Lizada: The Chef

YOU have seen him, read about him. He has been interviewed and has become a familiar figure along the deserted streets when the ECQ was in effect. While the world locked down, he took to the streets to deliver food to the frontliners. Instead of hiding and complaining, he took action and did the brave thing. Chef Patrick is an inspiration.

In life, in upheavals, the true character of people emerge. It cannot be helped. In the withering storm, some people rise, while others drown. The essence of a person is seen in how he or she acts in the face of fear and adversity. You have it or you do not.

A few have become what they were always were. People of character, strength, and compassion. They cannot be denied. That cannot be refuted. Some have fallen in the wayside. Tinimbang sila ngunit kulang. That too cannot be denied, only lamented. In short, some shine, others stagger.

I met Patrick a few years ago. Together with a few friends, we had a private lunch. It was a meal that I would not forget. The food was outstanding that even our Manila friend who is a known gourmand was quite impressed. And with that we became fixtures. When one of my sons celebrated his birthday here for the first time in many years, we chose Patrick. He is passionate and it shows in his food. He is kind and you see that in his manners. He is dedicated to his craft and that is obvious when you dine in his tables. A maverick in his own way and yet somehow someone who keeps his head and his feet grounded. He chose his own path and followed his heart. But enough of that because knowing him he will be a little embarrassed.

But I am not at all surprised by this. It is in his character. He rose to the moment when the moment called for it. For 80 days and counting, he has been delivering food to those who are risking their lives thereby risking his own too. Some people are built like that. It comes naturally to them. It is never forced or contrived. While others curse the darkness, some people find the way out through their light. They hold their torches, flickering faintly but defiantly fighting the shadows.

And in these times we need people like Patrick. And it is easy to spot them. These people have no airs, no pomposity, no arrogance, no egos, They are simple people whose lights shine not because of words but of deeds. Any fool can whine and most fools do.

But, to continually take the streets day after day, to serve, is character beyond.

I look forward to dining with you again Chef Patrick. God bless you.


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