11 August 2005

Mango madness

Receiving this dried mango treat from Cebu as pasalubong reminded me of the time when I was an Account Manager and travelled outside Manila to set meetings with our clients and evaluate their requirement.

I was in Leyte several years back and I was discussing with the Information Technology Head (who was American, by the way) of a multinational company their connectivity requirements to their Manila office.

It was nearly merienda (snack) time when one of the employees went into the office and placed some fresh, sliced mangoes on the table. And so we went on discussing unhindered the business on hand as he took the spoon and scooped up a manageable size of mango.

He popped it into his mouth and his face went wierd. I remember I was the one talking then and I stopped in mid-sentence because his eyes were really wide open and he had stopped chewing! I was about to call for help (is he choking? is he allergic to mangoes?) when he suddenly blurted out:

"These are the best mangoes I have ever tasted!"

I exaggerate not. I heaved a sigh of relief and we stopped the meeting for a while as he savored the mango.

This incident also reminded me of this other American guy from the same company when we did our occular inspection in Leyte. We had to stop every now and then because he was delighted in seeing the vast expanse of ricefields and he took close-up shots of the carabaos (water buffaloes, I think) to show to his kids when he got back to Nebraska. And how he exclaimed "THAT is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life!" when our companion showed him what the inside of a balut looked like and how to eat it (we were having a round of drinks then while waiting for the boarding time to Manila. Nope, he did not venture a taste of this delicacy).

It's strange how it takes the eyes of a stranger to make us realize how blessed we are of natural resources, and how we take these for granted until they're gone.
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