Manapua Man

May 29th, 2008
By

Everyday on my way home from work there sits da Manapua Truck on the corner of Hoolaulea and Moanalua Road at the base of the arching foot bridge.

I've noticed him before but I guess he's gotten more popular because even cars stop by on the way home to pick up their favorite snack. The cars are parked on the grass, lawn and side streets oblivious to traffic coming and going. I almost banged (got banged) more times than I can count by both pedestrians pounding their grinds and trying to walk at the same time while dealing with vehicles making illegal turns to get back on the main road.

Wassap Wit Dat?

I no mind too much cause I already slowing down to make my turn and expect the famished people to not be in their right mind anyways but ahhh, doesn't thatbring back memories? Running across the street once you see da beat up old white Chevy van blaring some out of tune music with da sliding door open showing off all da snacks driving around?

Funny, I've nevah seen one haole do dat - always one Asian guy, usually one Chinee. Maybe cause the space so small dat only one Asian could fit. :lol: No need get all huffy and puffy - just one observation eh.

It was always good cheap grinds too! Bag noodles in da Ziploc or sandwich bag for fifty cents, pork hash - quarter, can soda - fifty cents. For two bucks or less you was au' good! Plus if you was lucky and early enough get some rice cake and some other stuff.

Not too much Manapua Van/Trucks any more - at least none that I see. Back in da day in intermediate (yeah, old school - they call 'em 'Middle School' now) da Manapua Man got banned and had to park supah far because of complaints from da neighboring homes - but nevah stop us. We was hungry and with all our after school activities and no transportation, da Manapua Man was a God send. Plus, we needed fffooood!

You got any Manapua Van/Truck stories? Favorite grinds? Any special concoctions you made? Your keiki get a chance fo' da Manapua Van experience? Another lost past time?

Extra shoyu and pepper please.  :razz:

Posted in WWD! | 38 Comments »

38 Responses to “Manapua Man”

  1. greymomma:

    wow! check this out, I'm 1st.....hoo hoo.......I remember the manapua man used to walk around with the pole on his back and 2 cans at the end of each one with manapua, pepeao, pork hash, and was always fresh....am i showing my age or what! anyways, then came the manapua van and yes it was a godsend to us who didn't have wheels to go to the store and the kids loved it-climbing on the top trying to look in the glass are to see what kind of goodies they could buy. our favorite was the noodles in the ziplock bag mmmmm so so ono. remember also when the ice cream man used to come around...yup dem were da daze.


  2. JuSaMee:

    i remember them days too...our guy was called "dan the manapua man" i would always buy 2 pork hash, hawaiian sun juice, and some kind of candy!! i LOVED the pork hash, even now days i'll eat one and it'll bring back memories from little kid time...and somehow those pork hash seemed to taste better than any i've ever eaten. ewa beach is the manapua van capitol of the world...meaning i think most of the "business owners" live down there!! as good as the memories are, now that i'm an adult and know about germs and whatever, i'd never eat from a manapua van again...ahh...ignorance is bliss! lol!


  3. wicked:

    We still have a manapua / snack truck that comes around Hilo - not so much in the neighborhoods- but mostly around the beaches and Lilliuokalani Park in the late afternoons. I am guilty of NOT buying anything. I'm usually out walking to burn off calories and when I see / hear that truck come around I summon up my will to resist! One time I did get up close to check out the prices and menu--very affordable, but I make it a habit of walking with my money locked in the car!

    Just the other day learned that the Hawaiian Plate lunch wagon that is usually parked near Hilo Bayfront area will be closing. Too bad...


  4. GA Bows:

    Ah. . . fried noodles and pork hash from da van, nothing could be better in those days!


  5. KPD:

    I remember growing up in Kaneohe that had our share of manapua men who drove through the neighborhood. One MM who drove through irregularly was an old man with a green VW van that sputtered its way around. This was circa 1980. Most unsightly thing was that the guy, at least on this one occasion, kept his stash of manapuas in a big green Hefty trash bag! I remember my friend and I asked him how much for a manapua, and the guy responded "Dhirty" (spelling like it sounded-$0.30). Afterwards, my friend joked that he should have replied to the MM, "We know its dirty, but how much is it?" As for the manapua- OK- no big chunks of meat, all finely grounded, perhaps cat meat? But that's another story that involves a friend going to his neighborhood friend's house (he lived somewhere else then) and seeing a bunch of cat tails.


  6. munch:

    oooh da manapua man in da van! there's one van that still goes around my neighborhood down by my grandma's house side...still da same white van and music too (except i think after all these years his cassette tape is wearing out. sound funny!). i remember hearing the music & running up the street to da manapua man's van with the sliding door open to you can see all the goodies in his glass case. candies, juice, pork hash, noodles, lumpia, manapua and cigarettes for the adults. and yeah BL, once in a while if we ran fast enough we could get rice cake :-D haven't gone to "da van" since intermediate days but he pulls up outside my grandma's hairdresser and she'll stop doing hair, run outside, and come back in with cigarettes, pork hash & something to drink....good times ;-)


  7. Braddah Lance:

    greymomma:
    wow! check this out, I’m 1st…..hoo hoo…….I remember the manapua man used to walk around with the pole on his back and 2 cans at the end of each one with manapua, pepeao, pork hash, and was always fresh….am i showing my age or what!

    So how old you? Still double digits right? :lol: j/k. So fo' real? Poles with cans? Wow. I wish I could have seen dat. Dat's cool.
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    JuSaMee:
    as good as the memories are, now that i’m an adult and know about germs and whatever, i’d never eat from a manapua van again

    Shhhhhh! Now all da guys who nevah eat there before not going. hee hee. But true dat! If I knew now back den, hmmm, maybe think twice about dat rice cake sitting in da window.
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    wicked:
    when I see / hear that truck come around I summon up my will to resist!

    You must be pretty strong! I no can resist.
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    GA Bows:
    Ah. . . fried noodles and pork hash from da van, nothing could be better in those days!

    Ain't dat da truth Braddah!
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    KPD:
    Afterwards, my friend joked that he should have replied to the MM, “We know its dirty, but how much is it?”

    Das funny. And no even get me started on da cat meat. Growing up, I was told it was cat and even at one point that McDonald's hamburgers were kangaroo meat. Who these mean Uncle's eh? But funny dat "everyone" heard da same story...same Uncle?
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    munch:
    …still da same white van and music too (except i think after all these years his cassette tape is wearing out. sound funny!).

    Yeah, cassette. I tink dey all went copy da same tape das why.


  8. frankie:

    I dunno about dat one, homie...there was this manapua man (Mr. Leu/Lew) who used to come by our intermediate school and he got busted for putting cat meat in his manapua!!


  9. greymomma:

    yeah BL still dbl digits. but yeah they used to walk around with the chinee hat and the poles with the cans-the kupuna should remembah. and they were skinny people. I often wondered how they could hold the weight on their shoulders. but talk about fresh meat...
    and talking about cat meat...in Wahiawa at the manapua restaurant behind Marian's catering always used to have cats many many many cats running around....hmmmm what are the chances huh...but the manapua was ono...o yuck...(sorry no offense ova dere)


  10. acuradriver02:

    When I was younger, I lived overseas. I still remember a lady that walked around selling chicken (I guess I would characterize it as boiled chicken, kinda like the ginger chicken) with salt & pepper. I still remember once when my mom wasn't home, it was just my little sis and I at home. She kept telling me she was hungry, so I dug out all my loose change/allowance and found enough money to buy a chicken to feed my little sis and me. I think I was 5 years old at the time, so my mom was pretty impressed that I figured all of this out.

    The cat meat...reminds me of a joke my dad told me. What do you call a pet shop next to the Chinese restaurant? Restaurant supply. Yes, ignorance is certainly bliss!!


  11. Coconut Willy:

    In the morning I see a buss up white van parked at Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako. I was wondering what is sold from this van? I see mostly construction or trucker types walking up. Anybody know?


  12. M:

    Like greymomma said , I remember the manana pua man walking house to house then came the vans driving around the neighhoods.


  13. Ukuhead:

    Wicked/CW,
    You guys remember the manapua man that used to live off Kinoole St until he got busted for selling pakalolo? Or was dat just a rumour?


  14. MoOgooGuypAN:

    Brah, I lived off the manapua man. BTW, why we called them the "manapua man"? I never bought manpua from those trucks. Funny. Brah, if you like plenty of those trucks go down Ewa Beach across Campbell High, get choke. I used to love hitting up the "MP man" after school. Here's the usual order...bag noodles, 2 pork hash, small suicide soda, pop rocks and nerds. Ho da winnah chicken dinner. My mom would wonder why i was never hungry for dinner...cause i ate already, hahahaha.
    Oh oh, I remember why I never buy Manapua from the "MP-guy", cause everyone said was dead cat. hahaha.


  15. snow:

    Ahh, BL, I know my husband and son went to buy noodles at that manapua truck you mentioned, just the other day! Hopefully, they weren't one of the ones causing traffic hassles!! My son and his friends used to go every so often after middle school but, now that he's in high school, he only goes if my husband takes him on the way home.

    We used to have a manapua truck come to our intermediate school for a while. Everyone would buy noodles, but... I don't remember anyone buying manapua! LOL. But, it was still a tasty treat after school!


  16. Coconut Willy:

    I never had any direct contact with the Manapua Man. I think that tale of cat meat is synonymous with manapua. I used to hear that all the time sine elementary school.

    I do remember a Japanese man stopping at my Grandmothers house selling vegetables and stuff.


  17. BananaFish:

    Ah, we nevah have manapua man in our neighborhood when I was growing up.

    The closest thing was the little store across the street from the intermediate school. No manapua, but had hot dog and icee. And Yick Lung Nibbits. :)

    Now that store has manapua, but I think the kind you buy from Costco. I rather have spam musubi or a couple of hot dogs. At least cat-free, right? ;)


  18. Ynaku:

    I miss da Manapua Man dat used to come into the neighborhood up Wainaku Camp 2. Mr. Lee in his big panel truck. Now I think it's Mister D down da beach side. Since the trucks don't come around anymore, I get my Manapua fix from Pinky's in Papaikou. But 1 hot dog, 1 manapua and large coke from da machine for $4.75. Get Pork Hash too. That's the breakfast of champions whenever I head out this way. Always made it a routine to stop there after going to the transfer station to dump trash. I have wipes and LARGE bottle Hand Sanitizer in truck (refer to earlier blog).
    When young kid time, the same uncle told us about the cat meat. I stopped eating manapua for YEARS! WWD!!! Now no can hold me back.


  19. kako mochi:

    in high school, my bf lived at mayor wrights . . . there was always a manapua van!! i remember not seeing one for soo long that when i saw it at the housing, i was automatically hungry for some grinds!! LOL :)

    one time at my parent's house in pearl city, we heard the music coming down our street, i was all happy . . . come to find out . . . it was an ice cream truck :( bum my trip!!


  20. Braddah Lance:

    frankie:
    I dunno about dat one, homie…there was this manapua man (Mr. Leu/Lew) who used to come by our intermediate school and he got busted for putting cat meat in his manapua!!

    Ai-yah. Manapua from Chun Wah Kam for me only now.
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    greymomma:
    yeah BL still dbl digits. but yeah they used to walk around with the chinee hat and the poles with the cans-the kupuna should remembah. and they were skinny people. I often wondered how they could hold the weight on their shoulders.

    Yeah, now dat's a picture of a hard earned dollah!
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    acuradriver02:
    I still remember once when my mom wasn’t home, it was just my little sis and I at home. She kept telling me she was hungry, so I dug out all my loose change/allowance and found enough money to buy a chicken to feed my little sis and me. I think I was 5 years old at the time, so my mom was pretty impressed that I figured all of this out.

    I'm impressed too...so Fun Factory tokens are good overseas? :lol: j/k
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    Coconut Willy:
    In the morning I see a buss up white van parked at Mother Waldron Park in Kakaako. I was wondering what is sold from this van? I see mostly construction or trucker types walking up. Anybody know?

    Nope. Maybe it's da guy off Kinoole St. :shock:
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    M:
    Like greymomma said , I remember the manana pua man walking house to house then came the vans driving around the neighhoods.

    Next thing you know you going be able to text your order in. :wink:
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    Ukuhead:
    Wicked/CW,
    You guys remember the manapua man that used to live off Kinoole St until he got busted for selling pakalolo? Or was dat just a rumour?

    Ooohhh, I knew there was something in dat pork "hash". :lol: C'mon, dat was a little funny.
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    MoOgooGuypAN:
    Brah, I lived off the manapua man. BTW, why we called them the “manapua man”?

    You know, I wonder the same thing. I nevah bought manapua from them.
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    snow:
    Ahh, BL, I know my husband and son went to buy noodles at that manapua truck you mentioned, just the other day! Hopefully, they weren’t one of the ones causing traffic hassles!!

    Next time I going yell "ssssnnnnnoooooooow" as I zoom by and see who looks up. :wink:
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    Coconut Willy:
    I never had any direct contact with the Manapua Man.

    Wat, you live in Hawaii Kai? :lol:
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    BananaFish:
    ...And Yick Lung Nibbits.

    Oh yeah, Nibbits. I used to eat da whole package...den lick my fingahs! Yum.
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    Ynaku:
    When young kid time, the same uncle told us about the cat meat. I stopped eating manapua for YEARS! WWD!!! Now no can hold me back.

    Yeah, same hea'. Everytime I see da fat in da there, I go "ugh" and throw out the fat and da surrounding meat cause all I "hear" is 'meow'.
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    kako mochi:
    one time at my parent’s house in pearl city, we heard the music coming down our street, i was all happy . . . come to find out . . . it was an ice cream truck bum my trip!!

    But see, you trained just like a mousey. Hear da song, come runnin'...so sad, me too. :lol:


  21. Rodney:

    Coconut Willy is talking about the Yasai-man. Before you guys time.
    BananaFish is from Maui so hot dog is Maui manapua.

    In Kailua, before the manapua man, there was a guy who drove around a big white panel truck with ice cream bar stickers all on the side. He sold ice cream and candy and played "Raindrops keep falling on my head" though the loudspeaker. We didn't have money to buy anything so just to have fun, from inside the house we used to yell out "STOP!". He would stop for a few seconds, the start rolling along again when we'd again yell "STOP!". Rotten kids, eh?

    I also remember coming home from high school and falling on my bed, just to rest my eyes for a few minutes before getting ready for work. The neighborhood was quiet except for the lone tune of "Raindrops keep falling on my head". It was just like a lullaby to me. Next thing you know, I was late for work.


  22. Jason:

    Still get manapua man in Salt Lake. I see him by the high school on Fridays when I stop by, waiting for last bell.


  23. 9th Island Girl:

    I remember the yasai man, Rodney! My brother and I used to get Good News candy from him.


  24. mclovin:

    eh bradda lance,

    Back in the sixties I was four, we lived off of Kapiolani Blvd next to the Moilili Japanese cemetary. I remember the manapua man would come down the street with two metal garbage cans filled with manapua hanging from a yoke straddled over his neck. Yelling "Manapua!, Manapua". Man those were the days! I also fondly remember riding with my uncles picking up slop for their pig farm making the round in chinatown. I was around 10 and the shop owners would look at us with our dirty clothes and feel sorry for us and give us free manapua!


  25. Ukuhead:

    <blockquoteI do remember a Japanese man stopping at my Grandmothers house selling vegetables and stuff.

    Was this the green van?


  26. mjstc:

    Along the Hamakua coast just north of Hilo, there was this filipino man who drove a step/panel van, which was a traveling market (he also had a store in the area), and visited some of the plantation camps once or twice a week. (yep, i have a plantation upbringing but luckily I don't have a plantation mentality, or maybe i do). Anyways, no manapua or arrival tune (just blasted his horn), but had almost everything else - fruits and vegetables, canned goods, ice cream/popsicles in a small chill w/ four lids, candies, sodas, chips, seeds, hair brushes, clothes pins, slippers, small toys, daily newspaper, etc...fond memories of back then.


  27. DaBomb:

    Anyone remember the frozen shaved ice with the "Li Hing Mui Seed" in the center for 50 cent?

    Man those were the days.

    Here's my Favorite Manaupa Van Order

    1 bag fried saimin = $0.50
    1 fried chicken = $0.50
    2 pork hash = $0.50 ($0.25 each)
    1 soda = $0.50
    Total Cost: $2.00

    Manapua Van Food Memories = PRICELESS!!!


  28. mjstc:

    ...forgot to say, the unique thing about this filipino man's van/traveling market was that you got to actually shop. one entered from the passenger's side step and could walk down a middle aisle leading towards the rear, w/ all his goods cramped on the dash, floor, sides or hanging from the ceiling. he'd usually sit on the driver's seat or help a customer find something, and one paid before exiting...


  29. Braddah Lance:

    Rodney:
    The neighborhood was quiet except for the lone tune of “Raindrops keep falling on my head”. It was just like a lullaby to me. Next thing you know, I was late for work.

    Will dat be your excuse next week? "Da Manapua Man made me late!" :lol:
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    Jason:
    Still get manapua man in Salt Lake. I see him by the high school on Fridays when I stop by, waiting for last bell.

    Like shooting fish in a barrel. He probably da same guy dat I used to go to back in da day.
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    mclovin:
    I remember the manapua man would come down the street with two metal garbage...

    Nowadays, we just call dat moving....I know, I know - bad joke. :razz:
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    mjstc:
    ...but had almost everything else - fruits and vegetables, canned goods, ice cream/popsicles in a small chill w/ four lids, candies, sodas, chips, seeds, hair brushes, clothes pins, slippers, small toys, daily newspaper, etc…fond memories of back then.

    Wow! Like one traveling 7-11 yeah?
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    DaBomb:
    Here’s my Favorite Manaupa Van Order

    1 bag fried saimin = $0.50
    1 fried chicken = $0.50
    2 pork hash = $0.50 ($0.25 each)
    1 soda = $0.50
    Total Cost: $2.00

    Manapua Van Food Memories = PRICELESS!!!

    Solid! Das one winnah!


  30. opso:

    *sniff sniff*......da manapua man neva come pass my house. I had to ride my bike (uphill both ways mind you) over to my friends house in order catch him. Dis guy neva had music....he just yelled out. "MAAANAAAPUAAAA!!"

    The stupid thing was that I would have to pass all the STORES and BAKERIES in town on my way to my friends house. WWD!
    Guess was more of a novelty to buy from him.


  31. book2:

    i remember the manaoua man when i usae to work for libewrtyh house on south street diostribution ctr (where south st. was both ways "70s)..
    my cousins Ah Kung (sp)(grandpa) use to be one manapua man... my auntie said, one time somebody tried hassling him and he kicked the guys butt from here to timbuktoo( where ever dat is)... who da known dat Ah Kung was one mean kung fu guy.. aftah dat nobody boddah him and dey all go buy his manapuas, (REAL STORY)


  32. hemajang:

    No manapua man in our country neighborhood, small kid time. But had ice cream man. Drove around in this jeep and I'm trying to remember if he had music on a loud speaker or was it a bell? Anyway, we had dirt road, no pave street so jeep ice cream man was good. Don't know his name but was one japanese man with a thin mustache. I do remember having to frantically look for change and running out the screen door when you hear the ice cream man. Was especially good when he came when us kids were playing out in the street. I think the choices were popsicle, creamsicle, ice cream cone or small cup of either vanilla, strawberry or chocolate...what was the cost?...think was around 10 cents. This was the 50's. I think he came weekly or bi-weekly. Usually, if wanted snacks, I use to ride bike to shokai store about mile away for crack seed, ika or candy.


  33. Mrs. R:

    My memory favorite memory of the manapua man was in highschool. My dad was dropping me off at my friends house just as the beat up van was coming up the street. I bolted out of my dads car and called for my friend to come out. We both headed to the van. The next thing I know my dad ordered me back to his car and insisted that i wasn't getting in the van with THAT man.
    Dad being a white guy, wasn't familiar with the bus' up ride of grindz and thought we had a hot date with the manapua man!


  34. rn2b:

    wow i actually had to really think back about the manapua man (oops am i aging myself?) those vans were a god send when we had the munchies (if you know what i mean) hey i from ewa beach brah!!!! :)


  35. suka:

    Eh braddah Lance! Yea, growing up in Kalihi, the manapua man used to come around. He would be carrying two 5 gal Hilo Cracker cans on his shoulder tied across to a stick... full of manapua, pepeau, and ricecake... da white sticky kine! He was a PI... or was he just a suntanned Chinese. Cannot remember! Dis was back in the early 60's, so some kine long time ago! But hoo boy... was sooooo ono!!! We always used to look for him coming down da street after school. Hmmm, come to think of it, was elementary time. Oopsss... dating myself, but das ok!

    Back den, also had grocery trucks (don't remember exactly what dey was called), but on those small trucks had all kine groceries, crackers, bread, just about anything... and even fresh aku iced up sitting in white plastic buckets in the back of the truck. My mom used to buy one whole aku, cut um up, cook um all kine ways. We lived in the housing back den, so was kinda poor, but we neva starve because my mom took care of us! She's simply da best!!!!

    Sure brings back memories of good (but poor times) growing up in Kalihi! No pilikia... was a good life and I'm grateful! I think nowadays, the keiki would have loved it too! Too bad no more manapua man anymore!


  36. kaiyo:

    in my neighborhood in kaneohe we had that white van. with the chinese guy driving it for years now. i youve ever seen his fingers he missing one of his pointers! story goes is that he was cutting something... pork hash,chicken or something like that and he chopped it off! i was always hesitant to buy food. just stuck to candy soda and saimin. hes the man though. good times.


  37. Steven:

    Steven

    ) Some individuals or companies have abused the TrackBack feature to insert spam links on some blogs (see sping). The TrackBack specification


  38. Jackey Too Old:

    The manapua man with the bamboo pole and 2 cans was a regular in Kapahulu during the 50's. By the time the 60's rolled around, it was the Pakalolo Man - and he wasn't walking around with the stick and cans, nor driving a white van.