Eighteen and Growing

By Lydia D. Castillo
September 28, 2014
(Source: http://www.philstar.com/starweek-magazine/2014/09/28/1373746/eighteen-and-growing)

We remember some of our farm hands who, at lunch time, would pull out what looked like a ball from their bags, then start unwrapping it. It was a square of banana leaf, holding a mound of rice, a fried fish, sometimes meat, and a tomato. With their hands they ate with gusto their baon – a packed meal, the banana leaf serving as their lunch box.

This way of eating did not escape the creative mind of a young man, Rommel, who thought of adopting and selling packed meals in this native way. Just out of university he plunged into his pet project, Binalot, which was a meal packed in banana leaf, sold in his first outlet. He was not without encouragement from his siblings and an aunt, the enterprising entrepreneur Chit.

It is said that to exist for four years is no mean feat. To last for seven years has a lot of challenges. Binalot hurdled all those years and today it is celebrating its 18th year, with more than 45 outlets in Metro Manila and beyond. This is indeed a success story that came about because of consistent quality and persistence.

Each Binalot, now priced at P99 per balot, consists of rice, fried fish or tapa, even adobo and binagoongan with fresh tomato. The suki who will purchase a Binalot during their anniversary month will be entitled to participate in a Fiesta Promo, which will bring the Binalot to your homes. You have a few more days in September to catch that. Have a Binalot meal, then.

Price watch. Dressed chicken is still selling in supermarkets at P135 a kilo. It is difficult to find any weighing more that 1.3 kilos in the stores. However, a friend told us that big ones can be found in the Magnolia outlet at the FTI. She says even those weighing 2.2 kilos are available there. Give it a visit, maybe you can stock up on your supplies for the coming holidays, which is actually only about three months away.

Speaking of Christmas when gift-giving is inevitable, it is time to make your list and the corresponding presents you want to give. Actually, food is the most practical token – one basket of goodies or one special dish can be meant for the whole family. Make you own dips/spreads. Mix them with special breads and/or fruits. Watch out for special sales and get your supplies early.

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For those making paté, check out the SM kitchen section for ramekins and other containers. Chorizo Bilbao has disappeared from some counters, but be careful about substitutes. We bought one local brand, but it was so spicy, our cocido nearly became like a curry.

We have observed that the trucks plying the Alabang-Makati road have become more disciplined. On a busy morning, they were all staying in their designated lane on the highway. Thus travel was smooth. Let’s have more drivers of this kind, not only those for trucks but private vehicles as well.

Have a happy Sunday!

E-mail me at lydiadolores34@gmail.com.



Posted in Press Releases.