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.

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