jump to navigation

A Love Letter to Beer May 20, 2014

Posted by Janjan in I, Lawyer, Idiocy, Representation Expense.
add a comment

Dear Beer,

I am writing to ask you for a time to cool off. Our relationship is too intense. It seems like these past few weeks, we’ve seen each other quite often. Nearly every day. Perhaps it’s getting too intense? I know I love you and you love me, but it’s starting to become unhealthy. Because of the time I spend with you, I’m neglecting time spent with my dear friends, Exercise, Writing and Art. Also, I’m having a hard time catching up with the latest episode of Game of Thrones. While I enjoy being an alcoholic, I think deep inside, the real me is a geek.

best friendBut don’t get me wrong. I still love you. I love that you have many moods and personalities: ale, pilsen, lager, and even the fruity dessert beers, like kriek. I love that you pair well with a lot of the food I like to eat… sisig, fish, steak, potatoes, lechon, pizza, to name a few. I like that you encourage me to do things I normally would not do.. like dance half-naked on a tabletop, or sing “My Way” with feelings. I like that you help me forget about my heartaches and pain… about my frustrations of being the only point guard with zero ball-handling skills, or the fact that Maria Ozawa does not know that I exist and that she continues to ignore all the letters I’ve sent her, pleading my undying love and admiration.

I still remember the first day we became intimate. How I hated your taste… to me you were like the flavor of dog urine, the lamentations of angry old men, and the fart of flatulent politicians, all combined into one tepid excuse for battery water. It was not love at first sight. But thankfully, due to peer pressure and the need to fit in with my smarty-pants law school classmates, we slowly developed into true love. Now to me you taste like golden rainbows refracted from the droplets of water tossed in the air by squealing Greek virgin nymphs splashing each other with champagne from Bacchus’ grove. The very thought of you leaving my life causes anxiety and depression. Without you, there is no point in living.

beer afternoon

Over the years, I have gotten to know you better, as a lover should. I learned about your history… about how you were developed by Egyptians for their Israeli slaves, as a form of liquid bread to make their peons more compliant to dangerous manual labor. I learned how to drink you, about how mixing you with ice cubes is a capital sin. Real beer should always be drunk in a chilled glass. I’ve had you when you were at your cheapest (Manila beer and Gold Eagle), and I’ve had you at your most expensive (Roquefort 10). I’ve drunk all versions of San Miguel: Pilsen, San Mig Light, Cerveza Negra, Premium, Super-dry and all other variations.

It’s been a series of ups and downs. You’ve had me retching at the side of the road for hours on end. That’s the last time you and I have a threesome with Johnny Walker Black Label Whisky. You’ve brought me so much laughter, like when you made my handsome classmate so drunk that he didn’t know he was kissing a lady-boy. You’ve brought out the interesting quirks in everyone who loves you: like the drunk friend who got karate-kicked by a “di-ningon-ato” when he mistakenly whizzed on an ancient acacia tree, or the friend who cleans up the table everytime he’s drunk, or the friend who was discovered by his mother, retching at the public bathroom in Baseline, hugging the not-so-clean toilet.


It’s a fact that beer and lawyers go together, like guilty politicians and wheelchairs. It’s been an adventure, Beer. But all good things have an end. Or at the very least, a slow-down.

The fact is that my tummy is getting bigger, and I do not like shopping for new pants while I still have perfectly good ones hanging on my closet. And as much as I love you, Beer, my vanity and stinginess are stronger than my alcoholism.

There has to come a point where I have to learn to love myself. It cannot be about you all the time Beer. It cannot be all about you!!

I think this will be good for us both. Time apart can make us grow better as individuals and appreciate each other even more.

Know that my love for you is true and I thirst for you like a camel lost wandering on the endless Bedouin deserts under the relentless heat of a parched sun.

I’m not saying goodbye my darling. I’m just saying if you love me, you will let me grow (and by that, I mean metaphorically, and not physiologically).


I’m just saying that we should take it slow.

So farewell for now, my Beer. You will always be in my thoughts.

Yours always,

The Magnificent


Chinese Ngohiong July 13, 2007

Posted by Janjan in All, Representation Expense.
Category: Restaurants
Cuisine: Other

“O sweet treasures, discovered to my sorrow.
When I stand and contemplate my fate
and see the path along which you have led me,
I reach my end, for artless I surrendered to one
who is my undoing and my end”

This stanza written by the fictional Don Garcilaso de la Vega from the book “Of Love and Other Demons” by the immortal Gabriel Garcia Marquez, are the words that come to mind when reflecting upon the starchy happiness that is ngohiong.

Ah, ngohiong…. you with the camote starch -based wrapper, drenched in days old cooking oil. You that come with the mystery meat, and the camoteng-kahoy leaves, wrapped in carbohydrate goodness and dunked in the combined powers of brown sweet sauce and 5-spice sauce. You crunchy, salty dumpling… you with the earthy undertones of camote that swirl and crunch about in my mouth…

Thou who art a meal of only P3.00 per chunky ngohiong stick…. ah yes… sweet treasures of my youth, the sweet starchy memory of my Accountancy days shared among Chipmunk friends, and the unforgettable meal with cousin Carlo Arquillano and friend Gavin Aninon… friend Gavin who lost his appetite when he realized that he was eating a chicken’s head and the eye’s liquids came spurting down his mouth.

What can I say? I love ngohiong, and crown prince of all the ngohiong kingdom would be Chinese Ngohiong near my alma mater, USC Main. For P20.00 you can already have a meal of three ngohiongs, two puso, and a bottle of Mountain Dew. I only go there for the ngohiong, but friends who tag along with me often order the skinless chorizo, and the fried chicken, which friend Gavin discovered to his behest.

Chinese Ngohiong used to be just a small stall, but judging from the popularity and patronage of USC students as well as other loyal fans, the Chinese Ngohiong stall quickly grew over the years until it could rightfully call itself a restaurant. Blessed with an earthy ambiance that could only be captured by soft rock hits piped out through the stereo, what better way can you enjoy your starchy goodness than with “Oooooo Love Hurts!!!” blasting in your eardrums courtesy of the band Nazareth? And nothing beats the entertainment one gets out of observing the clothes-washing habits of the nearby Chinese Ngohiong neighbors who save Mother Earth by taking a bath out of their laundry water at the same time.

No plastic is given out, by all means, you are encouraged to enjoy your meal without washing your hands (which I often do!), but for the picky and the hygiene-conscious, there are numerous faucets for you to indulge in your germ-free predilections. Just don’t mind the dust and smoke being belched out by the nearby road.

Much thanks to thecapricornbeartakeshi for the pictures and the Chinese Ngohiong memories. Chinese Ngohiong folks! Da Besht!


As requested by my good friend, Father Time.