Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Greater Manila, 27-30 August 2012

This was my second time to Manila for business trip, but this time I was not staying in the city itself, Instead, we were put up at a tiny hotel in an industrial estate were the client was based.

The hotel was quite literally in the middle of nowhere, and was nothing remarkable apart from its unusual choice of purple satin pillow cases. Oddly enough, the only restaurant in the hotel had a Japanese name. It didn't exactly serve Japanese food though, so I couldn't figure that one out (although could be because of the Asahi plant nearby and therefore hotel trying to cater to the Japanese businessmen who stayed there).

I guess one interesting thing that happened on the trip was getting to taste a local Filipino delicacy sie-sie.

It's probably not something that I would have picked out of the menu myself, and I only tried it as I had a Filipino colleague who was doing the honours.

In a impromptu trip to the Philippines with Potato and Ms Lim years ago, we once bumped into a Caucasian guy on a long-distance bus, and he uttered the prophetic words "The Philippines has the baddest (sic) food in Asia". True enough, we ended up with fast-food most of that trip as we couldn't quite appreciate the local delights then. My opinion remains unchanged three trips in.

When the sizzling plate of sie-sie arrived, it smelled pretty good (how wrong can grilled meat go?) and was pleasantly unidentifiable. All of us gamely took a bite of the salty, oddly chewy meat which was neither good nor bad and tried to figure out what we were swallowing.

Turns out sie-sie is pig face, so all the chewy meat was the cartilage and bones. I suppose, being Chinese, this isn't too disgusting as food in the whole scheme of things. Have definitely eaten more gross stuff than pig's face  (fish eyeballs, innards come to mind).

I guess people who have pig's heads hung at their door by money-lenders can try to turn it into a meal to save money so they can pay off their debts faster?

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