University Back by Popular Demand: Enraged social media groups demand return of Zaide & Animo stalls
University Back by Popular Demand: Enraged social media groups demand return of Zaide & Animo stalls
Back by Popular Demand: Enraged social media groups demand return of Zaide & Animo stalls
April 19, 2013
April 19, 2013

Photo by Ren Rebadomia

In a surprising turn of events, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services (AVCCS) has clarified the results of this year’s bidding for the independent concessionaires to be selected for operation within the canteen spaces at St. La Salle Hall, Br. Bloemen Hall, the Enrique Razon Sports Complex and the 6th floor of Br. Andrew Gonzalez Hall.

La Casita Roja Fast Food technically won the bid for all three available canteen spaces, the AVCCS has permitted independently-run stalls from Zaide and Animo to operate in the said eating spaces.

AVCCS Josemari Calleja states that he has been ordered by top-ranking administrators and members of the multi-sectoral Dining Services committee to hold the decision proceedings for next year’s set of concessionaires. Moreover, he has also been instructed to update provisions to the memorandum allowing independently-run stalls to operate in spaces belonging to La Casita for a certain fee.

“Nothing to worry about, as technically we have already arranged everything for a smooth transition to next year’s canteen service providers,” he says. “We are renovating the canteen space at St. La Salle, and we have some very exciting prospects for the student center [in Br. Bloemen].”

Zaide Food Corp., DLSU’s oldest canteen, left the University last month to give way to the creation of a new student center to be situated in its old location, Br. Bloemen Hall. Zaide did not participate in the bidding for the three canteen spaces in Razon, Andrew and the LS Building.

Animo Food Haus participated in the bidding for the three spaces, but lost its slot on the ground floor of LS Building.

La Casita Roja Fast Food, more commonly known as La Casita, is presumed to have won the bidding process and will be taking over the spaces previously occupied by Zaide and Animo. For the past two years, La Casita has consistently scored the highest marks in the sanitary inspections conducted by the multi-sectoral Canteen Inspection Committee.

Calleja says that the public outcry is understandable. “Of course people reacted when the canteens changed, but people will eventually have to accept that sometimes these changes are for the better.”


Facebook fury

Alumni, student, and faculty members of the 5,000 Like-strong Facebook-based movement ‘IBALIK ANG MGA TUNAY NA CANTEEN NG LA SALLE’ (IBALIK) have aggressively lobbied for greater transparency in the canteen bidding process and have petitioned directly to the Brother President for a reconsideration of the bidding results.

DLSU President and Chancellor Br. Ricky Laguda FSC shares that IBALIK is not the only group protesting the change in canteens. He reveals in an interview, “I know that the change in canteens followed the due process. While people do hold the canteens dear, my e-mail inbox has been spammed with distasteful protest messages.

“We, the administration, continue to consult with our stakeholders on these significant community concerns. I have personally spoken with the Dining Services committee and asked them to make reasonable considerations for the wishes of alumni, faculty, and students.”

With 2,000 likes and counting, Facebook group WALA NA ANG FRENCH TOAST NG ANIMO continues to petition specifically for the return of Animo Food Haus’ sandwich stall. Following at a close 1,800 Likes is the similar group TURON!!! NG ANIMO!!!, whose web administrator has also called for an online solicitations campaign to donate to the canteen staff.


Vox populi

In possible reaction to the online clamor, the Dining Services committee has permitted several former stalls in Zaide and Animo to run operations while shelling out rent at 20 percent of its earnings for use of the space.

The committee has agreed to permit stalls serving particular food, as listed in the March 14 Facebook note by IBALIK. These include the Zaide sandwich stall run by JM Cimafranca, and the Zaide steak counter, now to operate at the LS Building. For Animo, the stalls being considered for return include the sandwich and French toast stall, the fried foods stall serving banana fritters, and the Korean proprietorship Happy House.

IBALIK page administrator Gail Ang Pong (II, ECM-APC) says, “They were doing something wrong for these people [canteens] and were gerrymandering the whole process. It just seemed wrong. At least they’re doing something to address the issue now, but we’ll see.”

Certain students are excited for the possible comeback of the aforementioned Zaide and Animo stalls. “I felt sad when I heard that Zaide is closing down. It had a long history with us. It’s a good thing the administration listens to the students,” says Neens Alejandro (III, AB-OSDM).

Marinel Teves (II, CAM-MKT) shares the same sentiment. Teves expresses, “I’m really happy to hear they may come back, especially the turon and French toast. I want to eat them again!”

Some students have expressed dismay with the current bidding winner, La Casita. “The food in La Casita is expensive and has small servings. Why are they the ones to stay?” Steven Eriga (III, AB-DSM) complains.

Meanwhile, Luis Gayares (II, AB-POM) feels more secure with La Casita’s performance in the cleanliness assessment of the Canteen Inspections committee. Gayares is nonetheless content about the return of Zaide and Animo. He shares, “I’m glad, because they’d continue serving good food and socializing with the students.”

Final canteen arrangements will be finalized before the first term starts on May 27, 2013.