I don't think i'll ever eat beef again. Here's why..
When we went to Pagudpud to celebrate AJ's birthday, hubby's friends Mandy and Mynne went with us. Mandy came from from Kalinga Apayao and it has been 20 plus years since he's gone back to his hometown. Hubby slept the whole morning and then later in the afternoon, we went to Kalinga. I can sense Mandy's excitement. Who would not be? He was talking about the good old times when he was a boy walking home from school, running fast when he passed by the cemetery, taking dips at the irrigation canal. He was telling us that those places were really just ricefields and how he can't believe there were so many houses already. Of course to us, the town still look deserted even though he tells it as really populated. When he got down to meet the old caretaker, he was teary eyed and kept wiping his eyes. Sentimental that I was, i also felt a big lump on my throat and tears creeping out. Hayyy...Mynny, his wife was just cool about the whole thing even when Mandy said he will return to Kalinga to develop the lands(hectares actually!) of his father and even ran for office. I teased her that she will soon becoem first lady of Kalinga. All she said was which i think was half-meant,"utang na loob."
Anyway, mandy's special request from his cousins was "kilawin". Never did I imagine, that they would actually slaughter a cow right there and then. I didn't see the man knifed the cow in the neck but i did see the cow still alive, struggling to stand, his tail still swishing back and forth, and the cow's wide eyes.
The cow even managed to stand even when he was tied at both feet when the two men who slaughtered him was confident that he wouldn't have the energy to stand anymore. In the meantime, blood was oozing from his neck. When i commented about it, the old man just said matter-of-factly that" Ginawa naman yan para din sa tao." No argument about that. I just thought that if there was any other way so that the cow would not feel the pain. I am such a Pollyana..
Even when the cow was still breathing, they already had a blow torch to somehow remove the hairs from the skin. And then they torched the eyes...
Really, I don't take it against them. It's just that, i have a more developed sense of empathy. In fact, they did it for us. They even gave us the meat to bring home. Me, the kids, and the yayas did not eat anything there except Santol picked straight from the tree.
Even after arriving home, i can't forced myself to eat the beef. I cooked it like in adobo flakes but i brought most of it in the office. Cris said it was delicious. I even gave her the bulk of the beef so that she can let her cousins cook it. They made bulalo out of it.
On another matter, when you travel the countryside sometimes it is natural to see dogs being victims of "hit and run". On the road to Kalinga, victims of road kill are chickens. There was even one chicken who flew straight into the right side mirror of our vehicle. Several meters after that, there was another chicken lying in the center of the road. Hmmnn..chickens abound there. Tempting to stop and do an inihaw right there.
Noticed how different my reactions are with chickens and cows. Well, my twisted rationalization is that chicken lay eggs while cows gave birth to cows, and they feed their babies through mammary glands. I just thought they are more "human" than chickens..
But kalinga is beautiful in a different way. Reminds me of lanao del norte...