By Deedee M. Siytangco
“Keep calm, the Lord will fight for you.” Exodus 14; 14
The typhoon rains and winds have come and gone, and we prepare from nature’s next temper tantrum. Note that Metro Manila streets are immediately flooded because of manmade causes. The local authorities discovered some barangays with esteros where openings were deliberately jammed so that there would certainly be flooding. Then the vultures in the neighbor swooped down to offer safe transportation to the hapless residents by men as of trikes, home-made rafts, etc. Some rescue workers from the LGUs paddled or walked around to see if people needed help but who were responsible for the inadequate drainages and stalled public works projects?
The toll ways to the South were disappointingly constructed to prevent flooding, even by a private consortium! Drainages were clogged and there were areas that were impassable. Why? As a motorist who uses the tollways regularly, demanded to know, “Why should we have to pay toll on highways that flood?”
Now… As with other citizens, I want my taxes to go to the CHR! Congressmen, please note that as a constitutional agency, it can’t be abolished, and it is NOT under the Office of the President! This I learned from Senator Frank Drilon, and Department of National Defense (DND) Sec. Delfin Lorenzana has just come out with his statement that CHR is needed and it should receive the proper budgetary support!
Also rallying to the CHR’s defense was senators Bam Aquino, Ping Lacson, Kiko Pangilinan, Senate President Koko Pimentel, and Cong. Vilma Santos who was sick on voting day. I am happy that Cong. Manuel Zubiri also came out to support the CHR.
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I had a post grandparents’ day lunch (on the actual Sunday, I was at Corniche of Diamond Hotel for a delightful lunch with my son AJ and his wife Ayet. My apos are abroad, but soon-to-be born Disney was happily kicking in Ayet’s stomach) at the Spiral of Sofitel, the home of our media forum Bulong Pulungan (since 1986).
The Spiral buffet was a foodie experience no matter how many times you go back to it. I did, however, find myself lamenting the rather uninspired gigantic flower arrangement that greeted me at the lobby of Sofitel that lunch time. Usually every Tuesday for our Bulong forum, I would look forward to see what the in-house florist had concocted for us guests in the lobby. He has done fabulous towering fresh flower arrangements before but now? Has he gotten jaded? There are more twigs in that arrangement than fresh blooms and many are flowers are already wilted!
Did the Sofitel management cut his budget too, like Congress cut the CHR budget?
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Many restaurants have come and gone. But one restaurant still lives on and has been an institution in the food industry for 35 years. Bangus Specialty Restaurant, a restaurant specializing in the national fish, “bangus” or milkfish and traditional Filipino cuisine has always been one of the go-to-places of families, barkadas, and OFWs craving for Filipino food.
Started by the De Mesa sisters of Guagua, Pampanga—of the Takayama Garden Restaurant and Ima Restaurant fame, they desired to pursue and promote Filipino food, through Bangus Specialty Restaurant, as not one Filipino will tire of eating Filipino food nor a foreigner not want to discover the taste of the Philippines.
Many of its loyal customers will remember its first branch at the Greenhills Shopping Center’s Crossroad Arcade, the restaurant with the ventanillas, balusters, and capiz windows on its mezzanine floor. It was where the chicharon balat ng bangus and bangus sashimi was introduced, to the amazement of the customers. It was also this branch the green mango shake was invented due to the unavailability of ripe mangoes. It was where several customers grew up eating at—they dined with their parents in the 1980s and 1990s and now they feast with their spouses and kids, and of course their parents who introduced them to Bangus Specialty Restaurant. Many of its customers who have migrated or worked abroad would also come and visit the restaurant every time they come home to the Philippines, knowing their longing for Pinoy food would be satisfied.
Popular dishes are their bangus prime-cut (selly) sinigang, bangus molo soup, kare-kareng bangus, lumpiang langus, bangus sisig, bangus ala Pobre, pinalutong na bangus, at ensaladang mangga. They are also known for their non-bangus dishes—rellenong manok, kare-kareng buntot ng baka, hipon sa aligi, sisig, and the crispy pata (one of their most popular dishes and voted among the Top 10 Crispy Pata by Spot.ph.
I always have bangus lumpiang prito for my holiday celebrations in Tagaytay and their bangus sinigang.
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The Annual Alay Lakad Walk-for-a-Cause, for thousands of out-of-school youth on its 45th year will be held on Sept. 24 at the Luneta grandstand. The charity event is a unique mode of raising funds for out-of-school-youths in a project of the Alay Lakad Foundation, Inc. with its president, businessman and civic leader Frank Evaristo. This year’s chairman of the Alay Lakad Foundation, Inc. is President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Volunteer participants “walk” to the grandstand for the marginalized and out-0f-school youths. Every participant donates to the fund. The foundation has helped from 70,000 youths since its founding thru scholarships and livelihood projects. It counts as members, over 35 NGOS, civic clubs, and government agencies.
The project is on its 45th year of existence this month. Chairman of this year’s National Coordinating Committee is Lions Club International led by it John Siy and Anson Ong and vice chairman is the Rotary Club International led by Governor Emmanuel “Loy” Cosico. It has the theme of “Kabataan Para sa Pagbabago.”
President Domingo Yap of the FFCCCHII, AFP, chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano, PNP chief Gen. Ronald “Bato “ de la Rosa, Lions Club International, Kiwanis International Governor Alejandro Mojica, JCIP president Hagem Furigay, Nboy Scouts of the Philippines, YMCA, DILG, DepEd, PLPI, Parcnet, NCR, NYC, Delfin Go, Belinda Zalameda, Dra. Teruko Haga, and Puerto Princesa City chapter Rev. Leonida Salva are all members of the committee.
Alay Lakad starts at 8 a.m. in front of the Quirino grandstand.
02 522-6134; 63909 7504733.
So let’s walk!
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