Sunday, October 5, 2008

Let's Eat Tapsilog

Italy boasts its pasta, Japan introduced sushi to the world, and Mexico is famous for its tacos. Well, for us Filipinos, we have our own rising star. Among the local dishes, nothing beats this trinity of heaven. Behold...

Heaven in a Plate

The perfect breakfast meal for many, comfort food for most. I myself, am a fan of this original Filipino dish - TAPSILOG. A combination of tapa or cured beef jerky ("TAP"), fried rice ("SI" from sinangag) and egg ("LOG" last syllable of itlog) best eaten with coffee or juice and a few tomato slices. And as always, wordsmiths are able to substitute that "TAP" for "LONG" (longganisa), "CHICK" (chicken), "CORN" (not corncob, it's cornbeef), "HOT" (hotdog), etc. Possibilities are endless and I'm sure future foods will have its own SILOG versions. Tapsihans or Tapsilog houses are scattered all over the metro, I'm sure you won't get hungry, some are even open 24 hours! Talk about convenience.

Now if I were asked how to describe life in general, I wonder how could I connect it with Tapsilog. Hmm... First of all, not all people would accept tapsilog like how I claimed it to be, the words I used above to describe Tapsilog may not be as heavenly to others. Therefore I could say Tapsilog is like life. Not everyone sees life as a gift, a wonderful thing. People look at life differently. Some people choose to live their life in disgrace, some answered God's calling, some are easy-going, others are too serious, etc. Just like the different varieties of tapsilog, people have teir own ways and means in their lives. You can't just tell someone that the path they chose is wrong the same way u would convince me that your corned beef is better than my tapa.

I prefer my sinangag with a lot of garlic and slightly toasted with a little zest of calamansi. I figured that each ingredient should be symbol in life. Sinangag is like a typical Filipino family. You can't call rice if it is just a single grain, right? Like in this country's family setting, it doesn't end with the youngest child, it extends up to your tito, tita, lolo, lola, cousins, 2nd degree cousins and family dog all bundled up in one house. Families go through a lot of difficult trials in life, yet they still stick to each other and the bond just kept getting stronger, just like sinangag which is slightly brown because of frying.

Eggs symbolize life itself, a beginning of something great. These are long-term goals that requires constant perseverance and commitment to achieve. I prefer eating my tapsilog with two eggs. Sunny-side up please! Well as for the tapa, it's my favorite. This is my tapa, the choice that I made. You can't say that I made the wrong choice. After all, only I have the right to say: "Ayoko na. Sawa na ako sa tapa ko." I would opt for another variety by that time but as for now, I'm still munching on this great invention.

Indeed this asian jewel should be known all over the world. Truly Filipino, simply amazing, definitely satisfying. So be proud! Next time you eat one, try to connect it with your life, then maybe, just maybe... it would taste better.