The Chili’s Big Mouth Burger Bites

Pinoy Burger Boy!

Oh look baby burgers!

I’m talking about sliders, those tiny little burgers that fit so conveniently in your mouth.  No they are not named after a semi-popular They are called sliders supposedly because of the way they slide across the griddle.  Sliders came into popularity because of White Castle, the same White Castle that Harold and Kumar tried so hard to reach to satisfy their post-weed munchies.

I like sliders simply because it makes it so much easier for a person to eat a burger.  The best burgers are simply too large and a slider gives you control.  Instead of flopping around helplessly, a slider is perfect in your hands and you have absolute control of its destiny.

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Some of the best sliders can be be found in Chili’s, an American chain that has been here longer than I could remember.  If you’ve lived in Makati long enough you would…

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Wilma Palagtiw: Repairs Junked Shoes and Bags to be Sold for a Living

Wilma Palagtiw: Repairs Junked Shoes and Bags

To be Sold for a Living

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

One early morning, while cruising the old railroad track of Divisoria where junks were sold, I chanced upon a woman who was engrossed in repairing a shoe. Her various wares on display were repaired bags, shoes, and other junk items. She obliged for some photos when I asked her, adding jestingly that I would send them to a movie outfit.

 

She was Wilma Palagtiw who hails from the island of Negros, so that we comfortably conversed in Cebuano and Ilonggo. She learned the skill of shoe repairing from her husband who has been in the trade for a very long time even before they met. That morning, Felix, her husband was out doing the rounds of garbage dumps for junks.

 

Without telling me her exact age, she confided that she was almost fifty and has six children with four already doing part-time and contractual jobs in different stalls in Divisoria. The two younger ones are both in Grade 7. Their pooled financial resources are enough to get them going every day with even a few pesos set aside for emergency needs, especially, for school needs of the two younger kids.

 

I did a quick mathematical estimate of their joint income, such as if a sales attendant of a stall in Divisoria receives 200 pesos a day, multiply it by 4, so that’s 800 pesos a day, and for a straight duty in a month without day off, the four elder children should be earning 24,000.00 pesos. Deduct the lunch for the 4 of them at 50 pesos each, so that’s 200 pesos…hence, 800 (total earning of the 4) less 200, that leaves 600 pesos net earnings of the 4 in a day.  Finally, multiply the 600 pesos by 30 days that leaves 18,000 pesos net total earnings for the 4 kids.

 

Meanwhile, Wilma shared that she and her husband don’t earn much from selling junks. For every item sold, they earn from 5 to 20 pesos “profit” after deducting the cost of materials that they use for the repair of the junks. They cannot afford to offer their goods at a higher price due to stiff competition among “buraot vendors” like them.

 

The small room that they rent gives them just enough comfort as they retire for the night, especially, for the kids. The worst days for them are those of the “flood months”, as there could be no income for several days. Despite the hardship, Wilma was still all-smile while conversing with me. I had to leave her as customers were beginning to stop by to gawk at her items that are neatly displayed, while she braved the biting heat of the sun at eight that morning.

 

If only the rest of us are brave and contented like Wilma, then, there would be no more crying to the Lord, blaming Him why there is no pork dish on the table, or why the money is not enough for a brand new cellphone, or why the remittance from a toiling husband abroad is delayed in coming, etc. etc.etc…..

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Wilma Palagtiw: Repairs Junked Shoes and Bags to be Sold for a Living

Wilma Palagtiw: Repairs Junked Shoes and Bags

To be Sold for a Living

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

One early morning, while cruising the old railroad track of Divisoria where junks were sold, I chanced upon a woman who was engrossed in repairing a shoe. Her various wares on display were repaired bags, shoes, and other junk items. She obliged for some photos when I asked her, adding jestingly that I would send them to a movie outfit.

 

She was Wilma Palagtiw who hails from the island of Negros, so that we comfortably conversed in Cebuano and Ilonggo. She learned the skill of shoe repairing from her husband who has been in the trade for a very long time even before they met. That morning, Felix, her husband was out doing the rounds of garbage dumps for junks.

 

Without telling me her exact age, she confided that she was almost fifty and has six children with four already doing part-time and contractual jobs in different stalls in Divisoria. The two younger ones are both in Grade 7. Their pooled financial resources are enough to get them going every day with even a few pesos set aside for emergency needs, especially, for school needs of the two younger kids.

 

I did a quick mathematical estimate of their joint income, such as if a sales attendant of a stall in Divisoria receives 200 pesos a day, multiply it by 4, so that’s 800 pesos a day, and for a straight duty in a month without day off, the four elder children should be earning 24,000.00 pesos. Deduct the lunch for the 4 of them at 50 pesos each, so that’s 200 pesos…hence, 800 (total earning of the 4) less 200, that leaves 600 pesos net earnings of the 4 in a day.  Finally, multiply the 600 pesos by 30 days that leaves 18,000 pesos net total earnings for the 4 kids.

 

Meanwhile, Wilma shared that she and her husband don’t earn much from selling junks. For every item sold, they earn from 5 to 20 pesos “profit” after deducting the cost of materials that they use for the repair of the junks. They cannot afford to offer their goods at a higher price due to stiff competition among “buraot vendors” like them.

 

The small room that they rent gives them just enough comfort as they retire for the night, especially, for the kids. The worst days for them are those of the “flood months”, as there could be no income for several days. Despite the hardship, Wilma was still all-smile while conversing with me. I had to leave her as customers were beginning to stop by to gawk at her items that are neatly displayed, while she braved the biting heat of the sun at eight that morning.

 

If only the rest of us are brave and contented like Wilma, then, there would be no more crying to the Lord, blaming Him why there is no pork dish on the table, or why the money is not enough for a brand new cellphone, or why the remittance from a toiling husband abroad is delayed in coming, etc. etc.etc…..

 

Rene Pastrana: Grocery Store Manager Who Can Melt the Anger of an Irate Customer

Rene Pastrana: Grocery Store Manager Who

Can Melt the Anger of an Irate Customer

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

One morning, when I purchased some goods at Isetan grocery store along Recto Avenue in Quiapo, I had an unfortunate experience that almost spoiled my day. Rather than talk to any of the rank-and-file staff, I looked for the store manager, whom I found to be Rene Pastrana. Before I could blurt out my complaint, he broke the ice by asking with a smile, what he can do to make my shopping comfortable. His stance immediately pacified me. After relating to him my dissatisfaction, he gave me an assurance that he will do his best to patch up the “loophole” in their operation.

 

What touched me was his unabashed confiding that he knows what to do because he started his career as a “merchandiser”, which actually, was the focus of my complaint. Instead of anger, what I felt was sympathy while listening to his story. It could be a ploy on his part to divert my focus, with which he was successful. On the other hand, I selfishly thought, that his story could be another blog material that could inspire aspiring Filipinos.

 

According to Rene, he left his island-province of Marinduque after graduating from high school. When he arrived in Manila, he immediately looked for a job, with a plan to proceed with his college studies by all means. He fortunately found a job as a “merchandiser”, which sustained his studies, until he finished Computer Science.

 

His diligence in job, pushed him along his career path with unusual expediency until he became manager of Isetan’s grocery store, charged with its overall operation. He has been in the job for the past twenty years, his earnings from which have also helped his family back home, in Marinduque.

 

Rene could well be considered as a self-appointed “ambassador” of his province in his own way because he does not hesitate to promote it as a veritable tourist destination every time he gets the chance. This he did to me, when he shared touristic information about the island. His effort proved helpful to me, as what I knew about the island have all been updated, especially, about the islets with resorts.

 

In appreciation of all his effort to pacify me and giving me updates on Marinduque, I told Rene to count me as among the convinced patrons of Isetan grocery from then on. He practically “captured” another patron for their grocery because of his amiable and brilliant sales technique not found in sales training manuals…I know that, because, I have also been a “sales person”, myself.

 

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Living with the Traffic and Frustrating Etceteras in Manila

Living with the Traffic

and Frustrating Etceteras in Manila

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

  • THE TRAFFIC. As of the latest reckoning, Php3B of supposedly revenue flows down the drain, and which constitutes the estimated aggregate losses incurred by various businesses in Manila because of the hellish traffic. Expansion of the main city thoroughfares is out of the question because if this is done, frontage of buildings and sidewalks shall be sacrificed. Construction of more flyovers to strain the traffic shall take up five to six years, not to mention the need for more endurance on the part of the motorists and commuters while projects would be ongoing.

 

THE SUGGESTED SOLUTION IS THE STRICT CONTROL OF REGISTRATION OF NEW CARS, AS WELL AS, POLICIES THAT WOULD DETER THEIR ACQUISITION, ONE OF WHICH IS HIGHER TAX. ANOTHER OPTION IS THE STRICT IMPLEMENTATION OF “NO GARAGE, NO CAR” POLICY, ESPECIALLY, FOR THE RESIDENTIAL AREAS IN THE CITY WHERE PARKING EATS UP GREAT PORTIONS OF THE ROADS AND EVEN SIDEWALKS. ROAD PARKING IS UNFAIR FOR TAX PAYERS WHO COMMUTE BECAUSE THEY ARE MADE TO WALK ON THE STREET, THEREBY, PUTTING THEIR LIFE AT RISK OF BEING RAN OVER.

 

  • THE FLOODED STREETS DURING RAINY DAYS.  It is a wonder why the local governments do not learn their lesson from floods that seasonally make life of their constituents miserable. All they have to do is check regularly the waste waterways that traverse their areas, as these are regularly clogged with trash. They also seem to have forgotten about the manholes and drains that are deliberately broken down by mindless vandals as they convert them into trash bins.

 

THE SUGGESTED SOLUTION IS FOR THE RESIDENTS TO COOPERATE BY ALERTING THE OMBUDSMAN ABOUT THE IRRESPONSIBILITIES OF NON-PERFORMING BARANGAY OFFICIALS SO THAT THEY CAN BE APPROPRIATELY PENALIZED.

 

  • THE TRUANTS AND SPOILED BRATS. It cannot be denied that due to the deeply-rooted lenient attitude of many parents, minors have the temerity to challenge the Curfew Policy, a defiant act emboldened by the negative effect of “gentle” aspect of the Filipino culture which just brought havoc to the society. Many parents even protect or defend their children who have committed criminal acts, especially, the use of illegal drugs.

 

THE SUGGESTED SOLUTION IS TO PENALIZE THE PARENTS OF ERRING MINORS. WHILE APPREHENDED MINORS SHALL BE DETAINED IN FACILITIES APPROPRIATE FOR THEIR AGE, THE PARENTS SHOULD BE DETAINED IN REGULAR JAILS, AS IF THEY, THEMSELVES, ARE THE OFFENDERS. PARENTS SHOULD NOT ONLY BE LECTURED ON THE FAULTS OF THEIR CHILDREN BUT THEY SHOULD BE MADE TO FEEL THE PAIN OF THE LAW.

 

  • STUBBORN AND RECKLESS DRIVERS. The city roads are pestered by the devilish drivers whose recklessness and stubbornness put the lives of their passengers and even the innocent pedestrians on the line. They drive as if they own the road. Add to this, the drivers of illegal of conveyances such as vans and taxis. Since time immemorial, the LTFRB and LTO know about this but have done nothing, so that in time, they have added up to the hellish situation of the city traffic.

 

THE SUGGESTED SOLUTION IS FOR THE OUTRIGHT DISMISSAL OF THE LTFRB AND LTO PERSONNEL AND OFFICIALS WHO ARE FOUND TO HAVE MADE NEGLIGENCE PART OF THEIR ROUTINE. STILL, THE OPERATORS OF ILLEGAL CONVEYANCES MUST ALSO BE PENALIZED, TOGETHER WITH THEIR ERRING DRIVERS.

 

THERE ARE STILL MANY ETCETERAS THAT BUG THE CITY LIFE FOR WHICH THE NEW PRESIDENT WOULD REALLY NEED A STEELY RESOLVE AND IRON-CLAD DISPOSITION. THE QUESTION IS…WILL THE CONGRESS AND THE SENATE SHOW THEIR UTMOST COOPERATION BY GIVING HIM THE NEEDED “EMERGENCY POWER”?

Kung Hindi Nagmatigas si Marcos…Komunista na ang Pilipinas

Kung Hindi Nagmatigas si Marcos

…Komunista na ang Pilipinas

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Hindi nawawala ang anumang banta sa kahit anong bansa. Nariyan ang banta sa ekonomiya na maaring sinasabotahe ng malalaki at gahamang kaalyado daw o katuwang at kaibigang bansa. Nariyan ang banta sa seguridad dahil sa pagdami ng mga terorista. Nariyan din ang banta sa kinabukasan ng kabataan at katahimikan dahil sa banta ng kriminalidad at droga. Ang pinakamabigat ay ang banta sa ideyolohiya. Kung hindi isasama ang relihiyon, dalawa lang ang lakas ng ideyolohiyang naglalaban – ang komunismo at demokrasya.

 

Dahil mula’t sapul ang Pilipinas ay kumiling na sa demokrasya na ipinamulat ng Amerika, ang komunismo na namayagpag noong kapanahunan ni Mao Tse Tung ng Tsina ay itinuring na pinakamalaking banta. Ang HUKBALAHAP (Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon) na naging api-apihan ay nagkaroon ng dahilan upang yumakap sa komunismo kaya nagkaroon ng NPA (New People’s Army), na kalaunan ay nagbigay-buhay sa KMU ng mga kabataan at iba pang “pulahang” grupo. Sila ang nagbigay ng sakit ng ulo kay Ferdinand Marcos kaya napilitan naman kuno itong magdeklara ng Martial Law. Dahil sa mga sinasabing iba’t ibang uri ng pagkontrol o pagsupil sa pagkilos ng mga komunista, kasama na diyan ang mga walang habas na pagmamalupit (torture)  noong panahon ng Martial Law na isa sa mga mapagkunwaring instrumento ng demokrasya, NANALO si Marcos, pero hindi ang demokrasya.

 

Kung ang mga Pilipino mula pa man noon ay nakikipagtulungan sa pamamagitan ng pagpapairal sa  mga dapat gawin ng isang “disenteng Pilipino”, wala sanang dahilan ang mga komunista o si Marcos na “magligtas” daw sa sambayanang Pilipino mula sa kapariwaraan. Ginawang dahilan ang demokrasya upang makapagdeklara ng Martial Law si Marcos. Ginawa ring dahilan ng mga komunista ang kahirapan ng mga PIlipinong tamad at nagpagamit sa mga tiwaling opisyal upang isulong ang ideyolohiyang galing sa Tsina….hanggang ngayon, na talagang hindi pwede dahil sa pagkasaradong Katoliko ng mga Pilipino.

 

Bago magsisihan o magturuan kung sino ang may sala sa mga nangyayaring kahirapan ngayon, dapat ay pag-isipan kung anong tulong ang nagawa upang maiwasan SANA ang lalo pang pagyabong ng korapsyon. Kung ayaw kay Marcos, dapat noon pa lang ay kumiling na sa mga komunista upang pantay-pantay lahat ng Pilipino….kung ayaw naman ng komunismo, dapat ay hindi pinatalsik si Marcos na sinisisi ngayon dahil sa kanyang diktadurya. Nang bumalik ang mga Marcos at sumabak pa uli sa pulitika, nagbulag-bulagan ang mga Pilipino, at pilit pinagtakpan ang kahangalang ito sa pagharang sa pagpalibing ng bangkay ng diktador sa “Libingan ng mga Bayani”, para lang masabing buhay pa and demokrasya!…DEMOKRASYA NG MGA KORAP?

 

Bilang huling hirit sa pagligtas sa sambayanang Pilipino, hindi pa man nakakaupo si Duterte bilang bagong presidente na may mala-bakal na pamamaraan upang matuligsa ang mga tiwali, may mga nagpapapansin na sa pagsabing haharangin nila ang mga gagawin niya sa NGALAN DAW NG KARAPATANG PANGTAO!…PWEEHHH!