My Love Affair with Pork Barbecue


Vir, my yaya who was also the family cook, made good barbecue. She made everything well. But once in a while, we would go to Roli’s in Bacolod where I enjoyed the sate babi with Java rice. I think the meat used was tenderloin but the last portion on the skewer was always fat that melted in the mouth.

Then I discovered Noble’s pork barbecue and liked it. So, there were times when Mama would pick me up from school and we’d drive off to Noble’s which was some distance away to buy barbecue, some cooked, some half-cooked. Oh Joy.

In Manila, I used to like Aristocrat pork barbecue but outgrew it. Some kind souls would bring me Roli’s barbecue when they’d come back from Bacolod. How blissful it felt when for a few months, Roli’s opened a branch in Katipunan across Miriam. But it didn’t serve java rice with the barbecue, just garlic rice. And its existence was short lived.

Early on in my paralysis, I had a driver then, when we’d come home from therapy or some place at around 5pm, we’d pass by Kamias or Blue Ridge where the aroma of the barbecue cooking was so enticing, we stopped several times to but some.

But economics stepped in, our driver left our employ because he was promised a higher wage elsewhere. It wasn’t as easy to ask boyfriend then to stop for some barbecue so such expeditions grew rarer.

Time came when my finances were so low I decided to start selling barbecue at the gate. I stopped when after some time, Vir sold more native kakanin than I did barbecue so that while her product continued to be sold, I stopped selling mine.

A few weeks ago, sister gave me 10 sticks of barbecue, bought from Efren of Antipolo. It was so good, didn’t turn tough nor dry upon becoming rechauffe twice. Before CHristmas, I called Efren to order some barbecue – P20 per stick, minimum order 50 sticks so he’d deliver it for free. He pleaded, is it okay if I deliver it on the 27th? Fine, I said.

This morning, while we were on our way to Tagaytay HIghlands, I got the following text from him and answered back:

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Not once did he exhibit pique.

I asked HHA/HHB if they had money to pay the barbecue with. They said yes. whew.

To get in touch with Efren, you can call/text the cell number above or call his land line:
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