1 bangus or milk fish (grilled)
1 cup pumpkin (cut into cubes)
1 medium ampalaya or bitter gourd (sliced)
2 cups kangkong (cut into 2 inches length)
3 tbs fermented shrimp paste or bagoong
3 cups water
2 eggplants (chopped)
10 string beans (cut into 2 inches length)
3 tomatoes (cut into big pcs)
1 large onion (chopped)
6 okra (cut)
Boil the water in a big pot, drop in the tomatoes and onions and season with shrimp paste. When boiling, Pour in Pumpkin and string beans. Let it cook for a minute and next, pour in ampalaya, eggplant, kangkong and top it with the grilled fish. Cover and simmer until vegetables are well cooked. Serve hot with steamed rice.
Caraballo Mountains are mountains in central Luzon inhabited by a community called Ilongot. These are thickly forested mountains close to the upper end of Cagayan Valley; separating it from the Central Plains of Luzon. Caraballo reaches an elevation of about 5,500 ft or 1,680 m. and joining the Central Cordillera to the north and the Sierra Madre to the east. Drained by the headwaters of the northward flowing Cagayan River, the mountains are heavily forested. Trails and roads did develop through these mountains but they were difficult to cross and many times would be destroyed by rain and mud slides during rainy season. Because these mountains offered no known economic benefits, people were also left isolated from the lowlands. They also serve to discourage travel between central Luzon and Nueva Vizcaya.
Bataan Death March- forced march of 70,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war captured by the Japanese in the Philippines during world war II. Starting out from Mariveles, at the southern end of Bataan Peninsula, on April 9, 1942, these soldiers were forced-marched 88 km to San Fernando Pampanga, then taken by trail to Capas, from there they walked for the remaining 13 km to Camp O’Donnell. They were tortured, starved and often kicked or beaten on their way. Those who fell were bayoneted. Around 7,000- 10,000 perished on the way while some were able to scape to the jungle. Only 54,000 reached the camp.
After the war, the Japanese commander who led the invasion of the Philippines, Gen. Homma Masaharu was charged by the U.S. military commission in Manila on February 1946 as the one responsible for the death march. Convicted, he was executed on April 3.
Batangas City- located in the southern part of Luzon, lies a small plain on the west bank of the Calumpang river about 1.6 km from the cost of Batangas Bay, which emerges through straits ultimately unto the south China Sea. The city is connected with Manila, about 110 km north, by good roads and by coastwise shipping to Mindoro Island.
Palawan is a long and narrow large island in the south westernmost side of the Philippines and trends northeast southwest between the South China Sea and Sulu Seas. It has an area of 11,785 sq/km, a maximum width of 39 km, and a mountainous backbone that runs its entire 434km in length, with Mt Mantalingajan measuring 2,085 m high in the south as its highest peak. There are about 1,800 smaller islands and islets lie near Palawan; the main island groups are the Calamian (north), Cuyo islands (northeast) and the Balabak-Bugsuk (south). Puerto Princesa, on the east central coast of the island, is the capital.
The Balabac-Bugsuk group is originally a remnant of a land bridge that connected Palawan and Borneo during the Pleistocene epoch; for this reason the wildlife and vegetation closely resemble to those of Borneo than to those of other Philippine islands.
150 gm pack dried taro leaves or gabi
3 big mature coconuts
2 tbs crushed garlic
Â½ cup crushed ginger
1 stalk lemon grass tied in bundle
250 gm dried fish any meaty ones will do
250gm pork, diced
2 cups water
2 tbs chilli (siling labuyo)
salt to taste
Have the coconuts grated and squeeze until the milk is well extracted. Strain the pulp out of the milk and set aside. This should be the kakang gata or first squeezed coconut milk. Add another 1 Â½ cup of water in the pulp and repeat the process. Put this 2nd squeezed milk in the pan or wok. Add all the ingredients except laing, and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. When the mixture has thickened, add the laing or taro leaves. Stir occasionally over medium heat. When almost dry, add the kakang gata, salt or a pinch of sugar (optional). Cook over low heat until cocnut milk turned almost into oil. Serve hot or cold with rice.
In Mindanao, most cuisines are influenced by the exotic taste bud of the Malays. Spices such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, chillies, lemon grass roasted coconut are present in most of their dishes. Their Seafood platter is prepared raw, grilled or fried; or put in soups based in lemon grass, ginger and green papaya and in some ways mixed with coconut cream and turmeric.
Chicken curry, a popular dish in most eastern countries, is prepared in Mindanao with taro in a stinging spicy curry sauce.
Every province boasts of having the best version of adobo. In most parts of the country adobo is prepared with soy sauce, vinegar and garlic, and thus turning its sauce slightly darker. Zamboanga’s adobo, however, prepared similarly but thickened with coconut cream, resulting it to have a more distinct character and taste. The province also is famous for its various way of serving root crops and rice. Glutinous rice is mixed with spices, coconut milk and prawns; or prepared with turmeric and pimento. Cassava, is boiled and grated into cakes or any other sweet pastries.
As the province composed of largest Spanish influence, Zamboanga’s cusido or commonly called pochero is a traditional Sunday platter served similarly to that of Spanish cusido, with sausages, pork ribs, salted pork, sweet potatoes corn and cooking banana or locally called saba. It is a famous dish that made Zamboanga cuisine a delightful blend of east and west.
The Visayas is a gathering of big and small islands in the middle part of the archipelago where cuisine and delicacies vary according to their ancestral influences.
Natives in the Visayas don’t pass their day without any dish from the sea. Kinilaw is a common dish every Visayan prepare during a good catch. It refers to the marinating of freshest fish or shellfish in vinegar or any souring ingredients for eating raw. In Dumaguete, Leyte, Cebu and Bohol, kinilaw is prepared with coconut cream, palm wine vinegar, lime and chillies. Slightly different from a regular kinilaw which is prepared by soaking the fish in vinegar, and seasoned with lime, ginger, chillies, onion, spring onions and garlic.
The delicious Chinese noodle soup called Pancit molo of Iloilo are dumplings filled with minced chicken, pork and prawn cooked in a tasty soup that turns out a common dish in most Filipino restaurants.
Another dish Ilongo contributed to the lush cuisine of the country is the mouth-watering lumpiang ubod– heart of palm in fresh crepes, slightly mixed with shrimp and strips of pork meat.
Ilongos also shared a tasty dish with Bacolod locals called Binakol– a chicken soup dish based not from chicken stock but on Buko juice or juice from young coconut.
Bacolod also has Inasal or barbequed chicken marinated in kalamansi, a local citrus and atsuete or annatto, reddish seed used for food coloring.
The Ilocos region, where several provinces share similar customs, language and food, has delicacies made up of rice and vegetables derived basically from the richness of their mountainous dry land. Most of their specialty are seasoned with fermented fish sauce.
The region is famous for its Pinakbet– a mixture of several vegetables such as squash, okra, eggplant, ampalaya or bitter gourd and string beans cooked with bagoong or fermented fish paste. The way this dish is prepared varies in different regions. Some parts of Ilocos, which are closer to the sea, top a pinakbet based in soup with grilled fish, leaving the vegetables cooked until tender and seasoned with bagoong or fermented fish. Other’s cook this dish with sauteed pork in garlic, onion, tomatoes and shrimp paste along with assorted vegetables.
Another authentic Ilocano dish is Dinengdeng. Malunggay or its fruit boiled in watery soup, seasoned with bagoong and topped with grilled fish.
Ilocanos also are keen about grilled ampalaya with bagoong or fermented fish as the sauce dip.
Ilocano delicacies sought to have been healthier than others but their regular use of fermented fish called bagoong, gets them closer to health impairment. Bagnet (dried pork belly) is an interesting dish, deep fried with bagoong until skin turns crispy.
They also have made Longanisa famous all over the country as a main Filipino breakfast dish. It is a sweet fatty ground pork sausage basically fried and eaten with rice in the morning.
Horrible as it may seem, aside from Cordillera region, Ilocos is another place where dog meat is a delicacy. Asucena is a dog meat dish cooked in thick tomato sauce, green peas and breadcrumbs. Locals from Benguet and mountain province say that eating this meat gives them extra strength and courage working in the steep mountains of Cordillera.
Bicol’s regular use of gata or coconut cream and chilli in all its dishes marked the region with authenticity of Asian cuisine. Chilli or “Sili” and coconut cream locally called “gata” come together appetizingly with rice and lots of water to cool down its spicy taste.
The famous Laing or Pinangat is a delicious native dish prepared in bundles of taro leaves, filled with shredded taro leaves, bits of meat or shrimp, lots of chillies, ginger, garlic and onion; then cooked steadily in coconut cream. Most main dishes in the region are based in gata and sili particularly the way vegetables are cooked. May it be banana blossom, jackfruit, or any edible plant, Bicolanos transform it into a delicious dish topped with chillies, which according to them best before a vigorous activity.
Bicol Express so far is everyone’s choice when asked about Bicol’s specialty. It is a mixture of pork meat and shrimp paste sautÃ©ed in tomatoes and onions and lots and lots of green chili strips simmered in coconut cream. This dish is a classic favorite of Bicolano farmers specially taken before an energetic activity to enhance their endurance at work.
Kinunot, is an unusual dish prepared with pagi or stingray meat and kalunggay or malunggay- an edible tree leaf used in many local dishes. Just like other bicol dishes, the main ingredients, stingray meat and malunggay, are simmered in coconut cream and green chillies along with some slices of onion and garlic.