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June 25, 2006

Of Comfort Food

Here's something to remind me of home:

I've read a very small corner column in Sunday Straits here featuring the (take this) "last meal" that a featured personality would want to eat (before eventually he or she dies, given any chance to partake any food to relish something tasty and unforgettable).

If you ask me what food (or foods) I would like to have as my "last meal", here is my list:

  • #1 - Jollibee Chickenjoy (Bar none to any fried chicken out here in the entire planet)

  • Pancit Canton with plenty of Chinese chorizo de bilbao or a plateful of Pad Thai

  • Deep fried lechon kawali (High in cholesterol, but hey this is your last meal, isn't it? So dig in without any thoughts)

  • Last beverage on earth? Coke Lite (Ironic, isn't it? Still the health-conscious individual. Ok then, Vanilla Coke).

I ask you the same, what would your last meal be?

June 18, 2006

Missing "R" And Other Stories

One morning, after a morning job from the nearby beach, I decided to pass by a hawker stall. I browsed the menu of one and decided to order a hot dish of chicken rice. Afterwards, one of the locals approached me and asked me something I couldn't discern at first ("kalah" I heard). I asked to repeat his question. With quizzical look (and somewhat irritated voice), he asked what to choose the type of chicken or something like this: "Choose what kalah" and started to point at the soy chicken then next to the steamed white chicken. I was surprised "color" was pronounced as "kalah". I never heard the emphasis on the "r" and so I thought he said a local word I've never heard before.

This sounds like an emergency English checkup for most of the people here.

Frankly, I still find it difficult to understand or discern most of the locals here when it comes to everyday English communication in stores, markets, food stalls, and even at the office. I'm used to Western English, specifically the American English. And since I came from a working place back from my country where I interact with American counterparts, I'm still struggling to communicate and understand non-Filipinos here (of whom I have no difficulty understanding English, even the broken "Carabao" English or the hybrid "Taglish").

I've heard in the local news that the government is deciding to hire native (take note: native as in coming from America, British, Australia and other predominantly English speaking countries) speakers to teach the people here effective English. But I would agree at a local who commented on this issue that learning how to speak and write in English starts at home (and doesn't end after schools or office hours); and if this is constantly used at home, the children mostly would eventually be armed with verbal skills to communicate in English. It's constant practice and usage which will get anyone to become fluent in speaking in English.

Here is a list of some of the locally pronounced English words that lately I misheard for another (or totally I did not understand at all):

  • At 7-11: klastik bak (plastic bag)

  • At McDonald's: kiddie sos (chili sauce)

  • At Carl's Junior: hamburker meel (hamburger meal)

  • at a TV show: some kind of foz... (you mean, force? "r" was lost)

I'll not be surprised to misheard horse for hose (hos).

June 11, 2006

Football Fever

Everybody here in Singapore got the fever (chills and all).

Local sportscasts, advertisements, and other sportswear items are all about the World Cup 2006 happening in Germany. And I haven't yet watched a single full match being broadcasted on TV (shame on me)!

Well, I can explain. Live football games are shown, if not during midnight, in the very early hours before dawn. I can't possibly be able to do that since I have to wake up early in the morning to prepare myself to work. Even on Friday nights, when I expect no work and total relaxation the next day, I'm too tired to stay for a few more hours to watch the live games (work has gone balistically heavy).

Maybe I'll try to catch a couple of these games next weekend. Better if I could do it this coming Friday night. And I'll root and support my favorite team - Brazil team (sorry Germany, but you'll have to prove your capabilities against these guys).

Seriously, I'm not much of a football fanatic, since being a Filipino, I came from one of those families who grew up enchanted with the American sport of Basketball (I can understand that since our country was once under the Americans who happen not be to "that good" in football a.k.a. soccer while Singaporeans here adapted the love of football from the British who once had ruled this tiny island). But hey, I am in Singapore. And as they say, do what the Romans do (or rather do and love what Singaporeans do love here, lah!).

Go Brazil! If they'll win (again), I plan to buy myself a bright yellow and green Brazilian jersey.

June 04, 2006

Animated Consumerism

I have to admit that I liked the computer animated film Over The Edge. While waiting for the opening of the PC Show 2006 here at Suntec City, I decided to take some time out to watch a movie (luckily, this movie was an hour away before showing so I quickly bought a ticket). I learned this movie's praises from a featured film critic in a local morning TV show - her liking the movie's animal characters and how the story's plot projects how modern people are bent into blatant consumerism.

At first, the kids (yeah, there were many kids around my area; they go wildly gaga at first sight of the "cute" animal characters - like cherished stuff toys coming to life), went crazy and laughed at the antics of the animals. But later on, the story's numerous jokes has gone to (somewhat) mature humor that the only sounds I hear in the dark area were my laughter, some old guy's snicker, and another dad or mom's guffaw.

Without being too much preachy about the subject, the film tries to convey how us modernized human beings tend to enslave our everyday lives with tons of gadgets and food binges that we seldom stop and think about what really is important and necessary to survive. In short the very basic needs that will provide us with a good quality of life (without the added garneshings or creams of life that we could do without like junk foods and branded but too expensive stuffs). In one scene of the film, RJ the racoon was pinpointing at a huffing human being over the treadmill, telling at the same time that us creatures tend to do this after gorging on tons of food (this really had me smiling).

Near the end of the film, I also liked the idea of protraying Hammie the squirrel in super hyper speed mode by having everyone and everything move in slow motion while he simply does his thing normally (look at it this way: for super fast characters, everything moves in slow motion, thus there is enough time for them to do crazy stunts like dodging bullets).

The movie may not be at par with the quality and story of The Incredibles, but I should say this one goes to my list of movies I really enjoyed (even if the characters were digitally made).

I give this 4 stars out of 5.

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)