For better performance

By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas

” Yes that’s how long I have been a vegetarian and that’s how long I had been getting that question, “Why?”

 It was a stressful week with all the restrictions on our movements. Everywhere you go you have to sign a form revealing your circumstances. It’s OK if you do it only once, but if you have to do it five times in a matter of two hours, repeating everything, it becomes a drag. And now that the number of COVID-19 cases are appreciably increasing in Baguio City and its surrounding areas, some measures will be imposed in a stricter way.

           So the past few weeks, I was always looking forward to the weekend to relax a bit. This week however was particularly tiring. Such that getting up Saturday morning was a challenge. I had to force myself to get up, prepare and have breakfast and do some physical work around the house or on my junks around the yard. This was job one the past few weekends as I was well aware that being an office person, thus, almost sedentary, some exercise on the weekends would work wonders in improving my immune system.

           And so right after an abbreviated meditation, I forced myself to the kitchen. Had to try to be upbeat as eating in gloom would be definitely not good.

           As I took one peppermint teabag to place it in my cup, I noticed how good the packaging was. I read through the label and it was from Auckland, New Zealand. Then I looked into the fridge to find the easiest thing to prepare and the veggie hotdog was the easiest thing to do. It was imported from Taiwan. That country and Japan are the front runners in Asia when it came to technology in processing plant based “meat-like” products.

           These made me curse lightly, “stupid Philippines.”  Why can’t we produce these things and make them really good to be competitive with other food products. As to the tea, we can readily make that one, even the nice packaging. The problem is, not so many people are determined to get into such a venture and employ a few people. We are quite lacking in this respect, even if so many of us are so determined but prefer to use that quality to go abroad.

           As to the manufacture of “veggie meat”, the problem is capital. There are so many billionaires around but, I think, no one among them would invest big money in such a business. So the local “veggie meat” products never improved, from my personal reckoning, even for about half a century.

           Unlike in North America and Europe where billions of dollars of venture capital had been and are still being invested in such businesses. So they have the Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat in the US which allegedly taste like real meat and sound also the same when you fry them. Canada also had kicked off their own brands, while in Europe, the big food conglomerates like Nestle’ and Unilever are also now in the game.

           I said, “from my own personal reckoning”, because for about that long that I have been a vegetarian, the local veggie meat industry here never improved although some local start-ups have joined the fray, ending the monopoly of the Seventh Day Adventists.

           In one press conference called by that big Russian software company, Kaspersky, I was again asked the same question when I asked the beautiful lady hostess to order  a ‘special’ vegetarian dish for me—pesto pasta without the meat toppings. In front of all the guests she innocuously asked the same question, “Why are you a vegetarian?”

           My answer, “For better performance in bed our out of bed.”

           The same question was asked again of me in a legal seminar by some lady lawyers who were in charge of lunch. I gave the same answer.

           Then one of the lady lawyers said, “No you are not good in bed.”

“And why do you say that?” I asked.

           She emphatically said, “Because you only have one child, a son.”

           I got floored by that.

Had that same question been asked of me this time, I would have answered, “For a stronger immunity against COVID-19.” **

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