Criterion: Somewhere Deserted

The tinola in Bistro Remedios was surprisingly good. The restaurants in Robinson’s were all packed, so Victorinox and I walked along Adriatico and looked for a deserted restaurant. We were the only ones in Bistro Remedios, and we kind of expected the food to taste stale due to the expected slow turnover of ingredients. But the papaya was firm and fresh, the broth was tasty, the chicken was delicious. Victorinox ordered sisig, gising-gising, and manggang hilaw, which were also fantastic. Great dinner, we would be coming back soon. We initially planned on eating in Italianni’s, but Victorinox had already attended four Christmas parties where the staple food were, of course, pizza and spaghetti. In Grade school the staple food was Dunkin’ Donuts Munckins, because that was all we could afford. I still wouldn’t mind pizza and spaghetti, though, because I haven’t attended any party yet, out of fear of COVID, schizoid-ness, and blatant disregard for group Viber invites.

We wanted to have coffee somewhere. The criterion, again, was whatever was empty, and nothing could be more deserted than the cozy cafe at the lobby of Adriatico Arms hotel.

Victorinox had latte and I had a shot of whisky, with a side of a gigantic banana split. The holiday calories are starting to pile up, but after I almost died (exaj) the previous week (see previous entry), who the heck cares. The threat of an unexpected terminal disease suddenly upending your life really does alter, twist, and throw in the air one’s perspectives and priorities. Immediately after I had my CT scan, I still held clinics, but had difficulty concentrating on my patients’ cases. So I went to Alabang Town Center and ate what I had been holding off on for their terrifying caloric content: a Shake Shack chicken sandwich, paired with a huge strawberry milkshake! It would have been a great meal, had I not assumed that it would be my last.

Victorinox said that he had been re-evaluating his priorities as well, so he decided to resign from one of the hospitals where he has a lot of patients. He recently saw a girl selling carioca in the afternoon, and suman in the morning, and this made him feel grateful for his life. I told him that it’s unsavory to feel grateful and blessed just because you see someone having a worse time than you, but immediately regretted sounding like a total cynic. Feeling grateful or hashtag blessed is not an end, Victorinox counters, but merely a step that should lead one to help be all kinds of virtuous. It shamed me for my materialism, having recently purchased a Death Stroke action figure from Filbar’s!

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