Thursday, January 8, 2009

when poverty kicked me hard

blessed are those who can still see poverty. - mugen

just like any other things that is too prevalent in our everyday life, poverty has already been considered as something that we often taken for granted. it is too visible in almost everywhere and in everyone of us that most of us would just not want to notice it anymore. probably, it is one of our innate response into something that we could not find ways in resolving, a form of escapism, away from something that some of us already considered as hopeless. but last night, reality kicked me hard and i have noticed poverty once again in the most least expected place and moment--- inside one of those fancy restaurants in mall of asia.

the other night, a blockmate from san beda invited me over for dinner. my initial thought was she might have a problem with her boyfriend again. but she told that it was just a simple(?) block get together. the initial plan was somewhere near katipunan since they have considered that i still have work in makati. then it was moved to diliman. then to quezon avenue. on their way to quezon avenue they decided to return back to mendiola because of the traffic in welcome rotonda and haggled if i could just take the lrt and decided where to go from there. by the time i arrived, we immediately headed off to mall of asia for dinner. from there, one of my blockmate suggested we get steak. all agreed. we went to this fancy steak house restaurant. when everyone settled down, the waiter handed each of us a back to back sheet of menu list. our initial reaction was, "wtf?!" the cheapest dish on the list was around 680 and it was a thin slice of roasted meat marinated in rosemary and some herbs.

i was indeed hesitant in choosing what i am getting eventhough i know that i am not the one who will pay for my meal. for me, i just find it too much for a dinner. i thought, it could already feed a family of 5 in a slum area in manila for a week or even more in the province. but my blockmate insisted since we were already there. i just asked them to choose one for me atleast just to lessen the guilt i was feeling. they've ordered me a jesse james steak, which i don't have the slightest idea what kind of beef part it was. it took me a while before i have answered, "well done!" when i was asked by the waiter how i wanted it to be cooked.

i am not really a fan of fine dining. i usually get off my guard whenever i dine in to such establishments. because compare to other food establishments, fine dining usually requires too many considerations and restrictions on how you use the the exaggerated number of utensils, how you sit, how you chew, and even how you swallow it. i know, its all about dining ethiquette but there are times in which these standards, which by the way are just borrowed from other societies' standards don't really apply on our own context.

but going back to the food, by the time it was served and had a taste of it. i really tried hard in looking for anything special about it to justify its price. but it seemed like the too salty gravy was intended to make taste to the almost dull and tasteless beef. for that, i didn't even finished my food and regreted for dining in into this place. but the big surprise was just yet to come. i was surprised when i saw our bill. it was totalled 11214.20. the tax alone was a whooping 1103.04. but when i thought it was finally over, i saw another line that says service charge with 919.20 printed on it. it just made me fell on my seat.
then, i realized how decandent people can be whenever they stop noticing poverty around them and even to themselves. sometimes we are too occupied with things that we want to buy, experience and lavish that we fail to realize that there are actually other people, more people to be exact, that needs these means more than we do. i thought probably if we have donated just a quarter part of the money that we have paid, probably by now, we have made an entire family smile and survived another day.

but as the conflict theory arguement goes, every society needs to have a social strata that is composed with the more advantaged and the less advantaged groups in order to create conflict that will serve as the impetus for a society to survive.
well, i just hope that one day, if possible, we no longer need to have these nor any conflicts in order to appreciate our lives--- that is my idealistic self speaking.
as i end this post, i am thinking, did we leave any tip?

24 comments:

Mugen said...

It kick you hard indeed, and it will kick me too in the following days. Sasabayan kita ng paggawa ng entry. Hehehe.

lazy john said...

11k for just a night's meal... tapos isang grupo lang kayo nun. its nice that you are socially aware and somehow being an eye opener to the one's reading your blog. Pero hindi rin naman masamang magindulge paminsanminsan...;p

Yj said...

with that amount they charged you for services.... i say fuck the tip!!!

lucas said...

wow...there's no way anyone or anything could convince me to eat in that restaurant...i totally agree. that's waaaaaaaaaayyyy TO MUCH...

11K?! mas malaki pa sa paycheck ng mga nurses dito...hays...

pero sa pagkain talaga nauubos pera ko...hehe!

one can't really appreciate poverty unless one already experienced it, i guess...

Mr. Scheez said...

Ay grabeh, ang laki ng bill. Sumasama ang loob ko kapag ganito. I feel guilty pag ganito ang babayaran sa resto.

At grabeh ang dami ng homeless sa kalye ngayon. I feel terrible if I'm not able to do anything to help them.

odin hood said...

sana naman inubos mo na yung food... no matter how bad the food was at kahit kung san pang mahal or mura yung kainan, nanghihinayang talaga ako magtira ng food sa plate.

gillboard said...

At least now we know which resto to avoid.

Ang tingin ko dyan, wala naman masama na magfine dining paminsan.

Yeah, granted you could've used the money for something more important. Pero kung nag-eenjoy naman kayo, whether it's the food or the company, nasusulit din yun.

Luis Batchoy said...

tanginampakinsheff! Yun na!

Chyng said...

Juicekilz, 11K! Nakakahimatay! (akin nalang resibo!) hehe

Im suspecting sa Highlands Steakhouse yan, pero alam ko sa Tagaytay lang meron nun eh.

Sana nagRACKS nalang kayo. 500-800 lang! ;)

Mugen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john stanley said...

you reminded me of the time we spent almost the same amount in a resto in trinoma. buti na lang treat 'yun ng barkada ko na kararating lang from abroad. kung ako lang, pwede ko na sila dalhin sa jollibee. =)

the geek said...

poverty comes in different forms. loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the worst poverty of all.

there's an antidote to feeling guilty: share whatever blessings you have. they maybe simple or grand, but somebody will surely appreciate them...

amicus said...

stratification works because it serves a purpose. for whose gain? let the debate on stratification begin. [nga pala, sa 11k na yun maienrol ko ang sarili ko sa isang buong 2 years na MA program sa stat. tae. tae. tae.]

Nobe said...

what!? that bill is crazy! makakbili ka na ng isang computer niyan!

love,
nobe

www.deariago.blogspot.com
www.nobe112681.blogspot.com

Niel Camhalla said...

I like the irony in this story.

Colbourn Family said...

parang gusto ko na lang mag tapsilog at lomi sa kanto.

Denis said...

well, i dont know what to make of these....

i guess saying the world is innately unfair suffice it all.

Trip said...

never mo ako mapapunta sa mga ganoong resto. fastfood nga nagdadalawang isip ako eh. pero tama si odin, sana inubos mo iyung pagkain mo. o di kaya inuwi mo na lang. hehehe

i have this somekind of dislike for people who eat in those very expensive resto in the middle of a busy district/mall. its not because of how they spend their money but how they show off their extravagance with the masses passing them by. kung mag fine dining, sana pumasok na lang sa hotel at doon makipagsabayan sa mga pulitiko, businessman, celebrities at mga elitista na walng magawa sa pera kundi ilustay ang mga ito.

kunsabagay, life is not fair, but we could at least be sensitive with what is happening in our social environment.

poverty is not always with the stomach, its with the spirit.

dabo said...

duh!





































lol ;) hahahaha! kidlatttt!!!!!! kzzzzt!!!

dabo said...

seriously:


we always suspect ourselves to be poor..

Lance said...

wtf! that's way too high...
my gf always love fine dinning because she finds it sweet and romantic. well maybe for the both of us, but not too sweet on my pocket. sigh... yeah, sayang yung money..that resto is over charging..unless if yung place nila ay coated nang gold at lahat ng utensils na gamit nila ay gold plated..sigh..just can't really understand why that's the case...heheh

Bino/Geno said...

The plate and presentation looks cheap.

aajao said...

@11K, ilan kayong kumain?

i thought restos nowadays display their menu with prices near their entrance. this, perhaps, serves for the purpose of not being embarrassed when presented with the menu prices once the customers are already inside. nakakahiya naman kaseng lumabas ng resto pag nakaupo ka na at magugulat lang bigls sa presyo ng pagkain nila.

although, steak houses 9and fine dining at that) are really costly.

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