Monthly Archives: April 2013

CNN Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown and HALO-HALO!

CNN Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown and HALO-HALO!.

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CNN Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown and HALO-HALO!

I am a fan of Anthony Bourdain! His food and travel TV programs, “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” and “No Reservation”, on CNN and Travel Channel, respectively, are culturally educational.

As a fan, I wanted to clarify (for the would-be viewer) on a dessert, HALO-HALO, which, I heard on CNN, that Anthony will be featuring this Sunday night “Parts Unknwon” as part of his visit in Koreatown-Los Angeles,

Since the program is featuring the food in Koreatown, allow me to reiterate that HALO-HALO, though exotic sounding as it is, is NOT a KOREAN dessert. It is FILIPINO’S!

In Philippine language, specifically in Tagalog, the word HALO` means “to mix two or more stuff”. Hence, HALO-HALO means “mix-mix”! And in the Philippines, one can buy or order HALO-HALO in food carts of street vendors, small food stores, and in classy restaurants. The common components in HALO-HALO is shaved ice, evaporated milk, sugar, cooked red beans (Filipinos usually use cowpea, a specie of genus Vigna), a colored bar of “gulaman” (agar-agar) cubed once cooked, and, at least, some cubed fruits- cubed cooked banana, etc..

In classy restaurants, you can find in the mix, cubed caramel custard (leche flan), a scoop or two of ice cream, a mashed purple yam, coconut gel or shreds of young coconut meat, cubed mangoes or jackfruit, and “pinipig” – rice, which were harvested before they reach complete maturity, and roasted and pounded or ground.

The richness of the mixture and taste of HALO-HALO, therefore, depends on where you get it. Those who would like to taste the real HALO-HALO should look for it in Filipino restaurants, not in a Korean restaurant. Probably, one would be asked for an extra dollar if a scoop of ice cream would be added.

I hope the HALO-HALO, that Anthony Bourdain is featuring this Sunday in his CNN program, is from a Filipino restaurant in Koreatown. Otherwise, what he’d have is a HALO-HALO fusion or copycat, not the real thing.

Meantime, pls. check this video that I got on You Tube, courtesy of campoxanto’s channel.

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April 19, 2013 · 7:26 pm

ZEN BUFFET AND THE PRINTED SUGGESTED TIPS

ZEN BUFFET AND THE PRINTED SUGGESTED TIPS.

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ZEN BUFFET AND THE PRINTED SUGGESTED TIPS

I frequently dine in classy or fancy restaurants and always observe the culture of tipping.  In fact, whenever I go on a trip, I often check the percentage of an acceptable gratuity of any service rendered by somebody in that particular state before I hit the road. 

Last Sunday, my daughter took me and my wife for a birthday lunch at Zen Buffet (ZB).  (To those who are not familiar of ZB, it is a classy (shall I say pricier) buffet of Japanese and Chinese food, with some Italian (pizza) flair and an array of cakes and other sweets for dessert.)

As usual, the sushi and seafood were to die for. 

The waiters and waitresses’s demeanor, on the contrary, were unappetizing. They were so rigid and impersonal.  I didn’t see anyone smiling and interacting with the diners, even when they’re collecting the used plates and silverware or chopsticks.

But here’s what was mind boggling!  When the waitress gave us the chit, included was the suggested tips ( and mind you;  they were 12, 15 and 20% with the corresponding amount).

I laughed, but deep inside me, I have tough time rationalizing the suggested tips!  I know that Labor Code Section 350 and 351 defined tip or gratuity as an amount left by a patron for an employee rendering a service to a customer; however, it usually is not strictly mandatory and the amount depends on the manner of service rendered to the customer.  

For a wait service (buffet), the customary gratuity is only 10% pre-tax. A wait service (sit down) is 15-20% before tax in so many places. Take note that ZB is literally a BUFFET! And with the very impersonal manner they waited on their customers, it definitely was not worth the suggested gratuity percentage.  Anyway, my daughter chose the 12 %.  Before her card was taken, I saw the family of 6, whose table was next to us, only left a $10 tip, Cheaping out?  I dont know, but most likely they were so disappointed with the lady who waited them.

I know that the degree of rigidity (in intercultural communication) by the host is highly influenced by a demand for conformity.

Based on the premise of conformity and uniformity, it’s possible that the reason why ZB has started printing these 3 percentages (with corresponding amounts) for tipping was ZB’s way of educating their customers. Nevertheless, that pouting face of the waitress, who picked up the $10 tip by that family of 6, didn’t support this assumption.  Instead, I could assume that ZB’s reason behind the suggested tips are gull and greed.

Granting that duping and selfish desire are not ZB’s motive, would such strategy of educating diners appropriate?  I don’t think so.  Matter of fact, I asked 10 people about it.  All negatively reacted to it.  One even said, ZB cannot demand a mandatory gratuity, because mandatory gratuity or service charge only applies to formal contractual agreement. An example of this is a restaurant hosting a banquet.  In this case, the mandatory gratuity is spelled out on paper.

I hope Zen Buffet could read this and stop- once and for all- printing this suggested tips in its voucher or chit.  Otherwise, ZB would end up losing its customer.  I, for one, even though I always give the appropriate tip for services afforded me, would consider going to Hometown Buffet or Todai the next time around.

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REVISITING MY 33 YRS. OF MARITAL BLISS!

edindustanwrites

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Thirty-three was fast!

Calmness and joy, God supplied.

Rocky ones…conquered!

I

Indeed, I couldn’t ask for more.  After 33 years, I still am very happy with the woman I married.  And in response to Pastor Sam Boncales of North Carolina comment on facebook,  “Yes, if God would give me 77 years more of earthly life, I still would continue to imbibe the sweet nectar of marital bliss. ”

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See the difference?  My waist was only 29″ and weight was 125 lbs.  I probably was “malnourished” as nobody was feeding me well, while I spent most of my days in a remote village of the Ata Manobo tribe in southern Philippines. I conducted language and culture research, and helped lower the 95% illiteracy rate of the tribe through literacy classes.  It was only during summer when I was able to get out of that remote village for three successive months to replenish…

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REVISITING MY 33 YRS. OF MARITAL BLISS!

REVISITING MY 33 YRS. OF MARITAL BLISS!.

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Filed under Uncategorized

REVISITING MY 33 YRS. OF MARITAL BLISS!

Image

Thirty-three was fast!

Calmness and joy, God supplied.

Rocky ones…conquered!

I

Indeed, I couldn’t ask for more.  After 33 years, I still am very happy with the woman I married.  And in response to Pastor Sam Boncales of North Carolina comment on facebook,  “Yes, if God would give me 77 years more of earthly life, I still would continue to imbibe the sweet nectar of marital bliss. ”

Image

See the difference?  My waist was only 29″ and weight was 125 lbs.  I probably was “malnourished” as nobody was feeding me well, while I spent most of my days in a remote village of the Ata Manobo tribe in southern Philippines. I conducted language and culture research, and helped lower the 95% illiteracy rate of the tribe through literacy classes.  It was only during summer when I was able to get out of that remote village for three successive months to replenish my worn-out body, and either feed my brain some more or share my knowledge on the Ata Manobo language and culture.

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And look at Angie, the love of my life.  She was petite with a very long black hair, when she was still single.  Both of us were on a full-scholarship for our master’s program in applied linguistics. (Thank God for allowing the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) see the latent talent and skill that He’s given us.)  The first time I saw her, I knew that we were meant for each other. It was rocky, though, on how to show my love for her.  After three summer months of heavy readings and classes, both of us heed back to the boondocks.  She resumed her translation work for the Tigwa Manobo tribe in another province, while I resumed mine with the Ata Manobos.

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Nevertheless, God works in mysterious ways.  Down at the Nasuli Linguistics Center where all the SIL support personnel were based, this “Mother Theresa” of the entire Filipino community in Nasuli, our dear Aunt Sadie Seiker, have prayed hard for a relationship to grow. She even rallied and persuaded other SIL people to pray with her.  Whenever both of us flew in to the center for a seminar or evaluation, she always wanted for Angie and I to be together.  One time, Bobby and Elaine Gaulden were my host for the entire two-week seminar at the center; Aunt Saide, as always, was Angie’s.  And there was a day when I was embarrassed and shocked for at 5 a.m, when I was barely awake, Aunt Sadie, who at that time was 90 years young, came tapping the window of my bedroom to remind me that my breakfast with Angie at her house, a good 30 yards away from the Gaulden’s, was in 30 minutes. And you probably have guessed it right!  The topic at the table often took me, a man raised in a society known to be timid, to the point of blushing.  I wasn’t fully acculturated yet to the American culture, that I have problem handling the situation.  But believe me, Aunt Sadie and many other SILers were instrumental to push me out of my comfort zone.  I thanked God for them.  And here we are,  33 years of blessed togetherness, after all those insinuated conversations at the Center, and secretly sending love codes to Angie during the SIL morning roll-call through our single-side band radios (the best way to know that all the SIL members and workers in the boondocks are safe and sound), which eventually ended in a real coded conversation after our 4:00’clock afternoon stand-by.  I was pretty sure, some of our colleagues, who were on stand-by during those days were eavesdropping. But what can I do; the SIL single-side band radio was our only means to connect with each other!

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So, few years after our big candlelight wedding ceremony (of course, at the Nasuli Linguistics Center of the SIL, with our dear Aunt Sadie at the helm in the event planning), Angie and I have this family.  Dont’ get me wrong! There were rocky parts, and still a few still exist, in our 33 years of marital bliss; however, these rocky ones, despite of all the commotion and roughness they brought, and is bringing to our marriage, continue to strengthen our faith in each other, and, most of all, our faith in God.

To all of you who have showered us with your love and prayers, eventually, guiding Angie and I together for the past 33 years, thank you all very much.  Allow me to extend my heartfelt thanks to Bobby Gaulden, Bob Brichoux and other American SILers, who played a prank on me, the day before the wedding.  Probably you didn’t know that Angie and I didn’t spend our first night at the cottage that Pat Mcleod, then the housing manager, had prepared for us, because we really thought that you would give us “hell” that night.  And maybe Ryan Galorport and Elmer Ponce played a prank on us that night, too.  Ryan and Elmer convinced Angie and I to spend the night at their cottage, above the commissary, instead.  What a bummer!  But we enjoyed our first night, all the same.  Thanks a lot!

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