Thursday, June 26, 2003

ChickenJoy, Oh Joy of Chicken

Jun txts that he's here. We're near downtown so head to Jollibee for dinner. Jollibee is a Philippine fast food joint similar to McDonald's but with a Filipino flair. It's mascot is a red and yellow jolly Bee with other characters like Letty Spaghetti, a girl of spaghetti noodle hair decorated with round slices of vienna sausage.

In addition for burgers and fries they sell an Aloha Burger with pineapple and bacon, spaghetti with a sweeter taste than the western variety, pancit palabok a Filipino noodle dish, and fried chicken which they call Chicken Joy. Then, there's my favorite: peach-mango pie and banana langka pie. ChickenJoy is fried chicken with a cup of rice and gravy.

Note the lack of many vegetables here.

Jollibee is the traditional kiddie birthday hangout as well as the post-church Sunday hangout. My friend Jose txts, "traditional Filipino meal."

A meal at Jollibee's with drink and such costs about 70-100 pesos. Once when I was in Baguio with my family, my cousin asked one of the workers there, how much they get paid. He said about 100 pesos a day!

Jollibee is one of those required stops to the Philippines. One always finds themselves at Jollibee, one always finds themselves at the mall and specifically an SM Mall that Merci described as "sprouting like weeds." Before it was the Catholic Church and town plaza that defined a town, which it still does in the smaller towns, but real "cities" are defined with Jollibee and SM. If you've got those, well then, you're a big time city.

I don't mind stopping at Jollibee, but I am trying to avoid an SM. SM's like the malls in the U.S. are cookie cutter with the same stores and the same products, over half of the stores are from the U.S. Manila is the land of malls, there's even a mother mary statue at the crossroads of 3-4 malls dubbed Mother Mary of the Malls, may she guide us to all the sales and bargains. Going to the mall you realize what economic globalization means. I believe the Philippines has more to offer than cookie cutter shoe stores.

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