Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Controversy on a Delicacy

The following post was originally emailed to the indicated address. It is posted herein in the interest of journalistic hygiene. It is this author’s belief that the best way to counteract falsehood of any kind in journalism is to air it out in public.

Exposure has the balmy effect of diminishing the putrescence of the lie. After the point was arrogantly ignored by the addressee, this appears to be the one remaining recourse. The parties of interest are of course welcome to comment on this blog post.

Sent to: customercare@legendhotels.com.ph

I would like to call your attention to a blog post of Monday, June 16, 2008, titled “Tamilok: The Longest 'Oyster',” credited to one Faith Salazar. The piece states, in part:
“. . . The word ‘tamilok’ was surprisingly coined by two Americans. They started calling one of their friends - "Tommy, look!", after seeing the locals eating the tree worm. The locals adopted this term to refer to this wood worm delicacy.”

I take umbrage at your assertion that the word "Tamilok" was coined by two Americans. It’s a claim devoid of any basis in reality. This is pure unadulterated nonsensical hogwash.

My grandfather pre-dated the arrival of the Americans (circa 1898) to the Philippines by a few decades. He passed on in 1957, at the tender age of 108 years old, one year after I graduated elementary school. He was in full command of his faculties and a healthy, fully functional set of teeth, until three days before he retired from his “mortal coil.”

That fateful day, the family gathered in the front yard unwinding from the day’s saga. We treated ourselves to a feast of wok-roasted corn kernels (sinangyag na mais) and freshly harvested sugar cane stalks, both definite challenges to the chewing skills.

Grandfather nonchalantly announced that he was getting old because he broke a tooth. He caught a high fever that night, slipped into a comma and passed on three days later without regaining any consciousness. He was a lifelong Tamilok-harvesting enthusiast.

Maybe because I was named after my father, I’ll never know. I just enjoyed the fact that he made me feel like I was his favorite grandson. At any rate, I was his favorite assistant in his Tamilok harvesting trips, before I started grade school, and through most of my primary school days.

He already called it Tamilok then. So did his father before him. Please try to be a little more demure when you venture to be creative and invent history, even if it might prove to be a lucrative marketing gimmick, spiced with xenophilia.

In the interest of “accuracy in advertising,” I enjoin you to correct the error as expeditiously as possible.
FYI: I posted a similar-tenor comment on the referenced blog post which you apparently chose to conveniently ignore.

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