The Siopao Who Does Not Like Gluttonous Children
Here in Aling Bising’s bakery, the siopaos are fussy annd boastful. They hate children who are gluttons.
“They eat anything and everything, we don’t want to mix with the food in their stomachs”, one of them reasoned out.
“Especially the children with bulging stomachs who beg for food on the streets,” agreed the second siopao. “Mama mia, surely their stomachs are full of worms! It’s a pity if your nutrients only go to those worms!”
“How finicky you are!” commented the group of sugar-and margarine-topped bread. “All of us were prepared and baked for everyone. There’s no point in choosing who’s going to eat us.”
“True!” agreed the group of salt bread. “All of us bread and delicacises were concocted to satisfy anyone who eats us and make him strong with the nutrients he gets from us. It doesn’t matter whether he is beggar or a rich man.”
But the siopaos only sneered. “ You say that because you are sold cheaply, anyone can buy you.”
“Whereas we are priced expensively. Not everyone can taste how delcious we are!”
“And why were we created smooth-skinned and fair-complexioned? Of course, so that neat and fair-skinned people will eat us, just like the rich.”
Nobody knew where the siopaos got such a silly reasoning. Their ingredients were mixed accordingly; they were masshed properly by the bakers, and cooked in the oven with the right amount of heat. Why then were they behaving as such?
No wonder the other bread and delicacies in the bakery rented them.
“The’re too oppressive,” chorused the group of puddings.
“Who do they think they are?” said the group of milk bread.
“The’re no different from us except for their meat fillings,” uttered the group of fruit bread.
“But is that enough reason for them to be so disdainful?” the group of coconut bread complained.
“No!” they declared in unison.
One time, a newspaper boy happened to pass by the bakery. He was not fat, but he looked like he had a voracious appetite. From the way he regarded the bread and delicacy, he could have devoured them all at once.
How the siopaos hated the little boy! “I hope he wouldn’t buy and eat us,” one of them said.
We don’t deserve to be in that boy’s stomach. How disgusting!” said another.
But when the little boy saw the siopaos, he looked like he wanted to eat them, too. He wet his lips, drooling to have a taste of them.
The siopaos screamed in panic. They tried to hide behind each other. “Oh, oh, oh! I don’t want that boy to buy me!”
Until the inevitable day arrived.
The newspaper boy appeared to keep a promise.
To have a taste of the smooth-skinned and white-complexioned siopao!
He regarded the siopaos appraisingly, and then grinned.
The siopaos turned to disgust when they saw the boy’s rotten teeth.
One of them became hysterical. “No way! I don’t want to be sold to that boy! Get me out of here!”
But the siopaos knew they could not do anything.
The little boy had brought enough to buy siopao. He gave the money to Aling Bising and pointed the siopao he wanted.
At once Aling Bising brought out the chosen siopao from the display cabinet.
The siopaos screamed in protest. But Aling Bising did not hear them.
The siopaos felt sorry for their kin as Aling Bising turned it over to the boy’s dirty hand.
“Goodbye, Roast One!” the siopaos uttered. “It was your bad luck that the boy chose you.”
The little boy happily examined the siopao he had bought. At last he had the chance to have one. He even smelled its aroma. “Hmm, delicious!” he uttered.
The siopaos held their breath as they watched what awaited their kin, so did the other bread and delicacies.
Slowly, the little boy brought the delicious siopao to his mouth.
One… Two… Three…
He was about to bite at the soft flesh when he suddenly stopped!
The siopaos were puzzled at what they saw. Why did the little boy stop? Had he changed his mind about Roast One?
The rest of the bread and delicacies were likewise puzzled.
That was when they noticed the other children around.
Two young beggars were standing near the newspaper boy, looking on hungrily.
The boy suddenly seemed undecided. Woul he eat the siopao and let the two other kids enviously watch him while he ate? Or would he forego his own hunger and give the siopao to the kids who were more hungry than him?
It was a difficult decision to make!
Everyone was astonished when the newspapaer boy gave the siopao to the two young beggars.
“I don’t understand,” said one of the siopaos. “Didn’t that little boy want to taste us? Why did he give us away?”
“You will never understand what the little boy did, because all your life you thought of nothing ecxept yourselves,” one of the salt bread said.
“What do you mean?” asked one of the siopaos.
“The little boy you hated… The boy you loathed… The boy you didn’t want to eat you… is a good-hearted and noble kid, because he knows how to share with his fellow kids,” explained the group of salt bread.
“We are glad because somehow we became a part of the little boy’s body,” said the other groups of bread which the little boy had bought and tasted. “The nutrients we have were not wasted because they gave strength to a boy we can all be proud of for his kindness.”
The siopaos fell silent, shamed by the good deed shown by the boy they loathed and disliked.
So when the boy looked at them again, they saw him smiling at them. “Aling Bising, can I buy another siopao?” he said happily.
All of them siopaos raced to Aling Biling’s hand to be given to the boy-hero!
SIOPAO-breed of Chines origin made from marshed rice flour and baked to a round soft mass with various meat fillings which are either roasted (asado) or balled (bolabola).