Samgyeopsal: Why Filipinos Love Them So Much

Hey guys! We’re going to tune in to a different voice today. I invited one of my friends who also happens to be a blogger, to write an article here in my space. I asked him to write about something that lights him up and this is what he came up with. Let’s give it up for Lester Nubla!

Three-layered flesh

When I hear Samgyeopsal, I immediately imagine the entire thing—the restaurant, the side dishes, the various meats, and the grill. But Samgyeopsal literally means “three layer flesh” as seen in the pork belly when cut (I just googled it). Here in the Philippines, the word is automatically understood as “unlimited meat grilling” eaten in restaurants.

This dish from Korea has been loved by Filipinos for years and at first, I did not understand why. I just began to understand the addiction of many Filipinos to the dish when I tried it. Here are some reasons why I think Samgyeopsal is very popular among Filipinos:

1. The word “unlimited” is enticing. But come to think of it, is it really worth it? The average price of an unlimited meat package is PHP 499 (roughly $10). You are given raw meat which you still need to cook. The side dishes do not seem to be expensive too. Maybe for some people who can eat a lot, it’s really worth it, but I believe that most of the population cannot make the most out of it. That’s why Samgyeopsal businesses are booming.

2. The side dishes are superb. When we cook at home, we usually just cook one or two dishes because it takes time to prepare. The side dishes offered by these restaurants are really enticing because it’s unusual for us Filipinos to have so many flavors in one table. It’s like “fiesta” for us to have that much food in one dining!

3. The price is just enough. This is only my opinion, but the price is just enough for a good Korean dining experience. You don’t have to worry about the bill because it’s an unlimited package. You just focus on cooking, eating, and bonding with your friends!

 4. The joy of the experience. I’ve seen non-cooks turn into professional grill masters at Samgyeopsal restaurants. There’s something about grilling meat at a table with your friends that touches the Filipino spirit. It gives a sense of family and togetherness. We enjoy shared experiences like this especially if it’s new.

Lunch out!

What to be careful about

My wife loves Samgyeopsal so one time I talked to her about it. Eating it frequently is NOT healthy. Yes, there’s lettuce and other vegetables but the main dish, which is grilled meat, is never healthy.  Charring meat causes the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amine (HAA) that could cause cancer. Furthermore, when fat is exposed to heat, it becomes oxidized that creates free radicals. Here’s an excerpt from the US National Library of Medicine’s website:

If free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them, a condition known as oxidative stress ensues. Free radicals thus adversely alter lipids, proteins, and DNA and trigger a number of human diseases.

That’s why I worry that if Filipinos will not have discipline in eating the dish, many of us will get sick. So, the actual intention of this article is to spread awareness. We should be wary of joining the bandwagon of eating the dish regularly as if it’s already part of our diet. Maybe eating out once a month is enough. Especially now that we are battling against COVID-19, we should strengthen our immune system by eating fruits and vegetables and staying away from unhealthy food.

Keep safe and be guided always!

Let us know! What do you think about Samgyeopsal? Do you have a version of it in your part of the world?

Did you crave and at the same time checked on your health? I did! If you want to read more of his musings and articles just go over his blog! You’ll find many interesting practical tidbits there.


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The Gift in A Pandemic

two woman hugging each other
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Today is Sunday (at the time of writing), and I’m now on the 7th day of my self-quarantine having traveled from a country with confirmed cases. I’m not showing any symptoms so don’t worry! It’s a little bothersome for me that I’m holed up inside our house, mostly staying in my bedroom, with the occasional trip downstairs to eat meals and use the bathroom. I know, this will be the new normal for me, for everyone, as long as the worldwide quarantine is still being enforced – we better follow!

Life was fast paced for me as the calendar rolled from February to March. I was living from responsibility to responsibility, and worry to worry with all my plans lined up in front of me. I was in execution mode, hyping and constantly reminding myself of my “to-dos”.

“Ok man, here’s what we’re gonna do today:
Quit procrastinating!
Prepare training materials!
You need to deliver your tasks today!
Attend that important meeting this afternoon!
Leave early else you won’t make it to your weekly prayer meeting!
You have choir practice in the office AND band rehearsals at the studio tonight!
Attend Bible Study!
Keep yourself healthy!
Get ready for an upcoming talk!
Ready the script and documents for the retreat!
Reach out to people, keep them in the fold!
Pack your bags for your trip outside the country!
Eat!
Sleep!
Sanitize!
Exercise!
And, oh! before going to bed, Overthink! And overthink about overthinking!”

Gift of Rest and Action

A sudden change of pace happened as I started my self-quarantine. After a very busy month, I was able to pause and breathe as the whole city goes into a community quarantine. I don’t want to discount the negative things this disease has done to the world but with all the hope and optimism I have, I choose to see it as a gift.

It’s a gift that’s hard to appreciate (-having disrupted and taken many lives) but it has allowed, for most of us, to slow down, stop, rest, and listen. It has also given us back time to do the things that we want to do but can’t in our regular lives. It’s as if mother nature pressed a reset button so the world and everything in it can put itself back together and heal.

We are now given more opportunities to reconnect with our loved ones, eat uninterrupted meals with our families, and reach out to old friends. We now have more time to rest and let our bodies heal from lack of sleep, stress, and fatigue. We can now listen more intently to your heart’s desires, to the thoughts that bothers you, and to events happening around you, and put things into perspective. Most importantly, we can now set aside more time for prayer and rekindle our relationship with God.

Taking a moment to rest is good, but rest should always be followed by action. We may not be allowed to go out of our houses but we can still move in ways that will help people, especially the ones risking their lives in the front lines.

What can we do?

  •       Follow the rules for the quarantine
  •       Write uplifting stories and hopeful songs
  •       Affirm people making an effort in combating the disease
  •       Share good news (not fake ones) and spread reliable information
  •       Donate to organizations and causes that aids in eradicating the pandemic
  •       Pray for the front liners and the people responsible for making decisions

These are only some of the ways we can extend our help outside our homes. Let’s do our best to flatten the curve.

We are all in this together. We are now healing together. We have been cooped up in our houses for so long with little to no human touch that I can’t wait for that day when we hear from the morning news, the words “Last case of COVID19 has recovered”. I can only imagine the joy of people running out of their houses all over the world, celebrating outside, hugging the first person they see so tight, tears streaming down their faces, feeling the warmth of a person’s touch.

Be Still

What’s happening right now can be overwhelming. To take it all in and deal with the uncertainty of not being able to know what’s gonna happen tomorrow can cause a lot of doubt, confusion, and anxiety. It’s ok to feel this way. Wherever you are right now, and whatever you’re feeling I can assure you, it’s all going to be ok in the end we only need to be still.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him according to His purpose” Romans 8:28

Friend, may your faith increase today. Allow yourself to be held. Trust that no tear, no worry, no sigh, and no struggle is left unheard by God and everything you’re going through is not wasted. God is close to the brokenhearted and hears the cry of His people. He hasn’t turned His back and left you, but He is with you, beside you, above you, behind you, and around you. He is blessing you right now with peace beyond understanding.

We don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow because he’s already been there. He has seen the healing take place. There’s no need to be afraid for He already knows what’s up, He’s not shaken, He’s not surprised. We will be able to see each other again, we can do hi-fives again, and interact with people again. No more hiding inside our houses as the day of breakthrough comes.

Right now is a time for us to fix our eyes on God and lean on him for hope for his promise of his faithfulness, joy, strength, and peace.

See You!

I believe this will be over soon and I’m so excited to see you!

We are all in a season where we can rest and take action on things that we can control. We have been given many gifts and opportunities this season and the only thing left to do is open them with gratitude. Remember that you’re not alone, the whole world is in this together. It’s OK to be overwhelmed, but don’t be discouraged and put our hope in a God who never fails.

What other gifts are you being invited to open during this quarantine? (Did you receive the gift of forgiveness? The gift of time? The gift of rest?)

See you on the day of breakthrough!

The Blessing

Let me end with a blessing from Numbers 6:24-26

“The Lord bless you and keep you

The Lord make his face shine upon you

and be gracious to you

The Lord turn his face toward you

and give you peace “

Amen


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