Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mega Storm Looming: Batchoy

It was announced at work yesterday that there is a storm looming. Expected touchdown would be on Monday, which is a crucial day in a work week. So my Vice President initiated a meeting on the floor to do a call tree experiment during the weekends to prepare for a BCP (Business Continuity Planning) exercise on Monday just in case the storm indeed got monstrous and people can't come in for work. Banks are paranoid, which is always a good thing in their business. For me, there's always a golden benefit to be cautious, but this impending storm is not going to affect me badly as long as I can have food supply, a good book and an internet connection.

When I woke up on a Saturday afternoon I heard heavy rains and thunder. It was non-stop for an hour at least. The rain's intensity could be compared to Ondoy, but then again it only lasted for an hour. At around 3, the rain stopped and the sky was semi clear again. The gloom got me excited and hungry so I went to the mall with my sister and had a vanity session.

I was planning to go to the groceries, but I think the impending storm was highly publicized and groceries were packed. I figured my dad must have been there. Whenever he hears a storm, he panic buys food, batteries, candles and whatever he could find useful in cases of armageddon. So now, we have a pantry full of canned goods, softdrinks, tissues, noodles, rice and a cabinet full of batteries. We kind of appreciate how he prepares, but our pantry looks like a stock of sari-sari store.

So I skipped the groceries and decided to get some take out. I bought some pizza and was about to buy congee at North Park, but my stomach was looking for something else until I saw Ted's La Paz Batchoy. A switch was turned on.

Congee and hot chinese food is one of my comfort foods during the rain, but so is Batchoy and I miss this Filipino soup dish! It's garlicky, tasty and fulfilling. Batchoy is definitely a part of my life especially when I was a kid, a toddler. It's funny when you remember scenes in your childhood, scenes that really made an impact on you, because you remember pertinent details. You would remember how you'd look, feel and how the experience tasted like. In this case, I have a special memory on Batchoy.

*Ted's La Paz Batchoy, Ilonggo Fast food chain

When I was at around 3 or 4 I was still living in an apartment with my parents in the heart of Makati. In that Apartment compound the tenants are from either Iloilo and Roxas. My dad is from Roxas so it was like home for him. I would get exposed to Ilonggos and the camaraderie of Visayan folks in the busy life of Makati. Since both of my parents were working that time, I usually spend my days with an Ilonggo maid and nanay. Every weekend or days when I don't have school, I would get excited just like any other kid, but I also get excited because of something else.

In the apartment compound where majority of its tenants are from Iloilo, I also got exposed to Ilonggo food. They are great cooks, mind you. They like flavor, seafoods and garlic. But most especially I remember there's an old woman tenant who managed a friendly stall across the street. Her stall sells Ilonggo food and hot, homemade Batchoy. Whenever there's no school or during summer, I would ask money from my tita before lunch, get a huge bowl and cross the street with my yaya to buy Batchoy. I became a regular. I remember giving the bowl, smelling the aroma and watching the soup being transferred. I usually request to have the meat innards be separated. I also remember how careful I was carrying the bowl and crossing the street to our apartment making sure that it won't spill. Then when I get home I eat batchoy with rice and that would mark the highlight of my day. When I get into a tantrum, my parents would know how to appease me. Since I'm a super regular, I got freebies sometimes.

I love Batchoy. It's something that I could eat everyday, but it's better when it's missed I realized. Aside from the flavor, it brings back happy memories from my childhood. And this is especially best eaten on a rainy season.

1 comment:

brolitz said...

Bring back memories

soon i'll be visiting Philippines