FOR a muscular guy who stands 6-foot-6, Eric Menk sure looked nervous with his hands shaking as he held an object far smaller than his fist.
The former PBA MVP, though, could not be blamed as he took on a challenge that’s daunting for most Filipino-Americans like him who grew up abroad: eating a balut for the first time.
Menk, who’s not officially retired but hasn’t played in the PBA since September, has been busy with his website, posting video blogs and creating episodes for his Staying Major podcasts. And for his vlog on Wednesday, the four-time PBA champion decided on doing what he’s been putting off for almost past 20 years he has lived in the Philippines — to eat a balut.
“I’ve heard a lot about balut. People ask me all the time because I didn’t grow up here, because I’m a Filipino-American if I’ve tried balut. And I’ve always said no. And the answer is always like, ‘C’mon you’re a Filipino, you got to at least try it,” he said on his vlog. “So today, we’re going to try it.”
Menk read up on techniques on how to eat balut, and even employed a trusted friend for a guide. Plus, he even had a beer to go with his first balut experience. The man himself admitted that he was nervous before he ate it, and it showed as his hands were shaking in peeling the egg shells.
Then the main event happened, as Menk put the balut sans the hard white part into his mouth and chomped away. He looked a little shocked as he chewed it down, but with some beer to wash it down, he managed to show a big smile as he finished.
“Fear is not a factor, I did it,” a relieved Menk said before passing on the second balut he meant to it as well.
“It wasn’t horrible, I didn’t feel like throwing up. For all those people that asked me if I’ve tried balut, I can say I have. I’m happy that the beer was here. I’m happy it’s over. I’ve been nervous about this for days, but I conquered the balut challenge,” he added.
Fair warning to balut-lovers, the video below might be mouth-watering.
Then he went on to challenge fellow Fil-Ams Ali Peek and Danny Seigle to do the same on his Facebook post.
“I want to issue a challenge to my fellow Filipino-Americans, specifically Ali Peek, Danny Seigle. I want to see you post a video either on Instagram or Facebook, showing that you can conquer the balut challenge. Film it, put it out there, challenge more people,” he said.