to the flag down rate, they are the most GREEDY of all.

 The FX - Named after the "Tamaraw FX" model of a car. What's good is it's like riding an air conditioned Jeepney, the bad news is that, is the air conditioning unit working? Yes folks these cars are the most UN CHECKED vehicles, the dirtiest to look at actually, the most sick from all, they don't have regular check ups.

BUS - The big boss of the road, the kings as what they claimed although it is considered that the Jeepneys are the kings. It's big and has entertainment on board, either the radio or tv or if you're lucky, a movie might be playing. The bast thing is that they have the most number of accidents in the past recent years, The MOST RECKLESS of all drivers, they think they're driving mini coopers.

I wonder how did they get PROFESSIONAL LICENSE so easily, it just proves the lack of training and sensitivity from the drivers and the Government who issue so called "Professional" driver's license to these crazy drivers.

I do not own any of the pictures posted here, It is downloaded from the net using Google browser.

September 4, 2010

Teen no more, the boy becomes a man.

Let's imagine that's the womb of my mom :)
Today marks the start of my 20th year of living in this ill-fated but still wonderful world and the end of my 10 year roller coaster ride in the "TEEN" years. It's been 20 years since my name registered in this world. September 4, 1990. The day my mother thought she will die giving birth to me.

Today I woke up around 6:30am, it was weird cause I didn't set an alarm, so greetings in the house came like happy birthday this and that. I told them that I won't celebrate my birthday on my birthday but the next day, cause tomorrow is Sunday and that meant family day.

So around 11:30am I went to the mall by myself to buy things I needed using the gifts given to me. I bought things that I needed the most like a portable external hard drive that I badly need because the files in my laptop are eating up the space especially the movies and music videos I downloaded. Then I bought new leather shoes, it was just about time cause the shoes I was wearing during the past 4 months were broken, there's a hole on the side (my feet gets wet every time it rains, ah! the dilemma of a commuter) It wasn't that expensive though, a 3 digit pair would do for me after all, I'm a commuter. Then up next was a Gola bag, I have an addiction with shoulder bags and the most important thing I bought, I downloaded new games to my PSP!

Ah! It's been crazy being a "TEEN" 
After those things I treated myself to movie, I watched "Despicable Me" the movie was fun and cuddly cute to the highest level! A must watch in 3D. I'm not a spoiler so I'll stop right now.

I spent my birthday mostly in the mall, from 12pm-5pm and believe it or not, I was alone just walking around that little 3 floored mall I always go when I want to watch a movie, play cheap XBOX 360 rental and of course, the silence of the mall (It's one of the most quiet because there's only hundreds who go there)

The most noisy kid during the past 10 years celebrated his birthday with absolutely no one to talk to. Ironic, and I didn't throw a party, cause I just don't, no explanation, I just don't wanna drink if it's my birthday. Yeah I'm weird, there's always a different perspective in all subjects and topics of life for me.

I want to say thanks to all who greeted me! I couldn't thank you all because over 200 people greeted me! It meant a lot to me for you to remember ( well credit goes to FACEBOOK for reminding them! )

I think I'm really old because I'm starting to Love the silence and peace of mind. I like to put this little poem I found in the net, It didn't have a name after it but I love it, it's totally the perfect way to thank everyone.

To those of you who laughed at me, thank you.

Without you I wouldn't have cried.

To those of you who just couldn't love me, thank you.

Without you I wouldn't have known real love.

To those of you who hurt my feelings, thank you.

Without you I wouldn't have felt them.

To those of you who left me lonely, thank you.

Without you I wouldn't have discovered myself.

But it is to those of you who thought I couldn't do it;

It is you I thank the most,
Because without you I wouldn't have tried.