Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Sidney is a sometime visitor to my blog.
He runs a photoblog - My Sari Sari Store
Sidney's blog is a wonderful photographic commentary on different aspects of Philippine culture, Philippine life, and Filipino people.

His excellently composed photos tell a story at all times.
And more often than not -they will stimulate thought, concern or interest in the aspects of human nature that are so creatively displayed through his photographs
I highly recommend that you add his blog to your regular netsurfing habits

Sidney follows my Daguldol food trips, and occasionally he comments on them with genuine interest despite the fact that he is transitioning himself into a self-confessed vegetarian, while I am and always will be a true, blue carnivore ...

Reciprocally, I have decided to look into the vegetarian diet if only to understand it better.
What is "vegetarian" all about ?

Wiki says that - "Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products."
It is essentially a plant-based diet ...
Ohhhhhhhh my gulay

No steak?
No hamburger?
No tocino and longganisa ?
No corned beef?
Not even bangus and tuyo?
Anak ng kamatis namaaaaaaaan

People may choose to be vegetarians because of moral, cultural, ethical, religious, environmental, social, political, economic, aesthetic, taste or perhaps most often for health reasons.
It is both a statement and a lifestyle.
Whatever it is - it clearly takes a lot of will power.

Society is increasingly recognizing, respecting and accommodating such a choice.
In Metro Manila, many restos now carry "healthy menus" - some even straightforwardly labeling them as "Vegan Choices"

There is no better way to learn than to try.
So off I was to CHIMARA Neo-Vegan Cafe
This veggie nook has apparently been around for a couple of years
It is experiencing increasing patronage particularly from new vegetarians, and even, from non-vegetarians who simply enjoy the taste of their food anyway

CHIMARA is coined from the Greek word "chimera" meaning "an impossible dream"
They propose that each of us dreams to lead a healthy life but do not take the initiative to live it.
They point to a Mahatma Gandhi gem of a quote - " We must be the change we wish to see in the world"

And CHIMARA walks the walk not only by serving purely vegetarian dishes but also by using recyclable and reusable products, as well as avoiding MSG, genetically -modified products and artificial additives.
They even contribute a part of their proceeds to a charitable foundation that provides education to less fortunate children.
Wow ...

But the food - what about the food?
I tried their Meatless Taco Salad - crisp lettuce, diced tomatoes, onions, mango, topped with soy beans, corn, cottage cheese and mock beef sprinkled with your choice of dressing of which they recommended mango vinaigrette.

Guess what ?
I actually liked it
I took my time slowly savoring what I knew was the healthiest meal that I had had in a very long time.
The "mock" beef was a beef look-alike which I understand is soy-based.
It was light and curiously tasty.
Not bad at all ...

For at least those few minutes at the cafe - I felt really healthy
I guess its true - the journey to good health starts in our mind
I went home with a "take-out" of popcorn "popped" in olive oil

So there
Sidney -you may be on to something
I might still end up being a surprise "veggie" convert someday

It's just that I keep remembering what my mother used to say to me - "Remember my son - you are what you eat"

And so - I don't really eat vegetables BECAUSE - I don't ever want to be a "vegetable" ...

CHIMARA Neo-Vegan Cafe
4F, Greenbelt 3
Ayala Center, Makati
(63-2) 7575652


rita :) said...

dagul, you crack me up! SPAM?!? i'm surprised you didn't mention, vienna sausage. haha! anyhoodles, it won't kill you to eat something healthy once in a while. glad you enjoyed your meal, though.

that's good to know that philippines is, finally, starting to appreciate eating healthy food! i'm a bit confused... is this more of an "organic" restaurant than a vegetarian or vegan? because i saw tuna and ham in the menu.

that's one thing hubby and i miss from the US... the organic restaurants and/or grocery stores like Fresh Fields (now called, Whole Foods Market) and Trader Joe's - which are all easily accessible.

ps: don't forget the delectable gourmet dish of, "turtle soup!" hahaha!

Daguldol Tarakatac III said...

Yessssssss - vienna sausage - I forgot all about that.

According to Chimara - all the food is organic- no genetically modified stuff - or artificially flavored gunk.

The "meats" are soy-based and wheat-enhanced. So it's really a healthy little shop.

I am still not convinced though.
I still wouldn't exchange my jumbo hot dog - for what? - a lettuce sandwich with ketchup and mustard?

Hahahahahappy Holidays