Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Metlogging of Your Hometown

Having gone around many rural towns through the years, I found an effective gauge: look for the fast-food franchises. Hoping these franchises made their market research, they start depending on their target audience's taste. So here's my theory:

First comes Frank's Burger. There is a real Frank here. He is Frank Bautista and his franchise is usually the milestone that the town has made it e.g. a mere blip in the F7B screen. They are set on the national highway and are open all night so that villagers would have a place to wait for the bus to take them away from their rural life. Sometimes it's the goto stands with their usual 'clever" names like Goto Heaven, Goto Hell etc which comes in.

The first major franchise is Mr. Donut. Usually, they start as a small outlet with a crew or two and about six choices for donuts. Then when the town progresses, they come out with a table or two, then they bring them inside. Five years ago in the capital town of Bangued, Abra, Mister Donut is the only place to be there. In my father's hometown in Bangui, it is still Mr. Donut.
After them, it's either McDo or Jollibee which comes in. In Candon City, McDo came first. In Vigan, it was Jollibee. Now because of the merger, Greenwich comes next when Jollibee is doing good. In rurogville, Jollibee is faring better than McDo. Then, it's usually Dunkin Donut or Red Ribbon which makes their entrance.

What pains me is when I see the local eateries die in lieu of these markers for progress. Maybe it's the betlogs in me. But no, I still crave for the empanada of Batac, kalamay of Candon, Pancit Cabagan or Habhab, gamet cakes in Bangui, the sinanglao of Vigan and all these dishes that make travel a return back in time and palate.

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