Instant Noodles

26 03 2008

by SIGFREID BARROS-SANCHEZ
(Published in the November 2000 issue of The Engineering Logscript,  the official student publication of the UP College of Engineering)

ibinenta ka sa halagang limang piso
sabay inilubog sa marami-raming kumukulong tubig
tatlong minuto kang pakukuluan
at kapag luto na, hahanguin
saka ilalagay ang mga pampalabok
na hitik na hitik sa mga kemikal
na balang araw ay papatay sa kanila
kung may pera pa, lalagyan ka ng isang itlog
at ilang mga gulay na napulot
sa maputik na kalsada ng Divisoria

ihahain ka sa apat na anak
at aasang mapapatalino mo at mapapalusog sila
accepted ka kasi ng DOH
at may sangkap-Pinoy, sabi ng pakete
hihigupin nila ang mainit mong sabaw
na wala nang lasa sa dami ng tubig
nanamnamin nila ang hibla mo
baka nga naman may naligaw
na totoong chicken o beef
matutulog sila at magkukunwaring busog
bukas, iisipin muli kung saan kukunin
ang ipambibili sa iyo
ano’ng timpla? ano’ng rekado?
anong brand ng instant noodles?

Nissin’s, Maggi, o Lucky Me?

ibinenta tayo sa dayuhan sa halagang mamiso
na naglulubog sa ekonomiya sa kumukulong mantika
minu-minuto kapag pinakukuluan
sa suweldong hilaw at madaling hanginin
bibilugin tayo ng mga pangakong mapalabok
habang sa trabaho’y niluluto sa init at kemikal
na balang-araw ay papatay sa atin
pinararami natin ang kanilang pera at pinalalaki ang itlog
at kapag gulay na ang mga katawan
itatapon tayo sa maputik na kalsada ng Divisoria

pagkatapos, ano ang ihahain sa apat na anak?
paano tatalino at lulusog sa kitang di sapat?
i-a-accept tayo ng DOH
na may sakit-Pinoy, sabi ng x-ray
nahigop na ang baga natin,
halos wala nang natitira at tinutubig
malapit nang namnamin ng uod
ang hibla ng buhay ng bawat isa
at gawing pagkain
ng mga chicken at beef
di tayo makatulog, ni magkunwaring busog
bukas, iisipin muli kung may kukunan pa ba
ng perang ipambibili
ano’ng ipantitimpla? ano’ng irerekado?
kahit na anong brand ng instant noodles.

lucky me nga ba?

When I get the time, I’ll try to write the English translations per line, not that I think that it’s a good idea.  I fear I might not do justice to it.  

Seymour Barros-Sanchez, Meyor to most, is an advocacy filmmaker.  His brother, Sig, is another esteemed filmmaker.  They come from a family of writers and well, wizards too, I’m pretty sure. These guys make me speak in a hushed tone.  What can I say, I’m a fan! I’ll probably make a fool of myself if I’m in their presence so it’s good that I’m not.  LOL.  See?  I’m talking gibberish here!

Meyor said this poem was published in The Engineering Logscript, the UP College of Engineering’s official student publication which he headed for two years. No one kept a copy of that issue and most UP Eng’g majors couldn’t seem to come up with a regular issue of their Logscript since they’re more concerned in dealing with dynamics of rigid bodies so he decided to retype the poem in full for archiving.  I think it’s a good idea.  It’s going to be a “collectors’ item” so I didn’t want to pass up on the chance of being able to post it here. 

Thanks, Meyor for letting me do so.

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6 responses

30 03 2008
Durano Lawayan

Hi IAmSorceress,

The poem is good, but the noodles are pathetic. It shows how far down below we’ve gone into the quality of food that the average Filipino can afford. It’s not even healthy nor nutritious, and to think children eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; some even wash it down with coke!

The next generation may be composed of mutants! Heeeeeelp! 🙂 –Durano, done!

I don’t think it’s not just about what kind of food the Filipinos can afford. It’s indolence at its worst. We don’t exactly live in fastbreak. We’re not in NY. We’re a land of siesta and relaxation. And yet we like to have things that take only 3 steps or so to prepare. And yeah, we even wash it down with coke—not the ones that we have to snort, mind you—and really, that’s not exactly very cost-effective.

Back to the poem, it’s very poignant in a very elementary and straightforward manner.

4 04 2008
Durano Lawayan

Hi Comrade IAMSORCERESS,

Something worse than noodles will be introduced. It’s called Transgenic rice. It will wipe out the hunger, famine and malnutrition by wiping out the people who have nothing to eat. 🙂 –Durano, done!

Sooner or later, we’re all going to die. But hey, most of the time, we can choose the way to die. Life’s not easy but it’s simple.

18 06 2008
oona

geda, my love! how are you? please post more of your thoughts. I miss your sorcery. life is getting boring here.

i’m stuck at the apple store waiting for my turn to talk to a Mac ‘genius’.

I’m pretty sure all the geniuses, except for you and that sorceress, uhurmmm!, are left in Cebu so best of luck. Hehe.

Got myself a German Shepherd pup and she’s a handful. Hehehe. Signs of spinsterhood! And I’m trying to cast spells offline. Mishu Oona girl. Papa Doms uploaded some really cute pix of us girls in his FS. Sigh. Nostalgic. Hehehe.

Come sail with me in Oona’s red wooden boat. Hehe.

27 06 2008
chai mayoralgo

thanks for the input for our thesis

group 5
bsa students
pup, sta.mesa

I’m not exactly sure how I helped but you’re welcome anyway. Glad to have lent a hand in whatever way that may have been. Cheers, iamsorceress

1 07 2008
bigredbakulaw

salamat sa paglalathala…

walang anuman po. pero mas maraming salamat sa inyo. mabuhay ka! —iamsorceress

9 06 2009
Purple_Tactics

Just droppin by to say this…
When Filipinos abroad (especially in europe) see these noodle packets in Asian grocery stores, they grab it immediately as if to somehow get a little bit closer to home and somewhat chip off some of that homesickness… Lucky Me instant noodles… WOW! Imported goods form the motherland!

That delusion of the free plane ride to the Philippines gets lost and immediately evaporates somewhere between realizing how awful tasting noodles manufactured in the P.I. really are and the moment we get reminded that we’re working abroad to get away from a life of eating lousy-ass noodles to survive in the first place.

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