Word about Ai-Ai delas Alas’ yummy breads (the most popular is the ube pandesal) soon spread and before she knew it, her showbiz friends started ordering by the boxes. Her ‘hobby’ has turned out to be a profitable business.
ECQ rekindles Ai-Ai’s baking talent
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2020 - 12:00am

While others are tearing apart their two-month-old hair in boredom during the extended ECQ (Extended Community Quarantine), doing practically nothing more than watching Netflix and reading, Ai-Ai delas Alas has hardly enough time to fill the increasing orders for her signature breads and pastries.

“The ECQ has rekindled my talent for baking,” said Ai-Ai who took up a course in culinary arts seven years ago, ahead of her son Sancho who graduated from the Center for Culinary Arts. “Na-activate ng ECQ ang hilig ko sa baking.”

It was actually her husband Gerald Sibayan’s fondness for ube-flavored pandesal that prompted Ai-Ai to resume her long-dormant baking talent.

“During the early days of the ECQ,” related Ai-Ai in a phone interview with The STAR, “we would order the bread by delivery from Makati. Since it’s too far from our place in Quezon City, inaabot ng two hours bago dumating, so sabi ko, ‘Ako na nga lang ang gagawa.’ Kaya, hayan.”

Initially, Ai-Ai got so engrossed in the task that she would come up with more than a hundred pieces, some of which she would donate to frontliners (cops manning checkpoints, security guards and others) near their place. Word about her yummy breads (in several flavors, the most popular is the ube) soon spread and before Ai-Ai knew it, her showbiz friends started ordering by the boxes. Her “hobby” has turned out to be a profitable business.

I’m working at home at maganda naman ang kita,” said Ai-Ai who was too modest (kuno!) to confirm that she makes as much as P12,000 (net) daily.

I produce more than 500 pieces per day and adding more kasi padami nang padami ang order,” admitted Ai-Ai and she’s not complaining. “Kaya habang nasa lockdown, very busy ako at walang time ma-bored.”

Box of 10 of ube pandesal (supreme) costs P200 and a box of 12 (regular) P170. To order, click Ai-Ai’s Instagram account @msaiaidelasalas.

A retired basketball star (Swift, Air 21 and Ginebra), Vergel Meneses.

ECQ is first-time Mayor Vergel’s ‘baptism of fire’

The ECQ (Extended Community Quarantine) has become some kind of “baptism of fire” for first-time mayors like Joy Belmonte (Quezon City with more than 3.5 million residents, 1 million-plus in Rep. Alfred Vargas’ 5th-district turf), Vico Sotto (Pasig City with more than 500,000 residents), Isko Moreno (Manila), Andrea “Andeng” Bautista-Ynares (Antipolo City) and Vergel Meneses (Bulakan, Bulacan, population more than 80,000 including the 14 barangays, some 80,000 concentrated in the the town proper).

A retired basketball star (Swift, Air 21 and Ginebra), Vergel has followed in the footsteps of his hardcourt colleagues who have proven their worth in public service such as former Senators Bobby Jaworski and Freddie Webb; former Parañaque City Mayor Joey Marquez;  Incumbent San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora; and Councilors Franz Pumaren (Quezon City), Yoyong Martirez (Pasig City) and Atoy Co (Pasig City).

“Even as a child,” said Mayor Vergel (the PBA legend was recently given a President’s Award by a sports group on his 25th anniversary as an MVP/Most Valuable Player), “I really wanted to be a public servant, pero sa basketball ako napunta.”

Vergel Meneses (with relief goods ready for distribution) has followed in the footsteps of his hardcourt colleagues who have proven their worth in public service. He is the firsttime mayor of Bulakan, Bulacan, which has a population of more than 80,000.

Come Christmas time, Vergel would distribute toys among the kids in his town.

These days, Vergel is distributing relief goods among his constituents, doing it above and beyond politics, including even those who didn’t vote for him in the May 2019 elections.

“No politics-politics in public service,” stressed Vergel who is thankful to friends from the private sector who have been generous enough to augment the government budget allotted for LGUs. “I’m glad to have efficient officials who are helping coordinate the distribution of relief goods.”

Keep up the good work, Mayor Vergel. Right on!

A heartwarming throwback

Here’s a “relief” item that should turn Baby Boomers misty-eyed with nostalgia, contributed by my humorist friend Narciso Chan of Curve Entertainment Records. I want to call the item “Ganito kami noon” (add teardrops as emoji).

1. P0.10 lang ang pamasahe, ang kandong libre pa.

2. Ang babae lang ang may hikaw.

3. Ang preso lang ang may tattoo.

4. Si Erap, Jinggoy, Bong Revilla at Lito Lapid ay sa showbiz section lang ng dyaryo nababasa.

5. Ang intindi mo ng “LOL” ay “ULOL”.

6. ARCEGAS at GOODEARTH Emporium ang shoppingan sa bansa.

7. Diyes lang ang isang basong taho at kailangan mong magdala ng sarili mong baso (kasi wala pang plastic cups noon si Manong na magtataho).

8. Chocnut, Tarzan Gum at kending Vicks ang pinag-gagastusan mo ng singko mo.

9. Sarsi with egg ang pampataba at Star Margarine, at matamis na bao sa umaga.

10. Nagkaka-kalyo ka dahil sa manual typewriter pa ang ginagamit mo para sa school paper mo.

11. Kaya uso pa noon ang carbon paper.

12. Tancho, 3-Flowers o Superman Pomade ang pang-ayos ng buhok mo.

13. KLIM ang tinitimpla ng nanay mo para sa’yo para inumin mo bago matulog.

14. Nakakapag-grocery ka na! P20 piso lang ang dala.

15. Anim na numero lang ang kailangan mong tandaan para tawagan ang kaibigan mo.

16. May Party Line pa noon “hello party line, paki baba. Emergency lang.”

17. Sampung taon ang hihintayin mo bago makabitan ng telepono. Ngayon ilang oras lang.

18. Computer cards ang iyung tinutupi para maging barilbarilan.

19. Singkwenta sentimos lang ang songhits.

20. Kay Ka Paeng Yabut ka lang naniniwala pag-ukol sa panahon ang balita.

21. Singkwenta sentimos lang ang pa-gupit.

22. Pinagtatawanan ang kalbo. “Pendong Kalas Kalbo.”

23. Hindi uso ang gusot ang buhok at damit. Ngayon kung may gusot, mayaman na at fashionista pa.

24. Nakakahiya kung nakalitaw ang halfslip ng babae, ngayon naka-display pa ang bra, panty at pusod.

25. Cabaret ang tawag sa mga girly bars. Ngayon ay Music Lounge na.

26. Hostess pa ang tawag noon, ngayon Guest Relations Officer (GRO) na.

27. Sa Escolta ka namimili ng pamasko mo. (Ngayon kahit sa bangketa ay talo-talo na.)

28. Payat na payat ka pa noon.

29. Highway 54 pa noon at wala pang EDSA.

30. Malago pa ang buhok mo noon.

31. Jingle lang at songhits nakakanta na. Ngayon naka Karaoke o videoke na.

32. $1.00 = 4 pesos ang dollar exchange rate.

33. Dati naninigas ang mga damit natin dahil sa almirol, ngayon palambutan na sa dami ng softener.

34. Ang bentahan ng bigas ay per salop at ganta, ngayon per kilo na.

(SOMETIMES you will never know the true value of A MOMENT until it becomes A MEMORY.)

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

AI AI DELAS ALAS ECQ VERGEL MESES
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