Of CASAA’s Sizzler’s Aling Flor

I will ask you something. Are the one who prepares your food already cooked for Kiko Pangilinan or Eugene Domingo or any other popular personalities today? If not yet and you are trying to encourage your cook to do it for those people, Aling Flor could be the best adviser of yours. But, who in the earth is Aling Flor?

Aling Flor or Manang Flor, as her friends call her, is the only cook in Sizzlers, one of the food corners in CASAA Food Center. Aling Flor cooks for the said store for almost 30 years now. In fact, she is one, if not, the original cook (or chef to sound professional) in the famous food center around University of the Philippines – Diliman.

Many of you might have already ordered to Aling Flor of some food like bacon and egg, pork teriyaki, sisig and pork chop which are her specialties. And she is proud to say that all the food in display especially the pork chop was already served for Sen. Kiko Pangilinan. More of Aling Flor? Then continue reading.

Flor Campo-Sagrado is Aling Flor’s real name. She is a native of Iloilo province. How she was able to come in Manila is history. What she only shared was that she was only 16 years old when she got here in Manila. She was not able to continue her college education where she only reached high school. At 16, Aling Flor was exposed to real life being in Manila. Having a decent job was her true goal in going here and not in her mind to study because no one can support her.

A year after or so, Aling Flor got married. Her husband, who is now a UP-SM North jeepney driver, gave her 3 children. Her 3 children, 45 being the eldest and 35 the youngest, is now living in Bulacan and they gave Aling Flor a number of grand children.

When she was asked about her talent other than cooking, she laughingly said singing. She occasionally sings during celebrations like birthdays and holiday seasons with her family. But seldom could she be with her family. Aling Flor is a stay-in cook working for the family that owns the Sizzler. Because of this, she is earning only what could sustain her for a day. She is receiving not what she ought to receive.

You already knew that Aling Flor cooked for the then student Kiko Pangilinan but how about for Eugene Domingo? Yes, she also had cooked for Ms. Eugene Domingo back to her theatre life as a student in the university. Because of Aling Flor’s part in Eugene Domingo’s student life, the latter took her a picture and posted it in a certain art gallery or memoir which Aling Flor forgot to name. She was even invited to that gallery.

Aling Flor is now 62, turning 63. She must be retiring now but only carabaos go old, right? With 62, she is as strong as the sianse she usually holds as an arm. Aling Flor is not a lonely island at Sizzlers. She has two right and left hand working with her. The one who gets the order and say it to Aling Flor is Ate Anna Orate, 43 and the one who puts rice in plate is Ate Hazel Pusing, 25. These two ates are not stay-in workers. They are earning more than what Aling Flor earns.

Aling Flor and Ates Anna and Hazel prepare food for almost hundreds of students a day. They might have served for those standing as the next President, Senate President or Chief Justice or in case of me, a future CEO or famous Public Relations Director.

I know that they have, too, families, that they should be serving for. Because of working for a living, they choose to serve other people especially students instead of taking care of their children at home. This could be a very challenge to every Iskolar ng Bayan to serve the people like Aling Flor and her arms. Let us say to them, tapping our hands to their back, than soon we will serve them the way they serve us. I know hundreds and thousands of students have already bought in Sizzlers who are now CEOs, engineers or social scientists. They might have said this before but nothing happens. A lesson learned, perhaps.

Aling Flor deserves to be served and all those Filipinos striving hard for a living. They are all interesting.

2 Responses to “Of CASAA’s Sizzler’s Aling Flor”
  1. David Dylan Elizalde Malana Puzon.1V says:

    CASAA brings back lots of memories for me.From grade 3 to grade 6(1985 to 1988) in UP Diliman,me and my classmates would go eat lunch in CASAA and its something i look forward to on a daily basis.There was this stall thats serves Salisbury Steak with Bean Sprouts and Gravy(The best…) and for only 50 bucks not only can i order that whole meal,i could also add a Cadbury Chocolate Bar (Walnut,Brazilian or Almond)and we are talking the mid to late 80s when that amount of money still had value.I’m the type of person that if i love the taste of a particular food,I dont care if I order and eat it everyday.now 30 years have passed and I think of revisiting CASAA to check if that particular stall is still there.Im doing this to reconnect with my childhood past

    David Dylan Elizalde Malana Puzon.1V

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