I got to meet Fernando Zobel de Ayala today! Aside from being from one of the most prominent families in the country, he is also the chairman of the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation. It is this foundation that gives the BPI-DOST Science Awards (then known as the BPI Science Awards the year I received it).
Wow, that was almost ten years ago!
Today's encounter with Mr Zobel de Ayala brought back good old (read: blooper) memories of when the 2002 awardees were gathered at the 1851 Club in Makati...
It was the first time I was going to eat lunch at such a fancy restaurant, and without my parents at that. I, with my fellow UPLB awardees, was looking at the menu and decided to get the filet mignon, thinking that this was a fish dish. Yes, my only other encounter with 'filet' at that time was Fillet-o-Fish.
When the filet mignon arrived, I was so startled that I blurted out loud what I was thinking: "Filet mignon is NOT a fish?!?" Instead, on my plate was a piece of appetizing meat. It looked so good to eat that I forgot it wasn't fish. As I was cutting the meat, I realized that it was medium rare; it was the FIRST intentionally medium rare meat I've ever seen. Once again, I just had to exclaim: "There's blood on the meat! It's not cooked yet!"
This country bumpkin was so startled that she forgot that she was eating lunch with the rest of the awardees (mostly from Manila universities) and the BPI Foundation officers.
A few hours later, I learned that filet mignon was truly what I got. :)