During recess, I saw my pupils eating. Again, out of curiosity, I asked them what their favorite canteen foods were.
Their top five answers were:
5. Puto seko.
There are two ways to eat puto seko. One is to chew and swallow.. But for me, the best way to eat puto seko is to melt it in your mouth.
4. Crackers (Chippy, Marty’s Cracklings, etc.)
During my grade school days, we did not have "american" crackers; we have Mang Kepwengs. There were branded crackers but the popular crackers were the chicharong haba, bilog, baboy and bulaklak.
3. Ice Candy
There are three ways of eating ice candy. One is by eating it. Another is by sucking the juice and the food color until it becomes ordinary ice. The leukemiad ice is then used as projectiles to hit each other, or they are simply thrown away.. The best way to enjoy ice candy is to pound the ice candy with your palm until it becomes…like flavored shaved ice.
2. Soft Ice Cream
Of course, everybody loves ice cream. When I was a pupil, there was dirty ice cream, ice drop, and pinipig. Now, the canteen has an ice cream machine (a concessionaire, I think) which is good because the quality and the cleanliness (or is it hygiene?) of the ice cream is assured..
A few years back, scramble was regarded as dirty food because it was sold by ambulant vendors. But today, the school has a kiosk selling scrumble with assorted toppings and flavor to choose from. Also, the cup is now printed with eye catching designs.
Many things have changed and improved but there are still many traditional foods in the school canteen that have remained the same. The soup is still there, bread, beans, candy etc.
What I missed are the singkamas and mangga with bagoong, bibingka, maja etc. I also missed native candies like taeng kalabaw, tira-tira, sampalok, etc. Taeng kalabaw and Tira-tira and most of our native candies are, I think, already extinct.