Mark and Cindy were visiting the Philippines for the first time. As they walked along the waterfront of Cebu City, Mark complained, “Can’t we just get a hamburger?”
“Honey,” sighed Cindy. “We should at least try the native food!”
“How will we know what’s good?”
People queued up before a food stall. “This one looks popular,” pointed Cindy.
A commotion erupted nearby. An octopus, a mutant five times larger than the largest, heaved up out of the water. Tourists began screaming and running for their lives.
The local Filipinos just smiled and called, “Kumusta ka*, Gambi!” The terrifying monster scrambled past, high-fiving four people at a time.
Huddling beside the stall, Mark squeaked, “What the hell?”
“Oh, don’t worry,” said Mrs. Sabang, owner of the the stall. “Gambi sometimes get’s a craving for Sinigang soup.” The small woman, far stronger than she looked, brought out a massive pot of her soup. “Here you go, Gambi.”
The giant gobbled down the pot in seconds, waved in thanks, then leaped back into the sea.
Mrs. Sabang looked towards Mark. “You ready for a hamburger now?”
“Nah,” said Mark. “I’ll try the Sinigang.”
Written for What Pegman Saw: https://whatpegmansaw.com/2017/06/03/cibu-city/
*Kumusta Ka: Visayan (one of 700 Filipino dialects) means: How are you?
Sinigang: a savory, tangy soup with tamarind, meat, and veggies. Highly addictive. Many folks have tried Filipino Lumpia (eggrolls, but better), but one of my favorite Filipino foods is Sinigang. I always eat slow, but not with Sinigang: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinigang