(Philippines Re-designed: is my collection of Facebook notes / thoughts about how to improve the Philippines)
Andok’s Lechon: The New National Bird of the Philippines
(Andok’s Lechon, please pray for us.)
by Kristian Cruz
What’s up with the Philippine Eagle, as the national bird of the Philippines? Hip pa ba siya? Am not sure about you, but it’s starting to feel like a sad icon.
For one, it’s becoming extinct. I mean, extinct na ba ang Philippines? May hope pa kaya tayo, hello? Second, it eats monkeys (allegedly). That’s not good publicity, kasi it’s super violent. And after all that beheading stuff widely reported by CNN in the past, we need to portray a more positive global identity. Third, it somehow feels irrelevant, unfortunately.
What we need is a new national bird reflective of the times we are in. One that is reflective of the realities, hopes and challenges that confront the majority of Filipinos. That is why I propose that the new National Bird of the Philippines be: ANDOK’S CHICKEN.
As a symbol, it is Realistic. One, Filipinos eat a lot of chicken. Second, we see it in our daily reality. I mean, when was the last time you saw a Philippine monkey-eating eagle flying in your neighborhood? If you spotted one recently, good luck, you need more vitamins. Hallucination siya, my friend. And even on TV, hindi na siya ‘In’. When was the last time you saw this bird interviewed by the Tulfo brothers? Third, it is within the Filipino grasp. It is a part of our daily lives. Parang texting. Parang jejemon.
As a symbol, it represents our Challenges. It reminds us of the bottom line, that many Filipinos are still poor. We can print all the campaign slogans that we want asking people to Vote Wisely. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to Food. And many people continue to battle for something as basic as this. We keep on criticizing the masses for taking the bait of dumb charismatic quasi-politician-celebrities. Well, it works because they say things in a bottom-line manner. Unfortunately, the Intellects of our time think the battlefield is an Ideological one. Wrong. The true battle is Food. It is a question of Who can provide its citizens with the opportunities to earn beyond basic survival. And please, enough of the Chicken or the Egg debates. Like, are we poor because we elect poor government or did we elect a poor government because we are poor? Sobrang confusing !!! Sumasakit ang ulo ko. Bottom line: Let’s make sure Pinoys are successful with the basic requirements of life first (food and water. deadma sa clothing). Then, let’s talk Ideology, Philosophy and the topic of Enlightened Voters. How then do we make this change? Well, I’ve given up on government. Just like Andok’s story, it is up to us to pursue our own success. Because by being successful, we are in a position to generate jobs and support other local businesses / suppliers that are connected to your industry. Hello? Super rich na siguro ng charcoal supplier ng Andok’s. At ang supplier ng chicken – OMG while LOL !!!
As a symbol, it clearly offers Hope. How? Well, it is a story of success and the Philippines is in desperate need of one. I mean, all our saint statues are crying. How depressing is that? Tapos, ang dami pang sampaguita sa church. Too fragrant and perfume-y ang smell, so much so na pati na rin ako, cry na rin. Hindi naman ako sinner. Meanwhile, the Andok’s story is super inspirational. From one small outlet at Baler Street corner West Avenue in Quezon City, it has grown to more than 300 stores around the country. It is proudly Filipino and owned by Filipinos. Amidst all the negative self-talk of our culture, here is a company that took matters into their own hands and built a business empire out of it. Yes, there is such a thing as the sweet smell of success. I am telling you, it smells like Andok’s Chicken.
So to you, Philippine Monkey-eating Eagle, thank you, on behalf of the country, for all your services as the National Bird of the Philippines for the past decades. Salamat. Please, it’s ok… move on.
And to you, Andok’s Chicken… welcome. May you inspire us. Heal us. And pray for us.
* Photo Credit: Litson Manok image borrowed from Andoks Corp.’s website.