I REMEMBER a bit of the old new Cebu. The one that used to host a daredevil motorcycle stunt in the middle of the metro. The city that once had Dairy Queen and Subway, until both eventually had to cease operations. I miss some of those brands, like Texas Chicken for one, that served really huge and juicy pieces of fried chicken.

I drove around town recently to find, to my surprise, a former ribs place turn into a restaurant serving beef pares. And by the way, this former ribs place and current beef pares joint was formerly a noodle house. I’ve tried beef pares once in Cebu before when my father, who practically spent his childhood in Manila, took us brothers out to a carwash to try the popular northern delicacy. Since the little food field trip in the ‘90s, I’ve long held a craving that’s ready anytime should a bowl of beef pares present itself. I wasn’t its biggest fan, but I liked it anyway.

I feel sad about the old brands that have gone, and I’ve come to realize (again) that the market plays a huge role in a brand’s sustainability in a particular location. And artists are no different. We’ve all heard about good artists one time or another, and chances are, we’ve either become superfans tracking their every gig and album, or we’ve placed them somewhere in our memory banks with a respect that’s genuine yet passive.

I’m sure Dairy Queen back then had its fans. I’m sure Urbandub had its fans. I’m sure beef pares will one day gain a local following and maybe spawn a hashtag one day. But when the past brands faded, or should some of the newer ones due to some unfortunate business call pull out as well, we—the market—only have ourselves to blame.

Apologies for stating the obvious, like proving that Galileo was right all along. But this is really the case. Artists are as good as gone when they begin.

Appreciate them while they last if you do care.

Eat beef pares.