Fil-Canadian Paolo Roldan, a fashion buyer for Canadian Nomad, gets spotted in New York by Boss Models a year ago. He lands a coveted Givenchy ad campaign and is said to be a Givenchy favorite. The Filipino-speaking 6’2″ hunk now enjoys global celebrity status.
Street food can be found all over the world. New York wouldn’t be New York without hotdog and pretzel stands. Can you imagine the Arab countries without the ubiquitous shawarma stalls? Or Japan without the curb-side ramen and soba places? What if Hong Kong’s popular Mong Kok area lost all the dimsum and Peking duck food-booths? And what if esoteric isaw, quec-quec, betamax, helmet, tokneneng and adidas could no longer be found in the streets of Manila? Most definitely, a bland world for someone who wants to have a taste of the culture of a particular country or region he, or she, gets to visit.
There are fish ball vendors roaming the streets of Laoag — the capital city of the northernmost province in the Philippines. But there is also Tayamen’s, which started as a makeshift food stand in front of the owners’ home. In 1997, the owners receptively opened their home to their regular habitués, who have become accustomed to calling them “tiyong” and “tiyang”, uncle and auntie in the vernacular.
No risky business when it comes to common Filipino street food — that is what Tayamen’s is all about. Freshness and safety is their foremost concern. Plus, its homey feel makes the place a magnet for school kids and young professionals, who want to let loose and enjoy their food.
Fish Balls, fish nuggets, kikiam, chicken feet, isaw and barbecue are the bestsellers of Taya, short for Tayamen’s, and a term popularized by their regular patrons. They also make the best take-out Ilocos longaniza which is sold by the kilo.
Tayamen’s Don E. Ruiz St. Laoag Ilocos Norte Philippines
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Luc Cagadoc, the Filipino-Canadian boy, who got reprimanded by school teachers in Canada, in 2006, can now eat again with his spoon and fork, just like most Filipinos, without fearing about what people of other ethnic groups may say.
Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal has ordered two educators of Lalande School (Luc’s former school), in Montreal’s Roxboro district, to pay $17,000 in damages to the Cagadoc family. It was Maria Gallardo-Cagadoc, the boy’s mother, who fought incessantly for the boys rights, and the Filipino culture of eating with a spoon and fork at the same time. The family’s triumph is an example of social and environmental justice well served. In a multicultural society, racism has no place.