Shut Up and Eat: 6 Mealtime Expressions that Should be Retired

I just want to share a sudden epiphany I had after having yet another sumptuous dinner at Trixie Ayson‘s house, where caloric intake is virtually unavoidable. Here are 6 mealtime catchphrases so painfully hackneyed that they already take the fun out of the dining experience and should, therefore, die a natural death:

1. Galit-Galit Muna- When someone notices that period of awkward silence while eating.

Dear overly sensitive diner, gastronomic conversation lulls don’t automatically mean I have issues with you. It only means that I don’t want to risk obstructing my windpipes just for the sake of pleasantries and gossip. So, unless you know the Heimlich maneuver or CPR (in which case, please make sure that you don’t have halitosis, for the love of God), let’s save the banter until after we’ve finished eating. I’m sure we both have interesting stories to share. Besides, didn’t our elders teach us not to talk with our mouths full?

Charles Foster Kane’s marriage didn’t work out because he talked too much.

2. Sira ang Diet/Kailangan ko na mag-Diet – When you think that partaking of the food automatically negates your chances of making it to Sports Illustrated

It’s borderline condescending and almost short of saying “I don’t want to become an amorphous blob of fat like everyone else in this table.” Hey, it’s not like we’re force-feeding you through a funnel. Sheesh! Equally sinful is referring to less-than-healthy concoctions as “sinful”. It’s tantamount to saying “I’m on a diet, you heretics. Burn in hell”.

“Pare, makasalanan daw tayo?”


3. Buhay pa! – When a piece of the food ricochets off the plate

When that wayward morsel actually starts crawling off the placemat, stares at you and shouts “You just poked me with a fork, dick!”, I’ll believe you.

This is what happens when you deal with anthropomorphic food way too often.

4. Hinuhuli pa ang *insert protein source of choice here*- When your order is taking forever to be served.

This would only be relevant if we are 1.) a pack of carnivorous animals, 2.) Neanderthals 3.) Survivor castaways or 4.) supernatural predators like vampires/werewolves/aswangs.  Other than that, please don’t expect me to believe that there are huntsmen prowling on the vicinity of the restaurant. This isn’t the Stone Age.

One Smilodon a la Pobre, coming up!

5. Ay! May darating na bisita – When a dining utensil falls off the table

I never believed in superstitions, especially gender-coded ones: men = forks, women = spoons. It gets uglier when your homophobic dinner guest quips, “You don’t use sporks here, do you?” And, what if a soup ladle falls? Or a teaspoon? Does that make you obsess about the size of your hypothetical guest as well?  Word of advice, butterfingers: Sexism went out of fashion decades ago. Blame gravity.

Whatever you do, don’t drop the kitchen knife. Or else, he’ll arrive.


6. Nagka-hiyaan pa – When everyone refuses to eat the last piece of food on the plate for fear of being viewed as barbaric

Just attack the damn morsel and smugly say, “Makapal mukha ko. Bakit?” I won’t judge you. I promise.

Nigella, you have no shame!

Contributions, anyone?


Cryogenic Tagaytay Monday

My cousin Charlotte arrived last week for a month-and-a-half visit. This is only the second time that she retured to the Philippines after relocating to Bahrain in 2004, so it was only fitting that Mom and I took her out.

Now, the past couple of weeks have been cold. Unusually cold. Not by Nordic or Arctic standards, of course, since we are still after all living in the tropics, but it was still strangely chilly. Friends were telling me how they would jog in QC wearing their hoodies and news broke that Baguio temperature hit a record low of 9 degrees Centigrade. Blame climate change.

So you can only imagine how perfect timing it was for Mom to bring her to Tagaytay. Getting there was no trouble at all, since we’re based in Paranaque and her family lives in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. So we tagged her father Tito Rey and her younger sister Kricket along. 

Our first stop was Sonya’s Garden, which is famous for its scrumptuous fresh salad buffets and its lush gardens. It’s a popular destination for wedding receptions and intrepid shutterbugs and it also happens to be my mom’s favorite spot. 

After stuffing ourselves of the restaurant’s healthy fare, I took the family out for a stroll around the garden. Charlotte, being a photographer herself, enjoyed taking snapshots of the garden’s unusual colorful flora. And even struck a pose in front of some of them in the process.  

“Plants vs. Zombies”?

After a few more rounds of strolling and snapshots, we then took the family to see, what else, a scenic view of Taal Volcano. Once we stepped out of the vehicle, the cryogenic breeze went ballistic on us. Temperature was more or less 20-23 degrees and it almost felt like Hong Kong on a regular day. To think I was crazy enough to even consider NOT bringing a jacket.

Then again, the afternoon I spent with my cousin definitely made the cold weather worthwhile. It was my first time to really bond and converse with her since she left the country before I was even old to drive and, not to mention, endure my quarter-life crisis. Turns out, we share a similar wavelength when it comes to life issues. LOL!

 And I definitely hope to go out with her again before she returns to the Middle East.

She’s shivering. She just hides it well.


The key to earning trust: Take off your mask, be sincere, grow a backbone and pacify your ego. Maybe this way, you’ll find it easier for people to believe you.

Third place is still a charm

And we did it. =)

Schucks finished third place at the Jack Shorts finals held yesterday at the SM Mall of Asia Activity Center. It’s an awesome feat considering that we were selected among God-knows-how-many entries.

Too bad I couldn’t make it to the awarding ceremony – we had an important topic in school which we weren’t allowed to miss. But then, it’s a good thing our director Kito was there to represent the entire team. I had to rely on his real-time text message updates, from the public screening up to actual announcement.

Pictured below: The trophy (which came with a complimentary Jack TV goodie bag)

We didn’t have time to meet up after class because the rain and the Saturday evening traffic proved to be an impossible tandem, so Kito decided to celebrate on his own with a quick caffeine and sugar fix.

Suffice to say, I’ve never felt so honored for making fun of myself.

Schucks is happy. =)

Schucks: The alter-ego you want to punch in the face

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…Schucks, a simple story about a cartoonishly animated, overgrown child smitten with a teenage girl. This is an on-location version of one of the drills we made in school and will also serve as our official entry for the  Jack Shorts Film Competition.

Announcement of winners will be on January 15, Saturday. Wish us luck! =)


Directed by: Mark Kito Wilson

Written by: Chuckie C. Chavez

Assistant Director/Editor: Mario Felicidad Reyes

Art Director/Assitant to the AD: Cia Hermosa-Jorge

Cast: Chuckie Chavez, Stephanie Sol, Mario Felicidad Reyes, Mafe Silva

Ignite the light and let it shine…


2010, you’ve been an awesome year: Full of spontaneous twists and turns, awash with blessings and overflowing with surprises. I couldn’t have started the new decade in a better way.

But now, it’s time for 2011 to take the stage.

Wishing everyone a happy, prosperous, and successful New Year.

Now, it’s time to put that darn Katy Perry song on loop. Hehehe….