(Cebupac's sad chicken inasal)
I am from Bacolod and practically grew up enjoying chicken inasal. Chicken inasal is a popular must-eat barbecued chicken in the Negros Island. Chicken parts are marinated in vinegar, lemon grass, calamansi and other flavors, and are then skewered on sticks and grilled while basting with annatto oil.
So, when I was booking my Cebu Pacific flight to fly back home, I decided to pre-order their in-flight meal of chicken inasal. I thought, why wait to arrive in Bacolod when I can already enjoy a chicken inasal while still up in the air?
And when the crew served my chicken inasal during the flight, it was time to enjoy...or not. Accompanying the meal was a small packet of soy sauce to help flavor the dish, and then I made my first bite.
As the chicken and whatever they marinated it in were being munched and chewed by the passenger seated at 14C, he wondered whether this was an in-flight joke, considering Cebu Pacific is known for its in-flight games. There was no lemon grass flavor, the chicken was tasteless, and for P350, he got the saddest-looking and saddest-tasting four slices of chicken inasal and a strip of chicken skin laid over not-so-soft-but-oversteamed white rice!
Expecting a flavorful chicken inasal, all I got were emotional distress and psychological trauma while eating at 36,000 feet. And while I was trying to gulp down the masticated food (or otherwise starve!) against the wishes of my taste glands and probably my stomach, too, I swore to never order Cebu Pacific's chicken inasal ever again.
So, when I arrived in Bacolod, I had to erase the bad memory of a bad in-flight meal by treating myself to an authentic tasting, mouth-watering chicken inasal served in the island where it originated, and not from some plane flying over the East China Sea.
Cebu Pacific, if you're reading this, your 'Chicken Inasal' is not chicken inasal. Change its menu name to grilled chicken or chicken-something. It's chicken all right, but it's not chicken inasal. You won't be able to fool the palates of Negrenses like me when it comes to our favorite chicken meal.
(The real chicken inasal from Bacolod with garlic fried rice)
So, if you're flying to Bacolod, wait till the plane lands to have the real chicken inasal. :-)