(Written by Jake and Sarah)
Walking in to Mang Inasal, a restaurant here in Bacolod which specializes in marinated grilled chicken, we gathered at the front to place our order.
We looked around the room, it was fairly crowded that day. The general buzz of activity hanging thick in the air....
Jake sauntered off confidently to find us an open table. Once the order was placed, we went to take our seats, only to realize he had found a table without enough seats. Upon this realization, the grown ups retreated to a table behind us. He, however, had realized that there were no tables available with enough seating and so therefore had strategically chosen two open tables beside each other...
While waiting for the chicken paa (leg) and chicken pecho (breast) to arrive, we heard a deafening whoosh of the release of pressurized gas emanating from behind the counter.
Panic and chaos broke out all through out the restaurant; people screamed and ran for the doors. Children were pulled behind tables and chairs as they were covered by their parents bodies; mothers clutched babies.
The boys and I sat, watching bemusedly as people rushed passed us. We glared danger right in the eye and dared it to come for us.
Almost as suddenly as the panic had come, it drifted away, and the restaurant was ushered back into normality. The next few minutes were spent calming children and resuming previous activities. People chatted nervously about the harrowing experience.
The boys and I slowly began to chuckle as it was discovered that the event had been, in fact, a hose that had popped off the CO2 tanks for the soda machine.
Jake looked around the room at the frazzled customers and back at us and let out a stiffled laugh, for he out of all of us had faced it with an air of nonchalance and fearlessness.
As the Luthers say, "This is life in the Philippines."