Tapsilog as we know it was coined from the word Tapa (salt-cured beef ), sinangag (fried garlic rice) , Itlog (fried egg). Filipinos are so creative when labelling their dishes. My favorite tapsilog is the one served at Rodic’s Diner at the Shopping Center inside the UP Diliman campus. Tapsilog wasn’t the trend during my seventies UP days but Rodic’s Diner brought a respite to famished UP students who were bored eating the dorm’s unplalatable University Food Service (UFS).
When my daughter studied in UP, I rediscovered Rodic’s Diner’s and their new dishes especially Tapsilog . I enjoyed the lean and tasty beef tapa meal at such an affordable price. Now my two daughters are hooked. Their tapa is not the usual beef slices. It looks similar to the texture of corned beef but drier. Some even call it “blinender na tapa” (tapa pulverized in a blender). There is a sweet distinct flavor that is not common to other beef tapa recipe. Maybe star anise? (If you’re looking for a beef tapa recipe, here is my very own beef tapa recipe)
I have another reason for featuring Rodic’s Diner. The nostalgia and memories of UP graduates give their menu an extra flavor. Today, January 8, 2008 is the launch of the year long The UP Centennial celebration. On the wall of Rodic’s Diner of the UP Shopping Center hangs the Spice of Life caricature drawn by Larry Alcala of the UP diliman campus in the 70s or was it 60s? I am not sure if the “Spice of Life” still hangs there. Yesterday, when I passed by Salcedo Street in Makati, I saw Rodic’s Diner. The Salcedo Street branch is owned by Ma. Socorro Tecson Mangahas, the daughter of the original owner of the Rodic’s in the UP Shopping Center.
Memories of my UP student days soon overcame me. Even if I wasn’t hungry, I ordered tapsilog and took photos of the wall mural.
If you look at the mural, it shows the UP campus in the old and current times. I will talk of my UP student days in the mid-seventies in honor of today’s [tag]UP Centennial celebration[/tag]. (My student number is 74-____. You get the picture)
Rodic’s Diner existed since 1949 about the time my mom entered UP Diliman. My two daughters, third generation UP students often eat at Rodic’s Diner when they crave for tapsilog.
Liberal Arts building or Palma Hall was just simply College of Arts and Sciences or AS to me in the 70s. Oh, and the UP oblation run then was just one fraternity person (Alpha Phi Omega) streaking. And mind you, streaking was quite common in those days and was confined within the privacy of the dormitory.
These tambayans were not there before. School organizations chose their spot in various places of the buildings. My UP-Panaghiusa (an organization of Cebuanos) was at the stairs across the old Business Administration Building (now PHAN). I think this system is quite democratic. The Upsilon Sigma Phi used to “own” the Palma Hall basement and I thought these guys were qite spoiled brats lording all the chairs and tables of the canteen.
I experienced the Christmas Lantern parade in 1977. The last Parade before Martial Law was in 1969. Students gave the parade an activist motif, with Nelia Sancho, now a prominent personality of the cause-oriented womenâ€™s group Gabriela, as Lantern Queen. The Parade went on hiatus until 1977, its comeback made memorable with the participants carrying torches while parading around the Academic Oval.
The Bahay Alumini and Film Center were built after my graduation in 1978. See those ladies in white holding a chain? That’s the Cadena de Amor, an event where the senior coeds bequeathed to the juniors the beautiful traditions of UP life they would soon be leaving through the symbolic passing of cadena de amor garlands, started in 1934. The cadena de amor ladies are carrying the “symbolic” cadena which is connected to the UP Carillion. I remember a photo of my mom all dressed in white holding the chain.
Also called “the festival of girls and flowers,” the last Cadena de Amor Festival, which rites took inspiration from the Daisy Chain of Vassar College, was held in 1968 as students started questioning university traditions and the evolution of the ceremony into a beauty contest.
I heard UP will revive the Cadena de Amor tradition. I wonder if my daughter Marielle will be able to participate this once she’s a senior student. I can now imagine the activists ranting that it is so elitist.
But the word “Ibagsak” exists to this day depending on the current issues.
Ibagsak Marcos! Ibagsak Erap! Ibagsak GMA.
Some traditions never change in the University of the Philippines.
The menu and price list at Rodic’s Diner
Tapsilog 60 pesos
Liemposilog 75 pesos
Sisig with rice and egg 60 pesos
Pork viand and rice 60 pesos
Beef viand and reice 60 pesos
Vegetables with rice 40 pesos
1. Salcedo St, Legapsi Village, Makati City
Telephone Number : 75-928-75
2. Adelantado Street near Makati Medical Plaza.
3. UP Shopping Center, Diliman Campus, Quezon City
Rodic’s Diner is the penultimate rite of passage for every UP student. Do you like Rodic’s Diner food? Care to share any memories?