Friday, December 28, 2007

Serving The Engine #2: Pancit

Okay, here's an interesting one. One of my visits indicated this search:

Search Engine :
Search Words : putting up a panciteria in the philippines

So I guess someone needed help putting up a panciteria (in the Philipines specifically). I've never been in the pancit business. If someone came up to me and asked what would one need to put up a panciteria, I would probably say 'pancit?'. I guess the two most important things is a good location and good pancit. I can't help with the location, but let's talk about all things pancit. Oh yeah, in case you're wondering, I'm into this because mom just called and asked me to bring pancit for our New Year's Eve dinner. Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Pancit (pansit) actually has a Wikipedia entry. Listed there are the following kinds of pancit:

- Pancit Bíhon
- Pancit Cantón

- Pancit estacion
- Pancit Habhab
- Pancit Luglog (or Palabok)
Pancit Malabón
- Pancit Mólo
- Pancit Míki
- Pancit Moròng
Pancit Sotanghòn

You can click on each pancit style to get a rec
ipe. So many, I don't think this is a complete list. Benetton should launch a new marketing campaign locally, "United Pancit Noodles of Benetton"(baduy!). Benetton, call me, we'll talk.

Did you know that Pancit Malabon has its own festival? You can go here for some information on the event and its activities.

Here is an excerpt from a PCIJ article, Pancit Republic:
Pancit, borrowed from the Chinese, then innovated and adopted into our cuisine, connects us to our Asian roots. But more importantly, it is a veritable Pinoy comfort food — easier to cook than rice, and more versatile and food combination-friendly. It is the faster fast food. In fact, “pancit” is derived from the Hokkien “pian i sit,” which means “something conveniently cooked fast.” (link to full article)
Here's a link to a Pancit Chart also from PCIJ. It has a list of Pancit noodles by:

how they are cooked
- thickness
- make
- region

Let's top everything off with a cute blog post from
pancit, in terms of a romantic relationship, means that a certain party is under. It’s either the other party is the law while the other party is under the law. A statement from someone like, “Hindi ako pancit, ako ang batas!” would definitely mean that the person is indeed a pancit in denial especially if the person consumes enough alcohol to give him/her hallucinations that he/she is indeed the law. (link to full post)
Pancit is a regular part of my diet. Particularly pancit palabok from Jollibee, instant pancit canton (spicy) from Lucky Me, instant pancit palabok from Quickchow. But of course, my favorite of them all, which I rarely ever get, is my sister-in-law's pancit palabok cause she makes a lot of sauce and I can drown the noodles in them. (Update: Pictured right, me with the sister-in-law's pancit palabok, yum!!)

You know what, there's so many things pancit out there that I just gave up. If you guys have anything pancit to add, leave a comment.

Update (1/2/2008) more things pancit:

Following is a Sine Totoo Documentary on the different pancit in the Philippines. The first one deals with places in the south:

- Pancit Masyang ng San Pedro, Laguna
- Pancit Lukban ng Quezon
- Pancit ng Bato ng Camarines Sur

The second part of the documentary deals with areas north of the Philippines:

- Pancit Batil-Patong ng Tuguegarao
- Pancit Cabagan ng Isabela
- Pancit Luglog ng Orani, Bataan

Here's a video on how to make pancit canton. This one is by a group of Fil-Ams which seem to be a school project for their Filipino class. It must be, their Tagalog is so terrible I can't think of another reason why else they would be speaking in Filipino. It's both intentionally and unintentionally funny:

Here's a short film from Jim Libiran entitled "Pancit Canton". This short film was a predecessor to his full length feature entitled "Tribu", winner of the 2007 Cinemalaya Best Film and composed of a cast of real life Tondo gang members. Here's a link to an interview he did for that feature.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cerebral Flatulence #2: What's the Upside?

I just spilled soda on my desk. While I was wiping it off, I thought to myself, look at the bright side: your mouse will have more traction. Then I remembered that I used an infrared mouse.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lazy Blogger #1: IT Humor

Well, didn't follow through on those blog posts I wanted to write this weekend. So I'm just going to dump stuff I stumbled upon on the interwebs. Click on the image to enlarge.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Savoring Puppy Tears

For people who are Robinson Malate regulars, like yours truly, you'll know that they've expanded the mall. I would say they increased floor space by 30%. I like the new wing, it's arier. But what I'm most delighted about is the opening of a Savory Chicken Restaurant, woohoo! You see how delighted I am? I went "woohoo". You know, to show how delighted I was. Right. Clear and redundant. Gotcha.

The place isn't actually part of the new wing but it opened the same time the new wing did. Savory is where my chicken addiction began. My dad used to bring some home every weekend and we all looked forward to it. And every time that he did, we would have to take turns trying to solve the mystery of "who ate all the chicken and didn't leave some for me". I have to admit that I was part of the usual suspects, and rightly so in most cases. But hey, I was smart enough to be home when dad arrived. After being told off a number of times, I learned to leave my brother's share of the chicken alone, but still, I always failed to do it for the gravy. I was a Savory chicken gravy junkie. "Keep the chicken! But I get all the gravy!" *manic laughter* As far as I'm concerned, Savory has the best chicken gravy in the world. Even if it turns out that they squeezed cute and lovable little puppies to get puppy tears and put that in the mix as their secret ingredient, I don't think I would stop having it.

I finally got a chance to have dinner at the new place this weekend. I was happy to find that both the chicken and the gravy tasted as I remembered them. But the new place is small, there was a line of people waiting to be seated when we got there. Normally, we would just find another place that's less crowded, but this is Savory and I've been looking forward to eating here since I found out it opened a few weeks ago. So that's my only beef (or should I say poultry?) with the place, it's too small. I think this is the first time they've opened in a mall though. All the places I remember were stand-alone restaurants (those restaurants are so emo). But still, I'm glad they're here and accessible. I must have asked the missus ten times if she liked the chicken and gravy.

If you're beginning to be suspicious, the answer is 'no', I w
as not paid by anyone to make a Savory endorsement. I'm just a fan boy. Some people have Star Wars, I have food. But if someone from Savory stumbles upon this post, well, it would not be below me to accept free meals for life.

Following is some literature I took off their table mats:
The Juicy Story Behind Savory Chicken

The years following the end of World War II proved significant not just for the Philippines but for the four Ting brothers as they moved to start a fresh life and establish their livelihood. By 1950, the brothers had put up a "panciteria" in the busy district of Quiapo serving mainly lomi. Over time, as their little panciteria grew in popularity and as the brothers began to discover other dishes they could solve their customers, they were able to create a 'special' recipe for fried chicken and gravy that became so popular that soon not just members of the local Chinese community came to partake of the special tasty, juicy and tender chicken treat but also a number of Filipinos who would come to the tiny restaurant with their family to 'savor' this 'savory' fried chicken dish.

And thus the popular Savory Chicken House was born and its first branch opened in Escolta. The menu soon expanded to include other Filipino and Chinese dishes. Now, after over 50 years of existence, the third generation of the Ting family who launched Savory are re-launching the Classic Savory Chicken and you are part of this momentous event as you enjoy your Savory chicken with us.

We thank you for your unwavering loyalty and look forward to serving you the best and juiciest fried chicken for many more generations to come.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Remembering the Aratiles

When I think back to my childhood, it seems that the Aratiles tree (a.k.a Alatiris, Alateris, Aratiris) is an omnipresent fixture. Back then, when there was no Internet or cable, and Atari consoles were rare, I spent most of my time outdoors. I would run barefoot in the hot asphalt pavement playing with friends. We hung upside down from the monkey bars, stood up and jumped off the swing sets, ran up the industrial grade aluminum slides, played in construction sites, and rode our bikes as far away from home as we dared. Basically, everything that our parents would tell us not to do. But it seems that at the end of every day, we would end up under the Aratiles tree. It was a common tree and it could be found all over the neighborhood. We were all very fond of climbing it and eating its berries while sitting on its branches and resting in its shade. Of course, everything would end up being sticky and it would always stain our clothes. I also remember once getting caught with a couple of friends climbing a neighbor's Aratiles tree without permission.

Even when our family moved from our old neighborhood into the Metro, the Aratiles tree was there. The new place was smaller and the gray cement dominated everything except for a triangle shaped patch of soil where a lone Aratiles tree stood surrounded by the tightly packed and narrow two storey houses.

I gained new friends in our new neighborhood and we spent most days playing in the shade of that lone tree. But as the years passed by I noticed it getting weaker, until one day, when I came around the plaza I saw people had tied ropes around it and had pulled it out of the ground. I don't remember why they did that, but I do remember being saddened by the sight of it being hauled away. For a while it wasn't the same and we would talk of how we missed the tree. But as certain as the sun shines life moved on. Children are fickle and they forget easily; to a young mind there are many distractions and there are always new things to love.

That event seemed to coincide with when as a kid, I decided that I was going to be one of the adults; Entering that phase where you stop bragging about your latest toy and conversations with your friends start to change. I sometimes wonder if that was a mere coincidence or if there was more to the Aratiles tree. Could it be that the child was hauled away with the tree? It seemed that something shifted in the world, that the lens had changed. From a soft focus where things seemed to glow and the background was blurred, the image suddenly sharpened and things were suddenly clearer. Whereas before the blur allowed for the imagination, now the world became hard and rational. Those empty houses we passed while out on our bikes were no longer haunted, but merely abandoned. The rustling tree at night was no longer due to its giant guardian shifting in the branches to light his thick tobacco. Tall grasses no longer hid gnome villages, but dangerous snakes. You realize that you will never stumble upon a portal to another world in those thickets. You stop rubbing anything that remotely resembles an old oil lamp in hope of getting wishes. It seems as if that fruit was the source of childhood innocence and wonderment.

What if the berry of the Aratiles is the anti-thesis of the Forbidden Fruit? While one takes away innocence, could the other impart it? As the Tree of Knowledge is hidden away, the Tree of Innocence is everywhere. As men search for Eden to behold the tree where dwelt the Serpent, this humble tree will grow wild in the most barren of gardens. As Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat The Fruit, this will be offered to the children. But then, the child eventually tires of the fruit, and visit the tree less and less. He will forget. His young mind will discover other things and learn to love something new. Still, unlike first man and woman who were well aware of what they lost after being casted out of the Garden, the children will never know the value of this fruit and they join the world of Man willingly.

Sometimes when I come around that plaza, I can still see the outline of that tree. Like a phantom limb of a dismembered arm, it feels like it's there.

Just to be safe, I think I will put this down on my "Father To Do List", for when I have kids:

Plant an Aratiles tree.