after pizza... ssalted egg pizza, sound new right?
It was a beautiful Saturday morning when we started our culinary trip to Pampanga
. The bus was packed with students who were all excited to see what's known to be the center of culinary in the country. The group started with a prayer to be enlighten and be guided for the whole journey. A travel to north part outside Manila
is my first time. And I'm proud to admit I was very excited. I researched the place a night before the trip, as I always do every time I planned to visit a new place. Checked below for some of the information I gathered.
Pampanga is a province of the Philippine
s located in the Central Luzon region.
where is our lunch?
Its capital is the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Pampanga is bordered by the provinces of Bataan
and Zambales to the west, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija to the north, and Bulacan to the southeast. Pampanga also lies on the northern shore of Manila Bay. The name "La Pampanga" was given by the Spaniards who found the early natives living near the river banks. It also served as the capital of the archipelago for two years from 1762-1764 during the British invasion of Manila. The word pampang, from which the province's name originates, means river bank. Its creation in 1571 makes it the first Spanish province in the Philippines. The Province of Pampanga persistently claims that it is the culinary capital of the Philippines.
There is no firm evidence for this claim since each province in the Philippines has its own unique cuisine. Pampanga is served by the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, which is located at Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, some 16 kilometers north of the provincial capital. The province is home to two air bases under the Philippine Air Force. They are the Basa Air Base in Floridabalanca and the former U.S. Clark Air Base in Angeles City. The inhabitants of Pampanga are generally referred to as Kapampangans (alternatively spelled Capampañgan), Pampangos, or Pampangueños. A little history of Pampanga shows that the Kapampangans take pride in their province for being one of the eight provinces in the country to revolt against Spain and having produced two presidents, three chief justices, a senate president, the first Filipino cardinal and many outstanding personalities in public service, education, diplomacy, journalism, the arts and sciences, entertainment and business.
tea, rice cake, pork blood, bacon, etc... and of course RICE!
Kapampangan cuisine is widely thought to be among the most evolved and refined of Philippine culinary traditions.
As I sit back on the bus, I am eager and happy to see the place. It took us an hour and plus before we got in to our first stop. The bus went from a highway to a small narrow road that was looked like a private road already. It stopped to an old filipino-hispanic house of Boromeo's. My eyes were widely open as a new morning sun gave its heat to the day. I saw the gate designed just like what we have in my province in Negros. The house gave its welcome with the stoned made stairways to the second floor. The typical filipino houses with hispanic influence. It was an old house, so basically, we did not have the chance of getting in. The buffet breakfast and demonstrations were made downstairs as to ESPACIO.
The camera lights were flashing and zooming to all stuff that our eyes newly saw. It's like having a picture taking in a museum. The students where also having their Make-me-a-super-model pose, which also includes myself. It was a fun and full tommy activity. The Traditional coffee making, a version of latte or cappuccino, was very great. It was made by using an old bronze pitcher and using a especially made ladle that is turned using a palm in clapping position to create a foam within the liquids. The dinuguan version, a cooked blood and intestines of a pig, was a new thing to my taste buds. It was a bit chunky and sour flavor yet excellent in result. After the tommy tucked eating, there was a demonstration for SAN NICOLAS BISCUIT making. For this demonstration, I was amazed because it is considered as an oldest way in biscuit making inherited from Spaniards.
It was also told that it is very hard to find the recipe of the said biscuits. Which made my interest to copy and listen attentively. The craft used were also old and seems like delicate and holy since all were with SAINTS designs.
We moved to a store just 30 minutes drive away from our first stop. The specialty was the TURRONES DE CASOY, a nougats version of cashew. The taste were heavenly sweet. And one specialty was SANS RIVAL. I like the taste but as a critic to the sweet, I would prefer the one we had in my city. I could say our SANS RIVAL is way better taste. Laugh! Sounds bias, right? Anyway, as our journey went through we proceed to a mild-exotic food adventure to a resort. They catered a fried frog and Kamaro. Well, just like FEAR-FACTOR...we need to taste not for a dollar price but price as experience.
The stuffed frog making was a-little EWWWWW! For I do support animal rights! Just imagine yourself being peeled alive. Oh, btw, as to demo when cutting the head of the frog. It doesn't mean when the head is separate from the body means death. The frog still kicked as he separated into two pieces. Final conviction in taste: frog like chicken and kamaro taste like chips with extra aroma.
At last, heavy meal was up. Lunch on a man-made lake with cottage floating. The mid day meal was great. Steamed chicken, fried frog and kamaro, milk fish with herbs, soup made with cornmeal thickener and pinakbet. With fresh buko and soda made our throat perfect to converse and tell stories.
Then we went to a historical church were half part sank down due to volcanic eruption. The 50% based were covered with dry lava.
oh frog... yeah its a frog! ... i didnt eat not my choice of food...hahahha
Yet the restructure was good. And perfect for our model-like pose. Dropping by was not a regret even the heavy heat was piercing our skin. We straighten ahead to a Museum to summarized the whole history of Pampanga and we dropped by to a UNIVERSITY, HOLY ANGEL. The Cultural preservation was impressing and the effort must be rewarded. They really have a good job. So, after a past-traveling presentation there was a hit acid on our stomach so we proceed to a PIZZA HAUS called CAMALIG. The filling was new SALTED EGG AND LONGGANISA. Wow, plus ICED TEA. I love it. The secret was in the sauce. It took them 6 hours to reduced liquid to its perfection. And before we headed home to MAKATI, a sip and a cold fro HALO-HALO sa CORAZON. A freebies of different rice cake was a plus love from the Pampanga experience.
we call it here PINAKBET but some call it FUCKBET!
All tired, happy and contentment we rode back to mega Manila. Another day has end and a new experience covered. I learned the major contributions of Pampanga to the Philippine not just in culinary but to History as a whole. A place you can be proud of as a filipino and a must recommended place to friends and travellers.