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Why Is Everyone Crowding About?

Updated on March 7, 2018
Gregory Floro profile image

Greg is a retired manager having worked in his country for over 40 years. He and his wife are new residents living in the Tagaytay area.

What Would You Do When People Form A Line?

What Are They Selling?
What Are They Selling?

Time To Wonder

Have you ever wondered why people form a line or cue in front of a food stall? Being retired and having enough time to ask this question of myself, I once waited at the end of the line in front of a supermarket entrance so I could prepare myself for the forthcoming answer. The food stall was not a modern design like one you would expect to see at a fast food store, it was clean and neat but from my vantage point, I could tell that everyone in front was busy ordering food and that the seller was hurriedly scooping their orders into plastic bags together with rice. I looked at my watch and realized that it was nearly noon time, and I had just run into the end of the lunch crowd who were eagerly waiting for their meals to be packaged before they could hurry off and eat with their friends.

It's a common practice in the Philippines for one's lunch to be prepared in a plastic bag, one I had seen through out my working life in factories and cafeterias on my way to lunch. I was still curious though and I hoped that there would be something left at the end of the line for me to see. As I reached the end of the line, I was treated to an extensive array of foodstuffs on display like a veritable Philippine smorgasbord for me to pick and choose. Swallowing my pride, I smiled and asked the seller if she could pack my order in a plastic microwavable package together with a fork. Off she went in a flash of movement to the back of the stall to gather what she needed for my request, while I stared, enraptured by the feast of Philippine dishes still waiting for a customer's choice. My wife, who saw me ogling over the foodstuffs followed me in line, and together we analyzed each dish as if contemplating it's future at stuffing our hungry bellies.

When Jovy, our seller, came back with my order, she was able to explain to my wife and to me that theirs was a family business, with her aunt doing the cooking at home while her brother delivered the prepared dishes continuously until closing time at 8 pm. Jovy explained the various desserts and the delicacies that made up the colorful food presentation to my wife,and being persuaded, we opted to try out several dishes which we have always continued to come back for.

Packaged Delicacies

Sweetened Rice Cakes
Sweetened Rice Cakes
Philippine Sausages
Philippine Sausages
Philippine Omelets
Philippine Omelets
Pork In Spicy Coconut Sauce
Pork In Spicy Coconut Sauce
Vegetables And Seafood In Oyster Sauce
Vegetables And Seafood In Oyster Sauce

What's For Lunch Jovy?

It's been over a year since we met Jovy and her family, and since then, her family has helped us at several parties, supplying the foodstuffs and sweet delicacies that form part of our Philippine celebration. It has been a learning experience on both sides, and one we are always happy to remind ourselves about. We've learned over time that those engaged in the food catering business take a special pride when appreciated and supported by their customers, and it is this pride that shines forth in the dishes they present. So when we have a chance to drop by our supermarket , we prepare ourselves to be patient as we wait in line at the food stalls,and we keep our smiles ready, as if asking "what's for lunch, Jovy?"

© 2018 Gregory Floro

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