In a ballroom somewhere in Manila...
What is "Buhay Carinderia"? Why does it cost so much? Isn't a carinderia just a Filipino eatery? Why is it priced at P300 million? Why was the down payment made before even anything was submitted?
The explanation is very simple. Buhay Carinderia is a tourism promotion project celebrating a great Philippine tradition - the Plunder Buffet, also known as "Steal All You Can."
We've invited you and selected guests to this little happening to show you how it works.
Preparing a "steal all you can" banquet/buffet is hard work. Our auditor spent all night cooking the books to come up with a wide selection of traditional plunder specialties.
For example, in that table over there, you'll find traditional favorites: piles of dollars, blank travel orders to fly anywhere you want at government expense, free vacations disguised as sales blitzes, first-class return tickets to Europe, first-class lounge passes, complimentary frequent flier gold cards.
In that other table, you'll see our buffet's more substantial entrees: overpriced and totally unnecessary beauty contests, gowns, expensive shoes, tickets to high-priced concerts in a mall, hyper costly designer bags and smartphones.
On the main banquet table, you'll find our carinderia's main attractions: "Junkets ala Usec", surrounded by a tasteful array of Unnecessary Trips Abroad, "Kickback ala Project" in a piquant gravy of 40 percent commissions, and the chef's piece de resistance, the PHP60 million ad buy. He calls that "Ben's Delight."
What's that you're asking? What's that barking and howling and grunting noise coming from behind that locked door? Who's pounding the door so loudly? Oh, those are just are Usecs. They LOVE Buhay Carinderia spreads and can hardly wait to start on this one. We have to keep them locked up until the event starts.
Rounding off this Plunder Buffet, we have these entrees: "Per Diems a la No Need To Liquidate"; "Vehicles De Luxe con Chauffers"; Travel Entourage Complete With Manicurist and Masseur, and an irresistible treat -- five-star resort accommodations for just you and 200 of your loved ones.
In the middle of all this, a fashion show, can you believe that! What would a carinderia be without a fashion show, right? Well for one thing, it would be less expensive. Probably P290 million less expensive.
Before we begin, just a few words about our rules in the Plunder Buffet. In a carinderia, it's turo-turo, you point at what you like. In THIS carinderia it's agaw-agaw. It's steal all you can. No sharing. No leftovers. Don't elbow too many faces. Help yourselves to what's on the tables, but refrain from taking the tables themselves. Yes, we've seen that happen.
Wait, why is that covered table shaking? Can anybody check? There's a small fat lawyer underneath? And he's trying to grab the entrees? Throw the little bum out.
And who are those people - HOY HSST! Get out of here! Just get out! This is by invitation only! Exclusive guests!
I tell you, those Marcoses, they ALWAYS find out whenever there's a plunder buffet and try to crash the party. Can you imagine the nerve?
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.