harsh realities for tasty dish


Marzan Corner Dapitan. Man with sando bag and to his left a fish vendor on pedicab.

At the intersection of Marzan and Dapitan I snapped a photo. Turning to the right brings you to the market. The market is less than half the length of the street.

At age seven (when Marzan was still Pepin) I was sort of a shopaholic of some kind because mama did not trust my sisters to the streets. So I was unofficially assigned to shop, almost everyday, for fresh vegetables and water injected chicken. I liked the fish section of the market because most of what’s being sold there were alive. You have clams spurting water, crabs with curious eyes, squids with slithering tentacles, tilapia with gills gasping for air and the magic of it all was when you begin to imagine putting them in hot water and watch them die and turn color.

I did not find the idea entertaining at first. The first few trips to the market brought with it a painful acceptance that there is some sort of cruelty behind our meals. But even with this realization I did not have the courage to say to nanay “Can we just eat vegetables?” You first learn to accept harsh realities for tasty dish.


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