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  1. #1

    Default "It's more fun in the Philippines"

    This is so funny...take time
    to read all the way to the
    end. The following is from a
    British journalist stationed
    in the
    Philippines. His observations are so

    Matter of Taste
    By Matthew Sutherland

    I have now been in this
    country for over six years,
    and consider
    myself in most respects well
    assimilated. However, there
    is one key step
    the road to full assimilation,
    which I have yet to take,
    and thatís
    to eat BALUT. The day any of you sees me
    eating balut, please call
    and ask
    to issue me a Filipino passport. Because at that
    point there will be no
    turning back.
    BALUT, for those still
    blissfully ignorant non-
    Pinoys out there, is a fertilized duck egg.
    It is commonly sold with
    salt in a piece of newspaper,
    much like
    fish and chips, by street vendors usually
    after dark, presumably so
    you canít see how
    it is. Itís meant to be an
    aphrodisiac, although I
    canít imagine anything
    to dispel sexual desire than crunching on a partially
    formed baby duck
    in noxious fluid. The
    embryo in the egg comes in
    varying stages of development,
    but basically it is not
    considered macho to eat
    one without fully
    discernable feathers,
    beak, and claws. Some say these crunchy bits are the
    best. Others
    just to drink the so-called
    ísoupí, the vile, pungent
    liquid that surrounds
    the aforementioned
    feathery fetus...excuse me;
    I have to go and throw up
    now. Iíll be back in a
    minute. Food dominates the life of
    the Filipino. People here just
    love to eat. They eat at least eight times
    a day. These eight official
    meals are
    called, in order: breakfast,
    snacks, lunch, merienda,
    merienda ceyna, dinner, bedtime snacks and
    fridge-so-it-doesnít-count. The short gaps in between
    these mealtimes are spent
    eating Sky Flakes
    from the open packet that
    sits on every desktop.
    Youíre never far from food in the Philippines.
    If you doubt this, next time
    home from work, try this
    game. See how long you can drive without
    seeing food and I donít
    mean a distant restaurant,
    or a picture of
    food. I mean a man on the
    sidewalk frying fish balls, or a man
    walking through the traffic
    selling nuts or candy. I bet
    itís less than
    minute. Here are some other things
    Iíve noticed about food in
    the Philippines: Firstly, a meal is not a meal
    without rice - even
    breakfast. In the UK,
    I could go a whole year
    without eating rice. Second,
    itís impossible to drink without eating. A
    bottle of San Miguel just
    isnít the same
    without gambas or beef
    tapa. Third, no one
    ventures more than two paces
    from their house without
    baon (food in small
    container) and a container
    of something cold to drink.
    You might as well ask a Filipino to leave
    home without his pants on.
    And lastly, where I come
    from, you eat with
    a knife and fork. Here, you
    eat with a spoon and fork. You try eating
    rice swimming in fish sauce
    with a knife. One really nice thing about
    Filipino food culture is that
    people always
    to SHARE their food. In my office, if you catch anyone
    attacking their
    they will always go, "Sir!
    KAIN TAYO!" ("Letís eat!").
    This confused me,
    I realized that they didnít
    actually expect me to sit
    down and start
    munching on their boneless bangus. In fact, the polite
    response is
    something like, "No thanks,
    I just ate." But the principle
    is sound -
    if you have food on your plate, you are expected to
    share it, however
    hungry you are, with those
    who may be even hungrier.
    I think thatís
    great! In fact, this is frequently
    even taken one step
    Many Filipinos use "Have
    you eaten yet?" ("KUMAIN
    KA NA?") as a general greeting, irrespective of
    time of day or location. Some foreigners think
    Filipino food is fairly dull
    compared to
    other Asian
    Actually lots of it is very good: Spicy dishes like Bicol
    a dish
    named after a train);
    anything cooked with coconut milk; anything
    and anything ADOBO. And
    itís hard to beat the sheer
    cholesterolic frenzy
    of a good old-fashioned
    LECHON de leche (roast pig)
    feast. Dig a pit,
    light a fire,
    add 50 pounds of animal fat on a stick, and cook until
    crisp. Mmm,
    you can actually feel your
    arteries constricting with
    each successive mouthful. I also share one key Pinoy
    trait ---a sweet tooth. I am
    thus the only
    I know who does not
    complain about sweet bread, sweet burgers,
    sweet banana ketchup, and
    so on. I am a man who likes
    to put jam on his pizza. Try it! Itís the weird food you
    want to avoid. In addition
    to duck fetus in
    half-shell, items to
    avoid in the Philippines include pigís blood soup
    (DINUGUAN); bullís
    testicle soup, the
    strangely-named "SOUP
    NUMBER FIVE" (I dread to
    think what numbers one through four are);
    and the ubiquitous, stinky
    shrimp paste, BAGOONG,
    and itís equally
    sister, PATIS. Filipinos are so addicted to
    these latter items that they
    even risk
    arrest or
    deportation trying to smuggle them into
    countries like Australia and
    which wisely ban the
    importation of items you can smell from more than
    paces. Then thereís the small
    matter of the purple ice
    cream. I have never
    able to get my brain
    around eating purple food; the ubiquitous UBE leaves
    me cold. And lastly on the subject of
    weird food, beware: that
    could well be
    KALDERETANG ASO (dog)... The Filipino, of course, has a
    well-developed sense of
    food. Hereís a
    typical Pinoy
    food joke: "Iím on a
    seafood diet. "Whatís a seafood diet?" "When I
    see food, I eat it!" Filipinos also eat strange
    bits of animals --- the feet,
    the head,
    the guts, etc., usually
    barbecued on a stick. These
    have been given witty names,
    like "ADIDAS" (chickenís
    feet); "KURBATA" (either
    just chickenís neck,
    "neck and thigh" as in "neck-tie");
    "WALKMAN" (pigs ears);
    "HELMET" (chicken head); "IUD" (chicken intestines),
    and BETAMAX"
    blocks of animal blood).
    Yum, yum. Bon appetit. "A good name is rather to
    be chosen than great
    riches"-- (Proverbs
    22:1) WHEN I arrived in the
    Philippines from the UK six
    years ago, one of the
    first cultural differences to
    strike me was names. The
    subject has provided a continuing
    source of amazement and
    amusement ever since.
    The first unusual thing,
    from an English perspective,
    is that everyone here has a nickname. In the
    staid and boring United
    Kingdom, we have
    nicknames in kindergarten,
    but when we move into
    adulthood we tend, I am glad to say, to lose them. The second thing that
    struck me is that Philippine
    names for both
    girls and boys tend to be
    what we in the UK would
    regard as overbearingly
    cutesy for anyone over
    about five. Fifty-five-year-
    olds colleague put
    Where I come from, a boy with a nickname like Boy
    Blue or Honey Boy
    would be beaten to death
    at school by pre-adolescent
    bullies, and never
    make it to adulthood. So, probably, would girls with
    names like Babes,
    Lovely, Precious, Peachy or
    Apples. Yuk, ech ech.
    Here, however, no one bats
    an eyelid.
    Then I noticed how many
    people have what I have
    come to call "door-bell
    names". These are nicknames that
    sound like -well, doorbells.
    There are
    millions of
    Bing, Bong, Ding, and Dong are some of the more
    common. They can be,
    frequently are, used in even
    more door-bell-like
    combinations such as Bing-Bong, Ding-Dong,
    Ting-Ting, and so on. Even
    our newly appointed
    chief of police has a
    doorbell name Ping. None of
    these doorbell names exist where I come from,
    and hence sound unusually
    amusing to my
    untutored foreign ear. Someone once told me that
    one of the Bings, when
    asked why he was
    called Bing, replied,
    "because my brother is
    called Bong". Faultless logic.
    Dong, of course, is a
    particularly funny one for
    me, as where I come
    "dong" is a slang word for well;
    perhaps "talong" is the best
    equivalent. Repeating names was
    another novelty to me,
    having never before
    encountered people with
    names like Len-Len, Let-Let,
    Mai-Mai, or Ning-Ning.
    The secretary I inherited on
    my arrival had an unusual
    one: Leck-Leck.
    Such names are then
    frequently further refined by using the "squared"
    as in Len2 or Mai2. This had
    me very confused for a
    while. Then there is the trend for
    parents to stick to a theme
    when naming
    their children. This can be as
    simple as making them all
    begin with the same letter, as in Jun,
    Jimmy, Janice, and Joy. More imaginative parents
    shoot for more
    sophisticated forms of
    or rhyme, as in Biboy,
    Boboy, Buboy, Baboy (notice the names get
    more kids
    there are-best to be born
    early or you could end up being a Baboy). Even better, parents can
    create whole families of,
    say, desserts
    (Apple Pie, Cherry Pie,
    Honey Pie) or flowers
    (Rose, Daffodil, Tulip). The main
    advantage of such
    combinations is that they
    look great painted across
    trunk if youíre a cab driver. Thatís another thing Iíd
    never seen before coming
    to Manila -- taxis
    driverís kidsí names on the trunk. Another whole eye-
    opening field for the
    foreign visitor is
    the phenomenon
    of the
    "composite" name. This includes names like Jejomar
    (for Jesus, Joseph
    Mary), and
    the remarkable Luzviminda
    (for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, believe it
    Thatís a bit like me being
    called something like
    "Engscowani" (for England,
    Scotland, Wales and
    Northern Ireland). Between
    you and me, Iím glad Iím
    not. And how could I forget to
    mention the fabulous
    concept of the randomly
    letter íhí. Quite what this
    device is supposed to achieve, I have
    not yet
    figured out,
    but I think it is designed to
    give a touch of class to an
    otherwise only
    averagely weird name.
    It results in creations like
    Jhun, Lhenn, Ghemma, and
    Jhimmy. Or how
    about Jhun-Jhun (Jhun2)? How boring to come from a
    country like the UK full of
    people with
    names like John Smith.
    How wonderful to come
    from a country where imagination and exoticism
    the world of names. Even the towns here have
    weird names; my favorite is
    the unbelievably
    town of Sexmoan
    (ironically close to Olongapo and Angeles). Where else in
    world could
    that really be true? Where else in the world? Where else but the
    Philippines! Note: Philippines has a
    senator named Joker, and it
    is his legal
    Last edited by boneheead; 21st Jan 2012 at 23:30.

  2. #2

    Default Re: "It's more fun in the Philippines"

    Matthew Sutherland? Siya ba yung nasa book ni Bob Ong? Anyway, nice read here! Very timely buti nakita ko 'to, related kasi siya sa ginagawa ko =) Too bad foreigner pa nakakakita ng positive things about our country. Pero to be honest I don't like the concept na "It's more fun in the Philippines" parang pilit kasi. Pero hell yeah it's fun here in the Philippines I'm very proud to be a Filipino =)

  3. #3

    Default Re: "It's more fun in the Philippines"

    totoo ba to o baka gawa lng ng isang pinoy..? kakatawa story nya lalo na ang xpression na 'kain tayo'..haha kkain tlg.., hindi alam ang answer na 'thanks pero kumain na ako'..ugali nga nman ng pinoy..

  4. #4

    Default Re: "It's more fun in the Philippines"

    sa haba palang natatawa na ko

  5. #5

    Default Re: "It's more fun in the Philippines"

    ang liliit ng letter natamad tuloy akong basahin..!
    Thanks na rin sa effort!

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