5.005 Ki for Ki

-Cycle 5, Item 5-
10 (Fri) January 2014

Ki for Ki


at Mansun


with K-Staff

I've arrived safely in Manila.

I'll be here through mid-April, working as a consultant in a certain specialized agency of United Nations system.  More details to come.

Less than 24 hours upon arrival, the indoctrination begins.  As mentioned in a prior post, the Korean staff here have quite the racket going, collecting dues to subsidize their--our, now?--get-togethers on special occasions (see generally 4.263 Parros Clams...).  This evening, the occasion was a welcome dinner for me.  The treasurer took the opportunity to shake me down for my share.  5,000 pesos each (about USD 125), which lasts several months on average--an enormous sum here, considering that a bowl of noodles or rice plate in an average restaurant costs less than 200 pesos, a bottle of beer 50 pesos.  The payment isn't mandatory, but it's mandatory.  Welcome to the neighborhood.  

The boss, talking to one of his captains.

Our/their thing.

Makati is a city bordering Manila to the southeast.  Technically, it's 1 of 16 small cities that comprise Metropolitan Manila--aka Metro Manila or the National Capital Region.  In stark/startling contrast to the urban blight that characterizes Manila--where the Organization is located--Makati is glitz embodied, broad avenues lined with shiny glass high rises--where most of the international schools, luxury shopping centers, and expat enclaves are located.  

The majority of long-term resident Koreans, certainly anyone with kids, live in Makati.  Accordingly, loads of Korean restaurants, markets, and other business can be found there. 

A respectable spread of banchan (3.0), many of my personal favorites, including (clockwise from top): cucumber kimchi, kimchi, zucchini namul, bean sprout namul, tofu in spicy soy sauce, mung bean muk, sautéed odeng.

Kimchi jeon (2.0)--odd texture.

Roasted garlic (2.0)--not at all Korean, but whatever.

Assorted jeon (2.5)--kinda greasy.

Hoe of some sort over chilies and mixed greens with chogochujang (2.0)--too much gochujang.

Dubu kimchi (2.5)--something odd about the kimchi.

Grilled eel with various wraps (2.5)--something odd about the eel.

Maeun tang of some sort with steamed rice (2.5)--something odd about the fish.

Patbingsu for dessert--didn't taste it.

Mansun (만선) is a Korean restaurant.  Located in Makati.  Favored by WHO Korean staff.  You know how in Little Italy, if a certain pasta joint is patronized by the local gangsters, then the gravy's gotta be pretty good--that's what I was thinking.

However, the food was kinda meh.  As authentic/tasty as it gets in the Philippines, supposedly.  My first experience with Korean food here.  Everything came close, but just falling a bit shy.  Inherent differences in the ingredients perhaps, like the soy sauce. 

Ki joge (키조개) = razor shell clam.  

Taped to the wall above the urinal, loosely translated: "Magical medicine to sober up!  Protect your valuable liver with 250 pesos."


  1. so what magical potion does 250 pesos get you????

  2. other than the claim itself, the sign is kinda funny because it doesn't otherwise provide any information. i suppose that they were selling something at the counter, but i didn't check.

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