The Fourth Sign: The Outsider
Last weekend, my stateside-based tito, tita and cousins visited us for a family reunion.
Showing the usual filipino style hospitality, our family offered to treat them to the best of our native delicacies.
Typically, pinoy cooking can be summed up as follows: The more cholesterol, the better. Roasted pork, molten sebo, deepfried parts, or basically anything that sizzles and crackles and your meal is good to go. Heck, even our veggie dishes are full of oil, meat or chicharon.
However, this post is not about the typical pinoy cooking.
For some reason, my Dad suddenly had a craving for something... exotic. Yes. Something more exotic than even balut (steamylicious aborted baby duck eaten in its shell) and dinuguan (chewy pork liver bits in blood stew)...
He craved sawa (python), bayawak (monitor lizard) and locust. Deep fried of course (Best with san miguel). And to my horror, my Tito agreed.
Thus we found ourselves on the way to Balaw Balaw restaurant in Angono, Rizal, the most famous source of these holy grails of Filipino food. Angono, by the way, is commonly called the Artist's town because of its colorful culture (not just Balaw balaw), and because a lot of Filipino National Artists took up residence there.
However, this post is not about the Balaw Balaw restaurant nor the quaint little town of Angono.
This post is about Jeepneys. Yep. The icons of Filipino ingeniuity, whose very drivers have transcended the limits of multi-tasking by not only texting while driving but also looking each passenger in the eye (via the rearview window), coordinating where each one should sit, counting change by the use of touch alone, and with his free hand, smoking out the window.
Of course, with everything else going on, something's gotta give. Jeepneys are absolutely the WORST drivers in the Philippines. They cut, they swerve, they stop and even go on reverse in the middle of the street with reckless abandon.
Sort of like a woman driver, but more aggress... Oh wait... Sort of Like a woman driver.
Anyway, this post is about how on the way to Angono, I finally saw a Jeep that actually signalled to switch lanes, and slowed down before stopping at the road's shoulder to pick up a passenger.
The end is near.