4.269 Mango

Cycle 4 – Item 269

1 (Tue) October 2013



at Izakaya Den

-Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines-

with WHO Korean staff

WHO Informal Consultation on Reducing the Harmful Impact on Children of Marketing Foods, Beverages, Tobacco, and Alcohol + Singapore Diet + WHO Health Law Project (Day 8)

    1. 4.262 1-Piece Chickenjoy Meal + Pancit Palabok
    2. 4.263 Parros Clams in Spicy Black Bean Sauce
    3. 4.264 3-Piece Chicken Barbecue
    4. 4.265 Chilli Crab
    5. 4.266 White Carrot Cake
    6. 4.267 Hainanese Chicken Rice
    7. 4.268 Inasal Chicken
    8. 4.269 Mango
    9. 4.270 The Original – Verena
    10. 4.271 SPAM Musubi + SPAM Burger Hamburger
    11. 4.272 Chicken Curry with Raisin Biryani

In Manila.  Two sponsored objectives of the trip, under the auspices of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WHO WPRO): (1) to participate in a technical expert meeting on finding ways to protect children from the marketing of unhealthy products; (2) to progress the health law project that I’ve been involved with since last year.   The more important informal objective, on my own dime: (3) to visit Singapore and stuff my face.


At last, I had an opportunity to have lunch with my favorite people at WHO WPRO: the g-staff in the HSD (Health Sector Development) unit.

They took me across the street to Casino Español de Manila, again.


Izakaya Den is a Japanese restaurant.

Mangoes are, if unofficially, the national fruit of the Philippines.  They’re sold on the streets (i.e., pared, on sticks, ready-to-go).  They’re served for dessert at restaurants, even foreign restaurants (maybe only foreign restaurants?).  They’re incorporated as an ingredient in fusion dishes (e.g., California rolls include mango in lieu of avocado).  In dried/packaged form, they’re sold at the duty free store in the airport and exported as a major trade commodity (e.g., available at Costco in Korea).  I can’t think of any single fruit so integrally/exclusively tied to a country’s identity.

I hate fruit generally.

I hate mangoes especially.

By the end of dinner, one of the staffers was a bit tipsy and launched on a mission to feed everyone a bite of mango from her own spoon, so I couldn’t refuse.

I was blown away by the explosion of flavor.  Creamy beyond compare, the fruit tasted fantastically/wondrously/incredibly/stupendously sweet.  Like canned peaches, so soft and sugary that they seem artificial, that’s exactly what these mangoes were like, but in a good way, the best way.

Although I still hate fruit, and mangoes, precisely because of that sweetness, I must admit from an objective standpoint that I was blessed to experience fruit/mango perfection tonight.

Everyone else seemed to agree, because we had another round.

Even at a Japanese restaurant in Manila, Koreans order soju.

I was honored to be invited to an informal gathering of Korean staff, including the Regional Director.

(See also BOOZE)



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