Friday, August 31, 2007

On School Uniforms & Dress Codes (Part III)

I can't believe I left out the part about footwear! It may be because it wasn't brought up in the Weekly Sillimanian. Though I remember shortly before Foundation Week, there was something like "Come To School in Slippers Day" as a form of protest. This necessitates a Part 3 to the already long series. I'll be quick.

As I mentioned two posts ago, the students at De La Salle University in Taft Avenue vigorously defended their right to wear their favorite footwear.

Everyone knows that the now fashionable flip-flops originated in Asia. In the vernacular, they're the ever reliable tsinelas. Who knew they would be all the rage?




I'm all for comfort. When you have a campus as large as Silliman's, it's a blessing to have comfortable shoes. The terrain varies from place to place from dirt, concrete, asphalt, grass, marble and tile. The lowly slipper can walk with ease wherever it goes come rain or shine.

Besides, if you consider all the conveyances students ride to get to school, you're better off in slippers. Students take the pedicab (read:tricycle), the back of an easy-ride (those locally assembled miniature pick-up trucks), bicycles and scooters. We're not even talking about walking here.

I admit there are many alternatives for women: flats, loafers or sneakers. Oh yeah, and the infamous Crocs. Let's leave it to them to decide. In the same way they decide to put themselves in serious danger with heels higher than 2."

Men on the other hand, classify their footwear into just two categories: open/closed, leather/non-leather, black/non-black, depending on who you're talking with. With one whole option unavailable to them, imagine the air of discontent in the campus.

NOTE: I have been unable to think of anything else to say that I haven't said before. So I'll just spare all of us the discomfort and end it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On Boston Market

s I mentioned in a previous post, I do so love to feed other people. When I have to nourish myself, I usually end up buying instant noodles or street food. While driving, I head for the nearest drive-thru. I don't discriminate, I just pick the closest one. This is when I'm in Manila and these places abound, some of them open 24/7.

I've been in Dumaguete since last month however, and there is only one drive-thru in the whole city! Burgers and fries from this place were coming out of my ears. The girl manning the window knows me and switches to English or Tagalog when taking my order. (They speak Cebuano here). It was becoming obvious that I needed just one decent meal from somewhere else. Then I could revert back to my old ways.

A few days later, I found myself downtown with a few hours to spare. It was way past lunch and I was starving! I remembered eating in a quaint Italian restaurant earlier in the year and wanted to go back. This Italian place was called, can you believe, Boston Market!? I've never been to Boston, much less their markets. Yet it's hard to imagine how this establishment could bear a semblance to its namesake.

I called my sister up and asked her to join me. The waitress took our orders then served my drink. I decided on calamari to start then a pasta (I forget which). The service took too long, but then that's another story.

Near the end of my meal, I noticed something in my dish. It was silver, stiff and a few millimeters long. I just knew it was a staple wire which could have done some serious damage to my gums!! (This was in hindsight though). Funny, but the thing running through my mind at the moment was that the kitchen didn't make anything from scratch. I imagined them opening stapled packets of spice or something to add to their sauces.

I showed it to my sister who, true to form, freaked out. It's not that I don't complain, but I just can't complain in Cebuano. She called the waitress and asked, in Tagalog but of course, what that thing was and what it was doing in my dish. The waitress inspected the specimen then said it must have been a sliver from a CAN! Again I was thinking, they use canned tomatoes??

Not satisfied with her explanation, my sister demanded that it be shown to the manager and that said manager be summoned. How it came to be is beyond me, but the waitress ended up showing the "nasty thing" to the kitchen staff!! She returned with a smug smile on her face when she returned. No, she declared, "it" was neither a staple wire or a piece of can. It was STEEL WOOL! I could have fainted, seriously.

This is a picture of steel wool uploaded from Can you imagine used particles of this in your food!? Well okay, it was a single particle. But one is just too much.

Anyway, as the waitress ceremoniously handed "it" back to us, I had an idea. I asked my sister to take pictures with her camera phone.

This was Dumaguete after all, the City of Gentle People. I didn't want to stir things up and be the bitch from Manila. I did, however, expect an apology from management or from the waitress at least. (It didn't happen). Was that asking too much? It would have been pushing it to expect free dessert or a discount. It just doesn't happen here.

Retaliation is not on my mind, though I would never eat there again. I just wanted to rant in the appropriate forum read: my blog.

Here is one more picture for posterity. Do you see it?

There! I got it off my chest. Finally.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Update: On Little Boys and Puppies

I only just realized that I never did post a picture of the newest member of our family, Silly Puppy. Nah!! My niece just now uploaded the pictures from our camera. I wouldn't know how. Silly Mistress:)

Here it is.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

On My New "Old" Phone

My Nokia3210 finally died! His was a long and productive life. I didn't even attempt to look for a replacement in the beginning. I was forlorn. I had to snap out of it soon though because everybody had to get in touch with me and I wasn't getting anything done. It didn't even occur to me that I was attached/dependent on any functioning cell phone. I was in denial.

About a month later, while using a borrowed phone, I decided to find another one. Of course I wasn't going to cough up moolah for a new one. I was holding out for the third generation iPhone, whenever it would come to the Philippine shores. I admit it was unfair (and not to mention stupid!) for me to think that my old, trusty phone would last another 3 years at least.

It's fun for me to find bargains. I don't mind using outdated, previously used phones. Though there are a few things I pay full price on, I don't put a premium on cellular phones. That's just the way I am. So my daughter and I decided to to second-hand, reconditioned phone shopping:)

We first decided on a budget: Php2K or at today's exchange rate, about US$43! Then, we talked about the features I wanted: (1) it had to be flip phone; (2) lighter than my previous phone which was 151 grams; and (3) had to look more fabulous than it actually cost. As to a bluetooth, IR, camera, display, sound, everything else, it didn't matter. For as long as I could SMS and call, then it was good enough for me.

My daughter took to the task seriously. We asked the salesgirl (as we still call them here) to bring out a lot of the display items so we could scrutinize each one. And then... I saw it!

It was a gem of a flip-top and at 96 grams, was considerably lighter than my old phone. Though it didn't have a camera, it could receive MMS messages. It can connect to the internet, but I don't use this feature. The colored display almost made me cry! The textured housing made it easy for me to find it in my purse. After haggling the price down to Php2,150.00 with a 6-month warranty, I paid for my "new" phone. Long may he live!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

On Little Boys and Puppies

There's nothing more adorable than pictures of little boys and their puppies. Then again, maybe it's little girls and their dolls... NOT:)

These days I'm partial to little boys, particularly this one on the right, my grandson Gabriel. Throw in a puppy, and it makes for one unruly house!

While growing up, my kids always begged me to get them a puppy but I never gave in. There was asthma, additional housecleaning, the extra mouth to feed. I had all the excuses.

This boy broke my resolve in two weeks flat. A puppy came into our lives in the most extraordinary manner. As if a reward, we now see Gabriel play outdoors. We visit fields and parks so he can practice his banshee screams while running with the puppy at full speed. He's made a lot of new friends because everyone wants to meet the boy and his puppy. He watches TV and uses the computer less. He has a new best friend that he can count on to play when everyone else is too tired. Best of all, Gab has learned that life isn't all about him. It's all good!

We now have a devoted yaya, an indefatigable playmate and taga-kain ng leftovers in the form of a lovable canine of dubious pedigree.

Find out how Silly Dog came to be our master here.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

On Skinny Cooks

I heard a few weeks ago that one should never trust "fat accountants and skinny cooks."

What's with that!? I cook, I'm skinny...what gives? What if it's metabolism? What if the cook is too pooped to actually get to eating?

Get this: Figure out what to cook for the day, research the recipe then do the grocery/market list, drive yourself to the grocery/market, do the actual grocery/market shopping, PAY FOR IT!, prep the ingredients, cook, taste, adjust seasoning (I've skipped a few hundred steps here), serve in pretty tableware, set table, call anyone who cares to listen that it's mealtime.

Now comes the hard part: Clean your mess, dump everything at the sink, STARE at the sink and wish everything disappears in a blink of an eye. And all the while, hope that the garlic smell gets off your fingers and the oven temperature ceases to heat the whole kitchen up.

And the clincher: You don't have a maid!!

I love being able to make good food and feeding people. It's my vocation.

As for me, I'm a low-maintenance girl. I'd take the isaw from around the corner anytime. And I DON'T DO DISHES:)