Bright lights, solo flight, in date city

30 07 2012

THIS IS a glimpse into the life of a single guy in this big city.  He leaves work at around 7:00 PM, goes to a speed dinner with a friend for a good ten minutes – thank goodness for the hawker centre! – hops on the train for the longest 15-minute trip home, resurrects a life in facebook for about half an hour, does the laundry, and eventually decides to get a head start on something culinary.

Coming at the heels of successful “sopas” and salad nights, on a whim he proposes to cook for friends.  As everybody has got to be in different parts of the globe within the next week or so – he himself booked on a Singapore Airlines flight eleven days from now – he agrees to hosting dinner on Wednesday night, and then on Saturday.

He realizes that while the laundry is soaking for a good hour, he can make a pot of the magic chicken broth that is the secret to his sopas.  So off to the grocer behind his block he goes.

He hoards all the fresh chicken bones, and eyes the best of the celery hearts.  He picks through a pile of onions, and subtly threw away the bad stuff.  And then when he reaches for a pack of carrots to complete the mix, he is surprised to find an unexpected reminder of why in the first place his comforting soup he wants to make.

There, beside the two-for-one bargain bin of kang kong (swamp cabbage) is a pack of carrots that proudly says, “Produce of Australia.”  Now he wants to make this sopas even more.

Proudly Produce of Australia

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Sopas

30 07 2012

(A draft from a couple of weeks back)

I WOKE UP to an overcast Saturday musically scored by the rumbling of rolling thunder.

Even here in the land of virtually perennial summers, the “seasons” do change.  And even before I started to notice heaven’s percussions in play, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night lately, needing to pull the sheets up to my chin.  Half-awake, I would need to check if I did remember to turn off the air-conditioning.

When there is a coolness to the breeze that hits your face, it would be great to warm up the body and the soul with a hearty bowl of really good soup.  With a little free time this weekend – something that has become more of a luxury – I decided to make my signature Chicken Macaroni Soup.  We simply call it “sopas” where I come from.

My sopas (chicken macaroni soup), here with a generous grinding of black pepper fresh from the mill

As a young urban professional, I have subscribed to the wisdom of the 30-minute meal (Rachael Ray’s), the five-ingredient fix (Claire Robinson’s), the semi-homemade (Sandra Lee’s), the express (Nigella Lawson’s), and the five-ingredient five-minute meals (Rocco DiSpirito’s), but there are just some dishes that are better left untouched by any sense of “hurry” or “rush”.

My Chicken Macaroni Soup is one of these.

I start with homemade chicken stock.  In a pot that is deeper rather than wider, I throw in either a whole fresh chicken or a few “chicken bones” which I would get for about a dollar each at the grocer behind my block.  These are the carcasses – the whole bone left behind after a chicken is dressed.  In the pot, I will throw in the holy trinity of aromatics – cut-up celery hearts, peeled whole carrots, and a peeled whole onion with the root end intact – and a whole head of garlic, this one left unpeeled.  Dependent on my mood, I may or may not add dried thyme.  (I find that for Asian dishes, it would be better to leave off the thyme.)  I cover everything with water and bring the whole thing to the boil.  I let this simmer for about two hours.

The “holy trinity” of root aromatics – carrot, onion and celery.

 

The pot where all the magic happens.

 

Now that’s a deliciously looking golden broth!

 

In a separate pot over low heat, I slowly sauté a diced white onion, allowing it to sweat and become sweet without turning even a touch of brown.  I help this process by a sprinkling of a pinch of salt.  Once the onions have broken down, I add three cloves of finely minced garlic.  Then I add the shredded chicken meat from the carcasses I used for the stock, as well as a half a pound (to a pound) of (sometimes diced, most times shredded) chicken breast.  After a few turns in the heat, the chicken meat gets seasoned with a tablespoon of fish sauce and a ladle of the stock, and allowed to simmer.

I allow the diced onion to slowly sweat, break down and become sweet. I usually make a finer dice than this.

 

I add chicken breast to the saute. Sometimes I dice it, like with this batch but usually, I shred already cooked chicken breast. The latter is made by adding boneless and skinless chicken breast to the stock pot in the last 25 minutes of simmering.

 

Cooked elbow macaroni. I prefer the big ones!

 

After the chicken meat has become tender, the rest of the stock is added and brought back to the boil.  I then tumble in cooked macaroni (I used about 400 grams this time) and diced carrots (the ones that were in the stock pot).  One more return to the boil and then I add a can of evaporated filled milk.  I turn the fire off.  And the soup is ready to be served!

The “sopas” is ready to be devoured!

 

This is always within reach when I enjoy my “sopas”.

 

I have my sopas with lots of steamed white rice, here also enjoying a generous dash of freshly ground black pepper!

 

I always make a huge batch because the leftover just gets even better!

 

The batch I made was so good I just had to share it with my friends and neighbors Cecille and Glendz.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Salad days and a piece of cake

29 07 2012

IN EVERYTHING we do, we make memories.  In time we come to accept that there are memories we fail to make.  And that we don’t have to regret those.  But those that we can make, while we have the time, we have to and we do.

Dinner at BrenDarryl’s

So yesterday when I received an SMS from my good friends Brenda and Darryl that they’d love to have me for dinner at their place, I knew it was time to put a stop to work on a Saturday, hop on the train on the purple line, and meet them up at the block that has become one of my homes here in Singapore.

The photos doesn’t do enough justice to Brenda’s Almond Berry Chocolate Cake. I agree with here that baking your own cakesounds intimidating, “sounds” being the operative word. Because it is quite easy and fun once you get the hang of it. Her chocolate cake is fast becoming the stuff of legends. It started with an inspiration from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. But as is always the case with Brenda, she puts her stamp to it. Here it is in an incarnation that includes a filling of berries and slivered almonds, and a frosting kissed with the goodness of espresso. Yum!

 

A thin slice of the cake. This is fit only as a starter because you will end up asking for more. Notice the dense crumb? It’s dark, moist, and absolutely scrumptious. The filling of berries and almonds, and the frosting dotted with the same, provide another layer of flavor and texture. I love this piece of cake.

Thoughts of finally having a taste of Brenda’s Barefoot Contessa-inspired chocolate cake were too good to pass up.  From my end, I realized that it was a chance to treat them to my Australian Baby Wild Arugula with Green Granny Smith Apple and Green Argentinian Pear Salad in my now-signature Honey–Calamansi dressing, topped with shaved Parmesan Cheese and served with pan-grilled honey-glazed Prawns on the side.

While I prepared the prawns, I put the grill pan on to a low-medium fire so that it would be waiting for me to get ready, not the other way around. By the way, this is now “my” grill pan. Hahaha!

 

Preparing the prawns. For this salad, I reckon that five prawns per serving portion would be great. Five happens to be my favorite number.

 

The prawns have to be washed well, shelled leaving only the tail intact, and then deveined.

 

Most of the ingredients for my now-signature salad. So far I’ve been making this for only the really special people in my life. I still have a list to work through – more people I want to make this for.

 

The calamansi makes all the difference in the dressing. Brenda and I agree that it wouldn’t be the same if we use limes.

 

Only when the salad is to be served do I start grilling the prawns. It goes without saying that the baby wild arugula should be kept in the refrigerator crisper at all times.

 

The prawns are lightly marinated in a mixture that echoes the flavors in the dressing. Lightly, and only for a few minutes because you don’t want them to be a ceviche. On a whim, I would crack on to them a few rounds of the black pepper mill.

 

Much like a good piece of steak, I turn the prawns only a single time. They are allowed to cook on each side for only a couple of minutes or less, never more. My rule with prawns is that the moment they curl up, it’s time to turn them over. And then I probably would count only 30 seconds then they are done!

 

The Brendarryl, “Australian Baby Wild Arugula with Green Granny Smith Apple and Green Argentinian Pear Salad in eNTeNG’s signature Honey–Calamansi dressing, topped with shaved Parmesan Cheese and served with pan-grilled honey-glazed Prawns on the side” is ready to serve! That’s how I will call it on my restaurant menu.

 

Cold Storage didn’t have the Argentinian pears I use for this salad. So I only had the Granny Smith apple this time around. This and the previous photo are courtesy of Darryl.

 

Brenda said that the prawns were perfectly cooked. And that the greens were just kissed enough by the dressing.

 

The Brendarryl, the star salad at the restaurant in my head.

My friendship with Brenda and Darryl has been perfect in all its imperfections.  It’s the kind that is give-and-take, and in time has been beautified by shared interests and experiences, and in a few instances, weathered through an overcast sky of misunderstandings.  In a world where a lot of things have become so cheapened, our friendship is one that has refused to be so.

Brenda & Darryl – Wherever you may be, I know that with you, I will always be home.  Yes, compared to when you first told me about this change in your life, it’s finally sinking in.  I will definitely miss the two of you.

Brenda

 

Darryl

 

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





The Dark Knight Rises – reviews in SMS

24 07 2012

Christian – You may have done it out of obligation. But I sure am so glad you did! (Clip from The Straits Times, Saturday, 02 June 2012)

 

THE DARK Knight Rises is easily the best superhero movie I have ever seen.

Not even front row, last-seat-along-the-aisle seating could take my concentration off of the screen.  Large nachos, a hotdog, and a liter of root beer did attempt to take full control of my synapses.  As did the sporadic manifestations of A-List, name-droppable actors that trigger “I know this guy!” moments.

But an outstanding movie cannot be reduced to the usual trip to watch images on celluloid.  The movie is brilliant, has a heart, and at a running time of 165 minutes, something I won’t mind seeing again.  And probably a third time.

My fave line?  “Do you think I care about what everybody in this room thinks about me?”  See, brilliant!

How my best friend, Batman, feels about the latest installment on his story. Hehe.

 

I’ve been told that my text messages are actually tweets – the “tweet longer” kind! Here’s the first portion of how I felt about the movie. Notice the number of recipients? I actually sent this out in five batches.

 

Part Two

 

Part Three

 

My colleague and friend Shuai got the blog “feel” of my text. Hehe.

 

A reply and a recommendation from Sonja, the original purveyor of really good, dare I say, “haute patisserie” cupcakes in Manila by way of “Cupcakes by Sonja” at the Serendra Piazza at the Bonifacio Global City..

 

The tickets have been reserved!

 

Arguably, one of the best – if not the best – movie experience I’ve had here in the Lion City.

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Sister and the City

24 07 2012

BEING BORN to a brood of four brothers, I’ve become cognizant of the fact that while I may not have a biological sister, life has the fondest thoughts of me in mind when it sent some people my way.  I always feel this whenever I think of Agnes – make that, “Sister”.  After all, I see her as one of the sisters life forgot to give me.

Back in the Philippines, she, Brother (Edu) and I started off as officemates, and in time forged a bond only real siblings do share.  It’s the kind that transcends and as a matter of fact, celebrates idiosyncrasies, varying points of views, evolving passions, and different circles of other friends.  Our friendship is nowhere near perfect.  It has weathered storms, hurdled obstacles, and in the process emerged beautified by adversity.

Brother and Sister

Another Brother and Sister

After almost seven years of not seeing each other, we finally met up again when she came over for a series of important meetings with her counterparts in our company’s Singapore office.  As it is with real friends, it seemed like no time has passed between us.  It was just like one of those long nights or sleepovers that Brother and I would spend with her and her family in Makati, where we were always constant, well-received guests.  Except now, our little “Sister” is actually the loving wife of Jim, and the loving mother of just the cutest, prettiest toddler Kailey.  I’ve been totally remiss, inactive on facebook for about a year at least, but that much about Sister’s life I know.

It was just like the good old days.  We shared a lot of food – to this day, I acknowledge that my recipe of tortang talong (grilled eggplant omelet) came from her family’s kitchen – and quite expectedly, a lot of conversations.  And true to habits that are just hard to break, we hung out till the wee hours of the morning, reminiscing about the past and catching up on one another’s affairs.

Sister, it was so nice to see you again!  I hope it won’t take another seven years!

This was the image of Clarke Quay that greeted Brother and me as we emerged from the MRT station.

I’ve never been to Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel. But as is always the case here in Singapore, it is hard to get lost. There’s always something pointing you to the right direction.

Found it!

I saw this Hublot wall clock and immediately fell in love with the hotel. “How much is a night’s stay?” I almost asked! Haha!

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror…”

 

Of course, it is requisite to have this photo with Sister and that Hublot!

 

Brother and Sister on the yellow line.

 

Sister has arrived at the Sands!

 

The Angel Wears Prada

 

Sister shows me how to properly take a shot at the poorly illuminated Louis Vuitton storefront. Here she is working on ther settings of her compact camera.

 

Sister at Rasapura Masters

 

I had the fishball noodle dry. Sister had the soup version with kway teow instead of my favorite mee kia.

 

Braised Tofu

 

Brother had on his plate the most amazing, sweet, succulent grilled squid. Sister and I ended up picking on his food. Haha!

 

He also had a huge serving of Beef Caldereta, which is essentially Filipino beef stew. This one was almost perfect.

 

Louis Vuitton always has amazing window displays!

 

Coffee or tea?

 

Of course, on the eve of Sister’s departure, I just got to be there. Here, together with Philip Stein, Glycine and Blackberry.

 

Now on the Circle Line, just a station away from Bayfront.

 

I was late to dinner. When I enquired for directions, Iron Man simply told me to follow directions the moment I alight from the train. “Follow everything that says Gardens by the Bay.”

 

I saw this and realized it was going to be a long walk. I told myself, “this is Alay Lakad.”

 

Not even the escalator ride is spared from “self-portrait” moments. Hehe.

 

I still see signs pointing the way to Gardens by the Bay. So clearly, I didn’t feel any rush. Did I mention I was already running late? Haha!

 

I saw this colorful wall and suddenly, “‘Pop!’ goes my heart!”… Clearly, I wasn’t alone in admiring the burst of hues!

 

But I still had to have my alone time against this backdrop. I chided myself for deciding against wearing my colorful Ralph Lauren shirt for which I earned the monicker “Gummy Bear” from one of my friends at work.

 

One of those present at dinner is my good friend Mitzi.

 

For dinner, I had wantan mee. This was delicious!

 

This soup came with. It looks pretty plain and simple but it was full of flavor.

 

We walked from Gardens by the Bay to Marina Bay Sands for coffee and cake.

 

But you know me, I won’t stop at coffee and cake. I’ve got to have something substantial. I espied Aglio Olio at the next table but eventually decided on the Caesar Salad.

 

Not the best Caesar Salad I have ever had but simply scrumptious just the same! i finished everything on this plate!

 

I will definitely come back for this Red Velvet Cake! Deep-red, undeniably laced with delicious vanilla, this cake has a good crumb that’s moist, with hints of cocoa in the background. The cream cheese frosting was divine.

 

The gang bonding over coffee (that was yet to come). Clearly, you see all are all ears to what Mario was saying.

 

Back at the hotel, I asked for the Chicken Congee on the In-Dining Overnight Menu.

 

The Chicken Congee was very delicately flavored and served as the perfect blank canvass for the fixin’s it came with. Sister sure couldn’t help but comment that my appetite hasn’t changed in the seven years we haven’t seen each other. Haha!

 

The sides include pickled vegetables (behind the dough fritters), salted egg, crisp-fried shallots, spring onions, and as mentioned, dough fritters.

 

Parting shot… Sister, I miss you already!

 

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





38

10 07 2012

“ONLY 0.274% of people on average get to be born on the 10th of July.  Special, right?”

While waiting for the 72 after my birthday dinner, this bus stopped in front of me and my friend. I noticed it’s the 74. We don’t need it. But it was perfect for the moment and I just had to take this snap.

Last night, I had the most amazing dinner party thrown by my Malaysian friends.  And this morning, I woke up to a lot of text messages from people who care about me.  Every member of my family, no matter where they are right now, were the first ones to send in their greetings.  And 33 colleagues and friends – some on travel in far and away places like Italy and Israel – made me feel that there is much to be thankful for the fact that today, the 10th of July, I was born to this world 38 years ago.

I will lie if I don’t admit how great these messages made me feel.  Nine years ago, in front of a device tester at my then employer’s offices in the Sacramento area, one of my longest-standing friends suddenly opined, “You know what eNTeNG?  It takes a special person to appreciate who you really are.”

And I guess I still have lots of them right now.  I’ve accepted that I’m a very complex person but somehow there are still those who have managed to hang on to me, with me and for me.  I appreciate that a lot.

I had just hit my first year in Singapore, my first year on this job, and today is my birthday.  And these past few days have been making me think.  And in the midst of all of these, I always remember to be grateful for the few constants in my life.  These people have made me feel that no matter how other people judge me even though I am not a book, they will always be my friends.  From some of them I have run away and dare I say, attempted to forget – both the good and the bad – but they are still there.  As I have told you, “constants” in my life.

In spite of me, my shortcomings, and my being difficult, I still get love sent my way.  I feel the love.  And I am thankful.  Really.

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Raise your glass

8 07 2012

IRON MAN – more popularly known as Kuya Mike in some circles nowadays – I, and most of our Malaysian friends started at work at the same time.  On the same day.  One year ago.

Friends and guests all. Way Hung, Chee Hou, Kelvin, Im Keh, Kuya Mike, Jellyn, Yong Run, Chiet Yen, Heng Yie, Ee Xyan, Chin Hoi, Chin Jeck, and Brenda.

So about a couple of weeks before the big day, over lunch of the usual cafeteria fare, we thought about having a simple get-together – okay, a “party” – where the food was requisite, but the company more important.  (This included a couple of Singaporeans and some of my personal guests.)

Kuya Mike was gracious enough to offer his place.  Well, I kind of forced him to.  Haha.  With our budget, he decided to hire the best caterer he could find.  This caterer happened to be me.  Again, haha!

In honor of Kiddo, one of my and Kuya Mike’s dearest Malaysian friends and who as I write is still basking under the Tuscan sun when not on her Roman holiday, I thought up an Italian fusion spread.

We started with a salad of peppery wild arugula and other delicate baby greens dressed with a honey-calamansi vinaigrette, and on one’s choosing, topped with thinly sliced green apples and Japanese pears, and pan-grilled glass prawns glazed with honey.

For the entrées, we had pasta two ways – my signature angel hair pomodoro made with fresh plum tomatoes, torn fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil and garlic; and farfalle alla Genovese which is bow tie pasta in a cream sauce made with a medley of wild mushrooms (white button, Swiss brown, cremini, baby shiitake, and oyster), spiked with freshly made, hand-pounded basil pesto (I have the calloused palm to show for it).

For the angel hair pomodoro, I used fresh plum (roma) tomatoes.

When we went grocery shopping, I didn’t bring a list. I never bring a list. I work on the one in my head. And I never really stick to strict recipe measurements. For the tomatoes, I took all that I “felt” I needed.

I halved, sort of “cored” and seeded every tomato before they got plunged into the boling water (the pot in the background). I blanched the tomatoes for a few seconds just up to the point when the skins started to peel off by themselves.

I forgot to bring my own IKEA stainless steel garlic press to Kuya Mike’s place so I had to finely mince the garlic for my angel hair pomodoro using this cleaver.

On the morning of our dinner party, I came from another party that had ended at 5:30 AM. From that party, I had to head straight to Fair Price Xtra at Nex Mall in Serangoon to look for, among other things, wild baby arugula and this solid stone mortar and pestle. It was intended for the hand-pounded basil pesto. But as I have known ever since I was a kid growing up in the kitchen, its bottomside can make a mean knife sharpener.

My basil pesto starts with a halved clove of garlic and a good pinch of salt. The rough surfaces of a natural solid stone mortar and pestle are perfect for brusing these ingredients into a nice pulp.

Before the basil leaves are added, the garlic and salt should first turn into a nice smooth pulpy paste.

I bought tons of fresh basil. But for the pesto, I had set aside two cups, loosely packed. Here, I start to add the basil to the pesto in progress. I caption this photo and somehow, I could still catch a whiff of the heady scent the basil leaves gave off the moment they got bruised and pounded into the paste.

The final bunch of basil is added!

A couple of trips to the supermarket yielded no pine nuts. So what it there for a culinarian to do? Opt for the next best thing – walnuts! This bag I got from Cold Storage says, “US Baked Walnuts.” Notice that the two cups of basil leaves has become a fraction of the volume with which I started.

I eyeballed just how much grated parmesan cheese should go into the pesto. Then everything gets pounded again.

Next to be eyeballed into the mortar was a good film of fruity extra virgin olive oil. At this point, I wanted to lick the pesto already.

The basil pesto is done! I used this right away so it was not a problem preserving the integrity of this fresh sauce. However, if you will have to set it aside for a while, I find that an additional thin film of extra virgin olive oil does thr trick!

I start the wild mushroom ragout with just enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy bottom skillet, in which I would allow a halved clove of garlic to “sweat.” Once the oil is infused with the flavors of this root aromatic, I remove it (the garlic) then proceed with the rest of the steps. NEVER brown garlic for a cream sauce.

For the ragout, I use a medley of fresh wild mushrooms which include creminis, white button…

… more white button mushrooms …

… shiitakes (these, I take the stems off) …

… Swiss brown, and oyster (which I forgot to photograph!).

The sauces are done! Once ready to serve, I would tear basil leaves on to the pomodoro, toss it with freshly cooked angel hair, and top the dish with grated parmesan cheese. For the cream sauce, I would ladle it on to al dente farfalle (bow tie pasta), add a dollop of my freshly hand-pounded pesto, mix everything well, then finish it off with a good (I mean, generous!) sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

These are the ingredients that go to my honey-calamansi vinaigrette. I realize that the salad was a big hit, especially since two of my real good friends, Way Hung and Yong Run, did say they loved it a lot!

I worked in the kitchen while Kuya Mike took care of the “front of the house”. Among other things, he set up stuff for entertainment and games.

I borrowed the XBOX Kinect from my amazing friends Darryl & Brenda Gallo. That’s Kuya Mike’s bike in the background. At one point Kelvin borrowed it, and with Jellyn and Chiet Yen, made a tour of the nearby nature park. Won’t you just love Singapore?

If the oven at Kuya Mike’s place wasn’t broken, I would’ve made the pizza from scratch, as well as individual chocolate cakes, doused with liqueur, topped with fresh berries and served in cute ramekins.  Instead, we ordered pizza in and threw a couple of tubs of gelato in our shopping cart the night before.

To wash everything down, we could’ve had proseco but Kuya Mike thought one better – champagne.  It was fitting.  We raised our glasses, made a toast to the year that has passed in each of our lives.  And found ourselves to be grateful in the midst of newfound friends.

And games.  And conversations.  And lots of snapshots.

Kuya Mike popped open a bottle of champagne and officially, it was party time!

 

First to arrive were Ee Xyan, Chee Shean, Chee Hou, Shan Shan and Chiet Yen.

Ee Xyan had firrst dibs on the farfalle.

Chee Hou, Im Keh, Chee Shean, Chiet Yen, Chin Hoi, Shan Shan, eNTeNG and Ee Xyan

A couple of lovelies, Im Keh and Shan Shan.

Everybody with Kuya Mike

Everybody with eNTeNG

Chee Shean and Chee Hou

Malaysia… Truly Asia. Here are the pretty ladies. Jellyn, Im Keh, Chin Hoi, Ee Xyan, Chiet Yen, and Shan Shan.

Here are all the pretty ladies with Kuya Mike.

Some of my best buddies at work. Kelvin, Vincent and Kean Lim.

Chee Shean is the New King of Pop! Beat it! Beat it!

 

Chin Hoi and Ee Xyan

 

My Singaporean Foodie Buddy™©, Yong Run, and Im Keh

 

Almost everybody was coming back from their hometowns. We’re quite glad that Way Hung, and then Heng Yie did still make it! Yey!

 

The games are now officially on!

 

Jellyn, Way Hung and Chin Jeck pay attention to the game.

 

Way Hung

 

The lovely Jellyn

 

Parting shot! Way Hung took a photo of us on his brand new Samsung Galaxy S3. Kuya Mike took a snap back, capturing him against the backdrop of our reflection on this huge mirror panel by the dining table. Great time with great people!

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Kuya Wee Sern

5 07 2012

Wee Sern at this year’s company-sponsored soccer games

HALF OF a tenth of a score, and four days ago, I came upon a place anxious and not knowing what to do.  All I knew was that I was sent to sit near a pole labeled G-26. Days went on and I came to know people.

One of the most unforgettable acquaintances I made was with someone who had just come back from a months-long assignment in a place where, as I had already said, potatoes are so good they are studied by a research body.  I couldn’t forget that introduction because of his warm, ready smile and his handshake that undeniably made me feel so welcome in this new place.

Even more days passed and I found myself sharing conversations with him that have run the whole gamut from the mundane, the simple daily scenes, to the more profound matters of life, relationships, and what it means to be a good citizen of one’s country.  Suffice it to say, he has metamorphosed from one acquaintance to one really good friend.  I couldn’t be any happier that it has turned out to be that way.

I look up to him as one of the paragons of hardwork and giving one’s best to what one does.  He always seems to find the best in others, something that I think I have a hard time doing sometimes.  And I’m very proud of the fact that he is my friend.  I will be totally remiss if, in the middle of this day – no matter the hour – I would forget to remember that today, the fifth of July, happens to be his birthday.

Happy Birthday, Wee Sern!

(And congratulations and best wishes on your upcoming marriage… tomorrow!)

Wee Sern and me

Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved