It was a branding idea from hell.
I was with some colleagues doing fieldwork when we went to a simple carinderia (cafeteria) along the highway.
I like carinderias. It’s “normal” food, inexpensive, lots of choices. It’s not too healthy, usually, nor surgically clean. But, my like all that.
After selecting our ulam (viand) from the many silver pots, we took our seats and waited for our food to be served.
The food came, the spoons and forks came, the glasses came and then the plates came. The plates!
And the plates were no ordinary plates. They were special plates. The plates were made out of plastic. They had the either of two carinderia-esque designs: flowery or checkered.
What made these plates special was the name of a private company’s product prominently printed on the plate right above where people place their food. I straightened out my plate so that the printed word faced me squarely. I stooped down towards the plate and my food to make sure I’m reading the words clearly.
On the top of the plate there was a label:
Suddenly, my food’s “sarap” points plummeted.
Next Tuesday, more street food: Vigan Empanada!
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