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Home Sections Food Cats on Hot Thin Soups and Siopaos?
Cats on Hot Thin Soups and Siopaos? PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Food
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Sunday, 19 September 2010 14:33

 

By Bobby M. Reyes

 

Part One of a Series of Essays

 

Masarap yan sa siopao. Masarap ang siopao dito sa Pinas. :-) – Mon Ramirez

T hus, Mon Ramirez commented with biting (pun intended) humor in the Botomo@yahoogroups.com after Roberto Ortega made his remarks on the posting by Johnty: “Are you for real, Johnty, that cat meat is available for consumption in the Philippines? In the USA and Latin America, cats are pets and not for public consumption?

Here’s Johnty’s original posting in the thread (subject): RE: Cats being sold in markets in Mainland
China: “Best cat-meat siopao at a Chinese resto on Session Road near market across old Star Café in Baguio City—Johnty.”

 

With due apologies to the estate of Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) for his play, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and to Ms. Elizabeth Taylor for playing the role of “Maggie, the Cat” in its movie version, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), this writer wishes to discuss – using the said punned headline – the matter of cats being made into ingredients for soup and meat-filled steamed bun (called “siopao” in the Philippines) in China and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, including the Filipino homeland.

 

S ome Asians indeed eat not only meat from cats but also from dogs, as I described it in this article, Michael Vick Can Never Be Guilty of "Dogmestic Violence" in the Philippines (As Updated)

 

This writer also wrote this follow-up article, China Continues “Dogmestic Violence”. But I did not discuss in it the fact that among some Chinese ethnic groups, dog meat is also a favorite animal protein for the table.

 

The sad reality is that even if there are laws in the Philippines that prohibit cruelty to animals, it will be impossible to impose them. Why? Because the Philippine authorities cannot even prohibit the cruelty to people (usually activists, advocates and crusading journalists and broadcasters), which cruelty is otherwise known as “extra-judicial killings.” Besides, if the Philippine National Police cannot protect even foreign tourists, how much more Philippine National “Kitchen” Police patrols protecting dogs and cats from being turned into meat for the table?

 

Perhaps, foreign tourists and Overseas-Filipino “Balikbayanis” who want to visit the Philippines may follow-in the footsteps of the Italian ceramic industrialists that this writer hosted in 1983-1984. Per my advice, the Italian visitors ate only seafood, fruits and veggies – after I confirmed to them that indeed some Filipinos (and some Asians) continue to enjoy eating dog meat. I did not have the heart to tell them that even cat meat is served supposedly in some ethnic restaurants.

 

E ditor’s Note: Some other commentaries posted in the Botomo@yahoogroups.com about the “Cats on Hot Thin Soups and Siopaos” are reproduced in the User’s Comments at the end of this instant article.

 

(To be continued . . .)

 



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Last Updated on Sunday, 19 September 2010 22:34
 
Comments (29)
1 Sunday, 19 September 2010 14:57
Oh boy, ngayon naman Cat's meat. Tapos magrereklamo tayo sa cardboard ng China?

We truly deserve what we get.

Anita
2 Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:00
I think I can force myself to eat cat meat the same way I was forced to eat salagubang but cardboard… no way.

Johnty
3 Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:02
So you are telling me it is ok that the Filipinos add cat's meats in their menu but not ok for the Chinese to add cardboard in theirs?

Anita
4 Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:05
Will cat siopao or "hot cats," like hot dogs, boost tourism, eradicate hunger, and poverty etc.? Is this popular only in China?

In the Philippines we know this "cat" soup is frowned upon. Would the Depatment of Health inspectors punish restaurants serving cat meat? Specially if kept secret from menu cards?

Lourdes of Chicago, IL
5 Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:08
Mang Mon,

Have you heard of the recent news on tons of double-dead meat being conficated in Balintawag market?

I was surprised too to learn that there were dog meat being sold in some places in QC. I grew up in a place where people do not eat balut. But we do eat a lot of raw fish.

Just like the Japanese, I grew up eating raw sea urchins and a lot of raw fish.

Best of all we drink a lot of buko juice.

What do you think of siopao made from cats, dogs or would you prefer those made from dead meat. How about siomai made from balut?

Don't forget to drink your buko juice, Let's eat more fresh vegies and raw foods.

Stay healthy, Mang Mon

All the best,

Alex Kho
Alabang
6 Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:11
Though, I find eating cat meat repulsive ... let me inform you that in Panggasinan, cat's meat is held in high regard.

In fact they even have a feast where only cat meat is cooked into different recipes. Most Pangasinenses even take care of cats just to cook them later.

The Chinese are known for being very fond of eating exotic food. I read once that during their recession period Communist China even approved of selling rats and snakes in their wet market for human consumption..eeeekkkkk!! ( doesn't that remind you of Pinoys eating dogs and bayawaks, and bats and salagubang, and even lizards as health food?

Siguro Chinese people eat cats meat to have longer lives because of the saying that cats have nine lives.

I have probably tasted cat's meat siguro when I was young. Cat's meat mixed generously with pancit canton or siopao in small
Chinese restaurants in Azcarraga near UE tasted like chicken meat..but, you can never make me eat them again now.

Mila
7 Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:13
Mila,

I wonder if the Chinese restaurants all over the world, especially in popular tourist spots, serve cat meat secretly? What would the various government departments of health and of tourism in highly modernized countries say about Chinese cats in their favorite noodles, stir fry dishes and white meat attractively colored with soy, etc.,? Meow, meow. . .

Lourdes
8 Sunday, 19 September 2010 15:18
Even as a boy growing up in Cotabato, we already knew that the Chinese restaurants use cat meat in their menu. We never saw stray cats around their establishments.

Bert
Dear Lourdes:

In extreme necessity people may even resort to cannibalism! Ever heard of the Donner pioneers from Illinois who were stranded in deep winter on some godforsaken wilderness on their way to California?

Fred Natividad
Livonia, Michigan
Eddie,

Try google "Tawa Tawa dengue" instead. I heard about it 4 to 5 years when I was in Zamboanga city. I even wrote about it one of the mail groups that I maintained.

But you are right. We need to talk on useful things in our society. Instead of cats and dogs in siopao and hamburgers. That's why I reminded Mang Mon on his buko juice.

Why not talk of alternatve cure? alternative medicine, alternatve energy, alternative agriculture, etc...

alternatve solutions to the problems in our country, like staying and researching in laboratories instead of rallying on the streets? Like earning money in business (like my children) rather than becoming rich by going into jueting.

Why "walang mahirap kung walang corrupt"? why can't we teach our children "how to become rich" instead? Why do we focus on the negative things?

What's happening to us, Mang Eddie?

All the best,

Alex Kho
Alabang
Thanks Mr. Reyes for including me in your blog. Actually this subject matter was introduced to us by Dr. Eddie AAA Calderon to get us out of our heated debate on religion.

Looks like it has received lots of e-mail responses. But it has not really stopped the religious debate which is going nowhere.

Roberto
12 Sunday, 19 September 2010 21:32
Ayos! Oragon ka man talaga... nakagawa ka agad ng article based sa mga usap usapan sa cyberspace tambayan ;-) Yan ang writer beating a deadline he he.

Mon
13 Sunday, 19 September 2010 21:45
When I was growing up, there were talks that cats were also eaten by our people.

But that was just talk and I was aware that dog meat was popular because our two of our dogs in Quezon City disappeared. We found out later that they were killed and eaten especially for pulutan.

I did not believe that our people that time were also into cat meat's
consumption. But five years ago, I found out from a Philippine news that cats were being put into cat pens (like pig pens) and sold to markets. I asked my relatives in the RP if this were true. My paternal cousin told me yes. It was done in the neighbouring town where my paternal relatives lived as though keeping cats in pens were a cottage industry.

In the USA dogs and cats or pets are treated like members of the family and in most cases even better than human beings. They get medical attention like human beings including their annujal physical and medical check-ups, vaccination, grooming, and not mention that they see the Vet when they are not feeling well, et cetera. We purchase their food from cat stores for the best food selection.

Back in the RP, most of our countrymates feed the pet/animals with tira or left-overs. Also pinaliluguan ang mga aso at ang mga pusa dito sa America. I do bathe my cats at least once a month. The Mutya had bathed them also.

I never cared much about cats back in the RP but learnt to like them when I came to America. I loved dogs and still do. But cats are easier to take care than dogs.

I have two cats at home and they are both pedigreed or pure-bred Persian cats. They are mother and kitten (daughter) and the mother was a daughter of a US Champion cat which I bought from a breeder for $800.00 with papers in 1997. She is a calico
(tri-colour cat) Persian cat. Her name is Dilag. I purchased a Persian cat because my Blue Persian cat of 14 years and 8 months which I also purchased from a breeder died. Hirang begot a White Persian cat in 1998 and her name is Dilag.

My parents used to tell me that I would never get married because of my love for my cats as though they were my children. This is a habit that I got from the Americans who treat their animals like they are part of the family.

But I decided to end up my being a bachelor upon the death of my mother in 1998.

Surfing the internet made me finally meet my best half and she is the Mutya ng Kyrgyzstan. But my marriage and having two sons have not diminished my devotion to my two Persian cats. They do compete with my two sons and the Mutya for my attention. When they do, I just laugh. My two sons also find the situation
amusing.

Liking animals make me abhor haunting animal for sports or to kill them just for fun or for trophy. To me it is cruelty to animals and ask myself if the table were turned around and they are the ones hunting us human beings for sports and fun.

Eddie
14 Sunday, 19 September 2010 21:48
Dear Mr. Calderon,

This is just to join of your article on the care of Domestic Animals. If we expand our knowledge on the ANIMAL care and eating, how can you possibly explain the WORD, " HOLY COW?"

I had spent so much exchange with the Human Beings that adhere on being VEGETARIAN, so I hope you can expound on that word above.

Sincerely,
Tony Villan
15 Sunday, 19 September 2010 21:50
Holy cow is just an expression and I do not know where it originated. It is the same as Holy Molly and Molly is the nickname for Mary. I also hear people say Holy Sh.....t". I also heard my classmate at Oxy who hailed from New York City when he exclaimed to me the expression Holy Mackerel.

Regarding animal hunting, I am only against the hunting for sports but not for those who have to hunt in order to eat like the Eskimos, the forest people, etc. Also sometimes hunting is for commercial purpose to make lots of money as they do it in Faeroe Islands and Denmark where a vast school of sea mammals are being hunted to the point of decimation or extinction. We talked about this before where I joined those who were against the commercial practice and even addressed our concerns to the Danish government.

Eddie
16 Sunday, 19 September 2010 21:53
Dear Mr Calderon,

This just gave me the idea to ask that because of the topic of domesticated animals. Cats have been mentioned that became enhancer and exotic food. Dogs had been very very polpular in the Philippines. When I was in the Philippines and working in the hotel I used to stay in Alido Heigths Subdivision Malolos Bulacan. Most of the time I was invited to cook for birthdays and wedding receptions. I used to prepare and cook Azucena or Asocena, besides Calderetta. But honest to goodness I never tasted the Asocena. I had the very special preparation with my unique recipe, that Ido not need to taste it but did the procedure that I had. It never came into my feeling of hunger and knowing that even after two days the smell of the dog lingers with the body smell. My brother used to have with his group of construction workers that brought the cooked pulutan made out of dogs meat.

I have two dogs named Spaniel and Ambassador. Ambassador was a trained dog. Both dogs would kept away from the house during their gathering of drinking session. Especially Ambassador would sneered but did not bark. For two days Ambassador would stay away from the house and would not stay where that dog used to hibernate.

Going back to " HOLY COW " it is not just an ordinary expression but that had the basis of the HOLINESS. The Hindu considered COW a Holy Animal. When I was onboard the cruise ship with the semester at sea and around the world tour I been in India several times. My Hotel Manager did not had the courage to take pictures of the Holy Cow. He asked me if I can do it. I aggred for I had good relationships with Indian workers when I was in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with men and women co workers. I learned some greetings of Madras Indian language. I was able to take pictures of the Cow living inside the houses of the Indian Hindu.

I had seen and visited friends in Tondo and the Squaters area behind the Paco Park Cemetery the areas in India was even more pitfull situation in comparison.

Yours,
Tony Villan
17 Sunday, 19 September 2010 21:56
But Filipinos also have a word for cat food and that is maripusa. Mariposa means butterfly/paru-paro in Spanish.

Speaking of cows as sacred, I was in India in 1970 while on my way to the RP on a world tour. I left Minneapolis, Mn for the RP and took the Eastern route instead of the Pacific route. So my first oversea stop-over and visit was Portugal and from there to Spain, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, Turkey, Persia, India, Thailand and then to the RP. Spending 6 weeks in the RP for the Ph.D. dissertation research, I returned to the USA via South Pacific Route and onto South America before landing in Miami, Florida and then to my final destination in Minneapolis, Mn. The cows in India were really sacred because of the Hindu religion. I saw them resting in the middle of the street in New Delhi and nobody bothered to move them so as not to snarl traffic. I even saw a bull "poofing" on the busy street and nobody shooed it away. They are indeed sacred. And that may explain the phrase "Holy Cow".

But then how do you explain the expressions, Holy Sh.....t, Holly Molly --this came from Billy Batson (Captain Marvel), Holy Toledo (Toledo is a Spanish and Ohioan city), Holy Mackerel, Holy Smokes, etc. The second words are not as sacred as the cow in India where the expression Holy Cow may have originated.

Eddie
18 Sunday, 19 September 2010 22:01
(Snipped) Dr. Eddie Calderon wrote:
Tony:
I remember the word Asocena which is a combined Tagalog and Spanish words. Aso, being a Tagalog word for dog, and cena, a Spanish word for supper. (Snipped)

Probably the Philippines is one of the few countries where you have this bilingual portmanteau like asocena because mahilig dito magshift from one language to another, tulad ng sentence na ito. :-)

Ano pa bang examples ng mga bilingual portmanteus? Maganda rin sigurong magcompile niyan, ano? For fun lang although it would have other uses.

Salamuch!

Mon
I often buy MALING-- a China-made luncheon meat that tastes a bit like SPAM of USA, but cheaper.

Do you think the Chinese could have mixed cat's meat in them?

Yuck!!!!!!!!

Mila
Repulsiveness to eating cat meat is apparently a cultural mindset.

World wide, peoples alll over the world actual have all sort s of delicacies involving meat from the rodent family. Forgot which countries serve what dishes but there are specialties in dishes serving guinea pigs, squirrels and event the biggest rodent of the rodent family that grows up to two feet high (again forgot the name of the big rodent mostly found in the US.

Here in RP there's a season in the rice farming areas of central luzon when they have a feast from field rats. Those who have eaten this say that its practically not so far differnet from the meat of iguanas that is very near the texture and tast of chicken.

My friend's father, the Chinese doctor says cat meat has the texture of heart tissue and has the color similar to chicken.

I guess my father who taught us not to be picky with food gave an open mind to accepting people's diferent taste for different foods that include all varieties of meats... off course not of the poisonous stuff as the puff fish.

Some Filipino eat puff fish and was informed by one of my workers in the past that there's a way of cleaning and cooking of puff fish so as not to be poisonous.

Lotsa drinking buddies in the past like to eat dog, That one I find repulsive so I never eat dog meat though at one time I was fooled to eating a bit and seems to taste no different from pork or beef when cooked as calderetta. I found it strange that the bones were small that I asked my drinking buddy then if the pulutan really is pork and he confessed the truth and I stopped eating the stuff.

In Tondo, there's a place where I used to visit some friends and there, there are no cats and no rats. I was told that the shitheads around the area ate them all as pulutan. Nobody died of food poisoning just OD.

Kit
21 Monday, 20 September 2010 10:42
MY SURVIVAL lesson learned during my military training on escape
and evasion, was: Anyting that moves is edible, including scorpion---just remove the
part of the body that emits poision.

bob
22 Tuesday, 21 September 2010 21:20
In Lapulapu city, cats are bought for their furs by a foreign company. Guess where the meat goes?

Ogie Reyes
Moderator, Cebu Politics
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
23 Wednesday, 22 September 2010 17:14
Bobby,

Just returned from a month-long Sabbatical trip to Hong Kong, Macau,
China and Korea. Now preparing for a trip to Europe (Geneva and Taize,
France), working on 'Asian American Spirituality)...Just to contribute
to your discussion. While in Korea, I was hosted by some Korean VIP's
and in fact attended the Chamurro International Film Festival (Seoul's
Hollywood) in the VIP section because my host (the Anglican archbishop)
is well-connected.

Anyway, my story is this... while in Ganghwa Island, I was guest at a
special dinner of VIP Koreans and the chief host came to me and said,
"Father Fred, our main dish tonight is (whisper) d-o-g. Now, you are
our guest and we won't be offended if you do not like to eat it. We can
order chicken for you and you can sit at another table (Koreans do a
lotus position when eating the Korean culture way), but if you really
want to, well, 'when you are in Rome, do what the Romans do,' you may
sit and eat with us.

You guessed my decision----I wanted to immerse in their culture---and
enjoyed the dish and the conversation along with it.

Later, I told the story to the assistant of the Archbishop and she said
that when she was brought to the hospital for a surgery, the surgeon
told her to eat this d-meat for it helps in the coagulation of the
blood. Well, I'm only a doctor of theology, and not of medicine...but
is there something the Asian medicine knows that is helpful but
repugnant to Western (American) dog lovers (but not eaters)?

Fr. Fred
Fr. Fred,

When I was living in Hong Kong in the sixties while working for Merrill Lynch,
restaurants usually serve snake soup during winter because it warms the body. Have
tasted it once just for the heck of it. The Chinese also serve monkey's brains but have
not tasted this.

In Madrid of my younger days, there was a restaurant close to Puerta
Mayor whose delicacy was 'anguilas' or tiny eels cooked in olive oil. They are slimey and they just slide through your throat like worms. And one can hardly find a restaurant seat when 'anguilas' are in season. I guess it is cultural. What is a delicacy to one culture is barbaric food to another, depending on how you look at it.

Linda
25 Wednesday, 22 September 2010 23:31
To all,

Not only Chinese siopao or fried rice, but also other dishes with little bits of meat can be suspected of containing not only left over tiny meats but also animal flesh of astonishing sources. It is the culture of the cooks and their customers that is reflected in what and how they eat. There's the saying, you are what you eat. Meow or moo moo?

For instance, American foods usually are served in big enough sizes of meat that clearly show what kind of meat it is--beef, pork, chicken, lamb, etc.

In contrast, Chinese and other nationalities chop their meats to little bite dimensions, then mix them up with veggies (usually cooked to kingdom come and wilted) plus whatever else. You see these swim in delicious but dark sauce concocted from irritants like spices.

Nutrition is about health. But I see oodles of popular recipes that, honestly, are deceptively savory, pretty, sweet, and even patriotic! Food technology is more than that, it deals with conserving the vitamins, freshnes of live food for better living !But of course, loving the Philippines shows when one loves its Filipino cuisine.

Lourdes
Hello Lourdes,

Has the Pinoy creme de la creme gone intellectually bankrupt and scraping bottom as to dabble only in cat soup?

//Luis
27 Monday, 27 September 2010 11:18
Now that I think it over. I might have eaten cat meat while we ate siopao in a Chinese restaurant in Quiapo, Manila.

Eddie
Minnesota
28 Saturday, 09 April 2011 14:27
mabuhay
As Posted in the Facebook Page of Paul K. Manansala:

Bobby M. Reyes RE: Oil Coming from Chinese Food. Unless of course the Chinese food comes from the Philippines and it has cat and/or dog meat as ingredients, in which case the Golf engine will purr like a cat or howl like a dog! :-) Please read my article: http://www.mabuhayradio.com/food/cats-on-hot-thin-soups-and-siopaos
29 Saturday, 16 April 2011 10:31
The following is pure fiction. Or is it?

Two men went to play golf. After teeing off, they started to impress each other with what they think are wit and wisdom.

“Siya nga pala, totoo kayang ang mga Koryano ay kumakain ng pusa?”

“Well, en wan Diems Ban mobi mey isang Koryano or mebbe Intsik na tuwang tuwa na binigyan siya ng pusang iloto niya.”

“'Lang kwenta yan. Sa Germany nagumpisa ang mga protestationers noong si Martin Luther ay pinarusahan wid diet of worms dahil itim siya.”

Fortunately a thunderstorm suddenly stopped the nouveau riche golfers’ exchange of wit and wisdom as they ran to the clubhouse to protect their expensive golf clubs.

Oopss... Fiction lang po iyan at di expens op pipol na mahilig mag pritind ng nolidiability… ☺

By the way I came across the following... From Wikipedia, April 14, 2011:

Diet of Worms
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Diet of Worms 1521 (German: Reichstag zu Worms, [ˈʁaɪçstaːk tsuː ˈvɔɐms]) was a diet (specifically, a reichstag) that took place in the city of Worms in what is now Germany, and is most memorable for the Edict of Worms (Wormser Edikt), which addressed Martin Luther and the effects of the Protestant Reformation. It was conducted from 28 January to 25 May 1521, with Emperor Charles V presiding.---truncated---
----

Fred Natividad
Livonia, Michigan

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