LOLA GOT’S LUTONG BAHAY IN AMERICA: People Power Madness by Margot Marfori

NEVADA (MindaNews/13 March) —  They say that it all started with Tunisia, then Egypt, then followed the other Middle Eastern countries such as Libya and Iran. The pulse, judging from all the news channels here, including CNN, is that because of Egypt’s success, this kind of chain reaction was inevitable. Whatever they feel or think, though, as far as this writer is concerned, it all started in the Philippines some twenty-five years ago. The only thing is, after Cory, the country has sunk back to the morass it was in during the Marcos’ time, even if Bongbong alleges that the country would be like Singapore by now if his father had not been ousted. (Kahadlok!) Let’s all hope that President P-Noy will be able to do well enough for the country to earn some form of stability and self-respect.

Looking through the Filipino newspapers here, though, makes us wonder how this can happen with all these things you read about the hundreds of millions of pesos and dollars some government officials and military personnel have kept for themselves. It makes it all so sad to realize how low the self-image of the Filipino is. How narrow his world has become when he can only see as far as his own fence. The amount of money out in the open may just be the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, and it makes it all too clear how the Filipino does not have to be as poor as he is. We can only imagine how all that money could have made things better for so many instead of just the few.

Without all that corrupted sense of righteous self-indulgence, roads will be built. Government will give services that taxes are supposed to be paying for. Making a living in the Philippines may just be better. And, parents won’t have to go away somewhere to work to put food on the table and keep their children in school. We can only continue to hope that this does not remain a dream.

The good news is, there is always a recipe for staving the blues away. Keeping a sense of humor in the middle of all these things happening back home sometimes becomes an opportunity to reflect on how things can be worse, like natural disasters that human intervention has no control over. Not to laugh about it all, but be able to keep our sense of balance and know that things can get better.

So, here my friends, is a recipe which can actually make living without help a lot easier, and, at the same time, hopefully, contribute to some healthy humor in what can be an otherwise depressing existence.

Easy Fish Bake

1 fillet of fish – any kind will do, though salmon would be best for the fish oil

1 small onion, chopped – red, white, blue or green, doesn’t matter basta onion

1 tsp fish sauce (patis)

a little olive oil, or cooking oil

aluminum wrapper – tinfoil


  1. put the fillet of fish in the center of the foil and make sure you have room to wrap the entire thing
  2. dribble some oil over the fish and top it with the chopped onion.
  3. put a teaspoon of fish sauce to taste
  4. wrap and put in a toaster oven, set the temperature to 350˚, or broil, or set the timer to max and bake for at least 20 minutes.
  5. unwrap slowly and eat with salad or just plain white steamed rice

This fish recipe is the simplest most delicious you can do and feel fancy at the same time. The omega 3 you can get from the fish may just help you recover the humor you may have lost in an effort to update yourself on things happening back in the seahorse archipelago your heart is so mamon over.

(Mindanawon Abroad is MindaNews’ effort to link up with Mindanawons overseas who would like to share their experiences in their adopted countries. Dabawenya Margot Marfori is a writer and visual artist who continues to live the Davao she loves. She taught at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao from 1996 to 2002. She is now based more times of the year in Henderson, Nevada, while her youngest son is studying at UNLV, and, where her two older children in San Francisco are near enough to visit).