Street food would always be in our heart – and also in our stomach
Here is a short story of love and food. Janna, a sales lady at a huge department store in San Lazaro (Tayuman) was always hungry after work. Before going home, she always stops at the street food restaurant (named, Gina’s street food center) near the department store that she is working. Janna eats a bit of isaw, kwek kwek or fish ball sometimes but her favourite which she most often likes to eat is barbecue. There are times that Janna has eaten more than three barbecue sticks because of its sweet mouth watering taste. Janna also sometimes bring home some of it for her younger siblings. Janna, whose age is only at late twenties, is the bread and butter of her family. She did not manage to finish college because she chooses to help her parents in providing an adequate education for her three younger siblings. Janna with her white skin, straight long hair and a little bit chubby look which stands five feet and four inches tall has many suitors particularly at her workplace that include her male co-workers but the only guy that she is interested of is her supervisor. Her supervisor who is Richard Gomez alike is always cad on his white polo barong and black slack pants. But this tall and dark supervisor is somehow strict at work. He seldom talks to his subordinates (lower staff, including Janna) and there are times that he has shouted with anger on their mistakes at work. He also ignored Janna’s smile on him. Hopelessly and dismayed, Janna thought that her boss would never mind her feelings for him, and so she decided to forget it and just focus on her work. But one day while Janna is eating barbecue on the place that she regularly go, she unexpectedly saw her boss there. Her boss asked “are you regularly eat here?” he said, “Yes sir but I haven’t seen you here before,” Janna replied with a trembling voice. “Oh, I just visit my mom here,” he said, “you’re mom,” she said, “yah, my mom owns this street food restaurant,” he said. Janna was surprised! But on the corner of her mind, she taught that she would not return in this place anymore. But her hesitation was eased when her boss asked her to dine with him and eat some street food for a moment while having light conversations about life and work. Janna does not refuse and took the chance to know her boss through a little chat and street food trip. After that night, Janna noticed that her boss become friendly to her. Her boss became less serious on work; which he tolerates the minor mistakes of his subordinates and made a good relationship with them. Janna realized that her boss is not really harsh; she taught that he is just doing his job as a supervisor. She personified her boss as a sweet and spicy barbecue stick; sweet because of his generosity and spicy because of his eagerness to correct his subordinates for their own improvement. A few weeks later, Janna was not lonely anymore in eating barbecue; she was then always accompanied by her boss. They talk about the different kind of delicious street foods, such as kikiam, adidas, balut, penoy, squid-ball, siomai and more. As their friendship goes into a deeper mutual understanding, the two lately became lovers and end up in exchanging bows at church.
Janna’s boss who became her better half promised that he will also help Janna’s family in some financial matters. Janna and her husband were thankful about street food. The two of them seen the delight of every street food patrons that has eat with them, they knew that Filipino food culture will be incomplete without this kind of foods. They also knew that street food stall and restaurant are a good source of income that’s why they planned to establish one and hopefully create more branches as it get successful and famous. The story of Janna is not very far from every Filipinos, everyone of us can relate with her story when we are eating street food, when we are on way home and we stop at front a street food stall, when we have a drinking session and the street food is our pulutan, or when we call a walking balut vendor at night and buy one to savour our stomach during our midnight snack. Street food would always be in our heart – and also in our stomach – as long as there is Janna alike in each one of us that would always treasure this great Filipino food culture. Thank you folks for rendering a time in this short story of mine, be good and stay good. TOUCH DOWN!