showing all: by ayan

cockfights and muscle memory

On a trip back to the Philippines about 20 years ago, I found myself on a magical island known for its witchcraft and faith healers.  But alas this story is about neither of these. It’s about a Sunday afternoon jaunt to the local cockfighting arena.  This one was much smaller than the ones I recalled as a boy in Manila.  Imagine a dirt floor where two men each hold their fighting cocks primed for attack.  The place is oppressively hot.  The noise deafening.  The smell of cigarettes, beer, and sweat (intoxicating).  Bets are taken.  The announcer in the middle of the ring seems to have everyone twitching with anticipation.  Some of you are probably saying that this is no place for a boy and I Keep Reading…

Gently Down The Stream

One of my all time favorite films is Babette’s Feast. My take on the film… it’s about a woman who loves what she does.  She is an artist.  What she does is make great food  regardless of how it is received.  Some call this being authentic.  I do agree with this idea of authenticity.  As long as what’s authentic is allowed to change tomorrow and the next day. Anyway, Babette wins the lottery and takes all the winnings to cook a feast for friends and the town folk. For the most part, the sublime meal isn’t received the way the gourmands of Paris have in her distant past. But it doesn’t matter really. She is just rowing her boat downstream. Doing her thing. Living with Ease, Keep Reading…

Cran in a Can?

I remember my first Thanksgiving after having arrived fresh from the Philippines.  What most caught my attention was the sight of a red, perfectly cylindrical, gelatin-like thing on a plate.  I asked what it was and someone said “cranberry sauce.”  What was so saucy about this jiggly thing?  Part of me thought “canned food is still cool in some parts of the world.”  Part of me thought “Americans have peculiar habits.”  This appears to be a special occasion and someone has just slipped a piece of red gelatin out of a can and served it on a plate.  Part of me thought this was some sort of joke.  It got better when someone sliced the thin disks of the “sauce” and fanned them out.  Yummm… Keep Reading…

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