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THE HIPPIE TABLE: THE RETURN OF THE TREE HUGGERS


My generation went to Woodstock, smoked funny stuff, ate vegetables, wove flowers into our braided hair, played guitar and harmonica, wore long skirts and sandals, and espoused peace and love. Some of us lived in cooperative communities called communes and raised children outside the normal educational and social institutions. People in communes raised and cooked their own food, preserving excess harvests in cans and jars for leaner months. Fruits became pies, jams, and jellies; overripe ones were fermented into wine or vinegar. Seeds were grown into salad sprouts. Whole grains were ground and baked into bread loaves using natural sourdough leavening. We foraged in fields and streams and were rewarded with wild herbs and fish. Living quarters were minimalist, containing only the most necessary pieces of furniture. Roll-up mattresses in lieu of beds freed up floor space during the day; the same principle applied to fold-up work tables and chairs. READ  MORE...

ALSO: The egalitarian table

At this restaurant in Bulacan, there is something for everyone—vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores  Meycauayan has surely gone a long way from the days when it was the center of the Philippine tanning industry. The once-sleepy town is now a bustling city and host to several hundred small jewelry ateliers, some of which make one-of-a-kind expensive pieces for the rich and the famous and their foreign friends. The glamorous business helps the city’s economy tremendously, as their customers patronize not just the plateros (goldsmiths) but other businesses as well. READ MORE...

ALSO: What the 'yaya meal' really says about us


By Shakira Sison ---RAPPLER.COM CONTRIBUTOR Shakira Andrea Sison is a two-time Palanca-winning essayist. She currently works in finance and spends her non-working hours writing stories in subway trains. She is a veterinarian by education and was managing a retail corporation in Manila before relocating to New York in 2002 
When was the last time your maids and yayas sat with you at the table? Have you ever invited your maid to share lunch with you instead of asking her for more water as you eat? There was quite an outrage when it was revealed that an upscale resort had on its menu a meal labeled for its guests' domestic staff. According to the resort's proud statement, the "yaya meal" was designed so that their guests could feed their helpers a less costly meal instead of their regular fare of "tenderloin steak and lobster thermidor."  READ MORE FROM RAPPLER.COM REPORT...
 


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

The ‘hippie’ table; The return of the tree huggers

MANILA, APRIL20, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Sol Vanzi April 19, 2015 - My generation went to Woodstock, smoked funny stuff, ate vegetables, wove flowers into our braided hair, played guitar and harmonica, wore long skirts and sandals, and espoused peace and love.

Some of us lived in cooperative communities called communes and raised children outside the normal educational and social institutions.

People in communes raised and cooked their own food, preserving excess harvests in cans and jars for leaner months.

Fruits became pies, jams, and jellies; overripe ones were fermented into wine or vinegar. Seeds were grown into salad sprouts. Whole grains were ground and baked into bread loaves using natural sourdough leavening.

We foraged in fields and streams and were rewarded with wild herbs and fish.

Living quarters were minimalist, containing only the most necessary pieces of furniture. Roll-up mattresses in lieu of beds freed up floor space during the day; the same principle applied to fold-up work tables and chairs.

We made jewelry using recycled metal wires and found objects: pretty shells, colorful pebbles, glass beads from old clothes. On cold nights, their families gathered under crocheted blankets.

Our generation painted, wrote songs and poems, practiced yoga, believed in freedom, preached equality for all, and showed respect for Mother Nature. Our parents called us hippies.

Today, our grandchildren are echoing the same mantras we chanted as we hugged trees and tried to save animals and plants from extinction. What goes around comes around.


Image found at http://treehuggerplz.deviantart.com/

SUSTAINABLE TABLE

Food sustainability begins at the source of what we eat, and goes on to the growing, harvesting, preparing, cooking, and dealing with leftovers.

Today we are all enjoined to “buy local” in order to reduce transportation (and therefore fuel) costs while at the same time assisting food producers in our own communities.

Local farmers and fishermen are taught to avoid chemical pesticides fertilizers and artificial growth enhancers, as well as antibiotics. Harvesting of ocean products is done with methods that do not hurt young fish, protected species, and their natural habitat.

Home cooking ensures that the ingredients retain as much of the original nutrients as possible, using methods that conserve fuel and do not pollute the atmosphere.

To minimize waste, only the necessary amount of food should be prepared; any excess should be saved and shared with others or recycled in ingenious ways.

WASTE NOT

One of the best ways to avoid waste is the freezer “dump bag” used to separately store animal bones and trimmings and vegetables: peels, stems, and leaves.

The animal dump bag produces great soup stock for gravies and stews. These days, I produce excellent ramen stock that would put Osaka’s best to shame.

Simply dump bones, skin, and meat trimmings into a pot and simmer at very low heat for several hours, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Add trimmings from onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion leaves.

Cook until ligaments and soft bones disintegrate and broth is creamy and thick.

The vegetable dump bag contents can be chopped and added to soups, stews, and stir-fries.


The egalitarian table by Sol Vanzi April 16, 2015



At this restaurant in Bulacan, there is something for everyone—vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores

Meycauayan has surely gone a long way from the days when it was the center of the Philippine tanning industry.

The once-sleepy town is now a bustling city and host to several hundred small jewelry ateliers, some of which make one-of-a-kind expensive pieces for the rich and the famous and their foreign friends.

The glamorous business helps the city’s economy tremendously, as their customers patronize not just the plateros (goldsmiths) but other businesses as well.

READ MORE...

DISCOVERY

It’s a well-known Malate fashion designer who took me to Meycauayan last weekend to have lunch at a unique restaurant that pleases everybody’s dietary preferences.

The presence of a vegetarian in a group of diners is always a major consideration when deciding where to eat. The issue becomes a major production when the odd man out is not just a vegetarian, but a strict vegan—no eggs, no dairy products, no seafood.

It is next to impossible to find a restaurant that pleases carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans all at the same time and this makes Café Nenzo on MacArthur Highway such a rare find.

What is pleasantly surprising is that it is not at the heart of the Makati Business District or The Fort, but outside Metro Manila, in an area not known for trendy bistros and eateries.

Trio cheese pizza with lettuce, alfalfa sprout and tomato salsa; and organic smoothie, milkshake, and frappe


Veggie chicharon


Teas, snacks, and food supplements on sale


Salisbury steak


Colorful nacho grande


Trio of green salads


Organic cakes


(Images by: Manny Llanes)

PASSIONATE ADVOCACY

Café Nenzo is the show window of a unique family’s advocacy: convincing Filipinos to live a healthy lifestyle, one meal at a time.

Marie Ann and Lorenzo Abacan, both educators, want to share their personal triumph over health problems by convincing people that vegetarian food need not be boring and dull.

With the help of their son Chef Chino, they opened Café Nenzo last year at the ground floor of Esperanza Mall in Bulacan. The business venture meant stretching their working days and hours because they also supervise Sophia School, an institution they opened 20 years ago.

VEGGIE CHICHARON, SISIG

The veggie sisig sizzler we tasted was every bit identical in taste and texture to the regular cholesterol-laden kind served everywhere else.

The Abacans make theirs with wheat protein, tofu, and mushrooms. Vegans omit the egg topping. Huge pieces of chicharon crackled as we munched, dipping them in chili-infused native vinegar.

VEGGIE DRINKS, NO SODA

Cafe Nenzo does not serve soft drinks or beer. Instead, there are large glasses of frappes, smoothies, and shakes that use no sugar or sweetener, relying solely on the natural sweetness of fresh ingredients.

My choice was a thick, dark green smoothie called Weight Loss, which contained organic greens, saba banana, mango, green tea, Chia seeds, and Maca powder.

The rest had double choco-chip frappe and strawberry milkshake.

UNBELIEVABLE PRICES

If Café Nenzo ever opens a branch in Metro Manila, it will definitely be mobbed by diners seeking good, inexpensive healthy food. My personal picks: baby back ribs (P140), salisbury steak (P120), pasta (from P100), stone-baked pizza (from P160), organic salads (from P85). All main courses come with rice, mashed potato, and mixed vegetables.

Also irresistible are the six kinds of cheesecake (from P100). Definitely a place we will visit again soon.

Café Nenzo, 044 323 0182, 63 906 233 2233


FROM RAPPLER.COM

IMHO: What the 'yaya meal' really says about us Shakira Sison Published 8:00 AM, Apr 16, 2015 Updated 8:00 AM, Apr 16, 2015


By Shakira Sison ---RAPPLER CONTRIBUTOR Shakira Andrea Sison is a two-time Palanca-winning essayist. She currently works in finance and spends her non-working hours writing stories in subway trains. She is a veterinarian by education and was managing a retail corporation in Manila before relocating to New York in 2002

When was the last time your maids and yayas sat with you at the table? Have you ever invited your maid to share lunch with you instead of asking her for more water as you eat?

There was quite an outrage when it was revealed that an upscale resort had on its menu a meal labeled for its guests' domestic staff. According to the resort's proud statement, the "yaya meal" was designed so that their guests could feed their helpers a less costly meal instead of their regular fare of "tenderloin steak and lobster thermidor."

READ MORE...
Online rage is often instant and righteous, so as expected, it came from all directions. Everyone decided to present their opinions about equality, how servants must be treated fairly, and that they deserve to eat as well as their bosses. Talk about dignity and discrimination was thrown around the way it is when there is an opportunity to talk about someone else's wrongs.

Netizens condemned the said resort for actually having an item on their menu that was reserved for its guests' hired help, because it underscored the distinct line between guest-worthy items and what was "good enough" for the help.

By the act of putting "yaya meal" on the menu, what the resort did was to put into writing how they believe their guests would like to feed their helpers.

Meanwhile, we were angry because someone finally formalized a common practice not only during our excursions, but even in our own homes.

We are "equal"

No, you might say, we don't treat our yayas that way. Our helpers are equal to us and we don't regard them as second class citizens. Doesn't it feel good to say these things out loud?

Let me ask you then: when was the last time your servants and yayas sat with you at the table (when they're not feeding your children)? Have you ever invited your maid to share lunch with you instead of asking her for more water as you eat.

In most households, there is a separate grocery list for the staff. While family members eat their meaty dishes and perfectly white rice, there is fried fish or paksiw (fish stew) in the dirty kitchen offered to maids and drivers.

The help eat only after the family has eaten, and usually out of sight. They eat quickly, using their hands, sharing whatever dish there is at hand. The maids are careful not to tap into the food meant for their employers. The staff makes sure they are not seen eating too much.

Not exempted

Growing up, I had a yaya I adored and regarded as one of my parents. Still, as the most valuable staff member in our household, it was clear that she could only cut my steak and not eat it. She could only peel my shrimp but not taste it. If my rice was too hot for her to spoon into my mouth, she would first blow on it, smelling it and feeling the heat of the savory dish on her lips, but it would always land inside my mouth and not in hers.

She would never have dared to order her own dish when we were out. "Kahit ano, ate/ma'am," helpers usually say. (Anything, ate/ma'am.) This is usually our cue to order an inexpensive item on the menu or to just let them eat at home later.

Better yet, we just give the maid and the driver money so they can leave the restaurant and eat somewhere cheaper. We even consider it a treat for them to be given money to buy lunch of their choice.

"Wow, nag-Jollibee ka ha! Sosyal! (Wow, you ate in Jollibee? Classy!)" We even tease them afterwards.

Our helpers themselves will refuse to sit with the family or eat what they are eating because they know their place. Their social status has been ingrained in them so well that they are terrified of appearing to want more, or even attempting to put themselves in the same level as their masters.

Sometimes we use that as an excuse not to invite them to the table at all. "Mahihiya lang iyon (She'll just be embarrassed)," we'll say. So we don't even offer our food to our staff the way we tell everyone else, "Kain tayo (Let's eat)!"

Inevitable inequality

Like it or not, there is a clear (if unspoken) line between master and help. It doesn't have to be stated that what is good, clean, and delicious is for the master, and what is average and edible is for the maid. There is an understanding that the best things go to the boss, and the help must settle for leftovers or what the boss decides is good enough for them. They pay for it, after all.

A helper is paid for their day's labor and everything else is extra. How many times have we said, "Suwerte pa nga yung maid, kasi..." followed by something we feel only a master or employer deserves?

Buti pa si yaya, naka-aircon. (Lucky nanny, she's in an air-conditioned room.)

Sarap ni manong ha, naka-chedeng! (Fancy driver! He drives a Benz!)

Ang mahal naman. Puwede na yung mura kina Inday! (This item is so expensive. The cheaper one is fine for the maids.)

We are repeatedly warned not to spoil our maids, and not to get them used to the comforts only we deserve. It's as if allowing our helpers the same luxuries will make them forget their place and they will start to assume that we are equal, when we are most definitely not.

"Yumayabang ka na," (You're becoming arrogant) we'll say to end any assertive behavior.

"Sino ba ang amo sa ating dalawa?" (Who is the master between us?) is not such a rare line we use to remind them of their place.


THE 'Yaya meal' is real

Poor form

I'm not saying that establishments are faultless in calling a budget meal a "yaya meal."

Doing so emphasizes the helper's low stature and lack of options as an employee of the family. Like requiring staff to use service elevators and kitchen entrances in fancy condo buildings, these distinctions say, "Your labor is welcome, but your visibility (or opinion) is not."

More than anything, designating a dish on the menu as "just for the help" is a reflection of the resort's ignorance and lack of class in assuming (and expressly stating) that their own guests cannot afford or do not want to feed their own help the same meals they enjoy – a fact that may be true, but is something I'm sure their guests would not appreciate being pointed out. (It's like going to Per Se in New York and finding "nanny meal" on the menu. That would just be laughable, and if their CEO even rationalized it, it would be bizarre.)

But before we sing about equality and how our helpers should be treated the same way we treat ourselves, ask yourself when your helpers truly shared your status, in that they deserved the same good food in a fancy resort the way you do, and in the same portions and at same cost shouldered by you? If they really were members of your family, you wouldn't wince at the thought.

'Puwede na yan'

Or do we just catch ourselves saying, "Puwede na yan sa kanila (That is fine for them)," when we buy the cheapest item on the menu (with or without it being called "yaya meal")? At home, it's almost second nature to buy fish and vegetables for the helpers while we buy meat just for the family's consumption. It's a given that when buying steak to make for dinner, we don't count the number of helpers because certain items are "just for us," like chocolate bars and imported items, like candies in a bowl the help are not allowed to touch.

Our help's status and unequal footing doesn't just happen on vacation. It isn't just evident in the mall or in places where we have to make a choice as to what they will eat, or wear, or enjoy. For our maids, yayas, and drivers, their lack of stature is 24/7 and they are reminded of it each minute they are employed by us.

They don't need a "yaya meal" on the menu to remind them of how it's up to us to decide what we feel they deserve to put into their mouths, what they can wear, or where they can sleep. We remind them of their place daily, whether we speak of it or not. – Rappler.com
 




Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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