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?