Friday, June 14, 2024

Sauce Level #5

By Calvin Matthew Castillo | The Sillimanian Magazine

A large number of students queued at a stall in Silliman’s famous “Ninings” food court. This particular stall whipped up a quintessential delicacy in Dumaguete known as “tempura”. The man behind it is known as “Bossing,” therefore the stall is named “Bossing’s Tempura.” 

One of the many students who were standing in line was a freshman from Cavite named Jord, ordering tempura with the very last of his weekly allowance. When people ask him what the heck he’s doing in Dumaguete, he just says “SU”. Now, Jord was intrigued by this unfamiliar delicacy. His classmates had persuaded him to sample it, and that the best could be found in campus, so he need not venture far. Two people were ahead of him. He tilted his head to see a group of middle-aged women in aprons all delegated to different tasks, such as frying up what looked to be fingers, and others tending to the students purchasing their goods. There were vats of red liquid, seemingly sauce, on the counter of the stall labeled with numbers ranging from 1-5. The women would dip the freshly-cooked fingers (now on a stick) into a vat with the number of a student’s choosing.

It was Jord’s turn. His new classmates told him that he should try sauce number five, so he pointed to the vat with the number 5 on it. One of the stall attendants took an order of five tempura from the fryer and dunked them into the vat of red liquid, bespeckled with chili seeds. Bro, it’s just kikiam, thought Jord as he took the tempura and placed them into a cup. He took a bite, and as soon as he did, he was consumed by the fire that was sauce number five. It was as if the Devil himself stuck his toes down Jord’s throat.

Jord put down the cup and ran like hell to find the nearest water fountain. He sped past the dormitories, hastily making a right to pass the swimming pool and the massive, worn-down gymnasium (now a library for some reason.) He reached the steps of Luce Auditorium, slamming through the bodies of students like a quarterback. Jord ran for his life, flames spewing out of his gullet. Tears welled up in his eyes as he frantically searched for something to quench the fire on his tongue (or something to end himself with.) He reached Roble Hall, where two students were having a heated debate on whether or not cheese bread was mid. He told them to fuck off, shoving both of them as he jumped towards a water fountain. It was broken. He ran across the road to the intersection, screaming, “WATER, PLEASE!” A student carrying a tower of sheet music pointed him towards the COPVA building, he thanked her by accidentally toppling the tower of paper. 

A pianist was seated, playing a beautiful symphony, engulfed in his music. He was interrupted by a screaming Jord, who only found another broken water fountain. He was running out of options. His tongue was already numb. He “borrowed” a bicycle, and rode towards Ausejo Hall, crashing into the tiny chapel that guarded its entrance under a majestic acacia tree. He sprinted down the hall, yelling at anybody who got in his way. Jord now found himself standing at a small pool next to the Science Complex where frogs frolicked atop mossy rocks. Without hesitation, Jord plunged his head into the water and started gulping down the amphibian infested water. 

A week had gone by this unfortunate incident, and Jord was walking under the acacia trees near Villareal Hall when he was stopped by a student reporter from The Weekly Sillimanian. “Kuya, are you the guy who drank from the SC frog pond?” Oh god, he thought, obliging the reporter’s inquiries. Eventually, his face was on the cover of The Weekly Sillimanian, displayed from the newspaper racks in the lobby of the Uytengsu building to the second floor of the Angelo King building. 


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