Different Regions, Different Flavors
Savor the taste from the different islands
of the Philippines and find out how the peoples varied lifestyles, culture and
history per region has shaped FILIPINO HOME COOKING (LUTONG BAHAY) to what it is today.
A TASTE OF MANILA is a combination
of different foreign influences mainly Spanish and Chinese. Such rich dishes popular in
Manila are Gambas,
Rellenong Manok (stuffed chicken) and Paella and Lechon
(suckling pig). If all these seem lavish, there are also the simple joys such as sotanghon con caldo, a
Chinese influenced dish of noodles and broth.
A TASTE OF ILOCOS is simple with
largely staples that include: fishes, Bagoong (fish or shrimp paste), seaweeds and
vegetables. Popular Ilocano dishes are: "Pinakbet" Pinapaitan, Dinengdeng
with the characteristic vegetable called saluyot. Pakbet is sometimes
accompanied with Bagnet, a version of Lechon Kawali
(crispy-fried pork) that is stored in oil.
A TASTE OF IGOROT (MT. PROVINCE) is
typically meat oriented, using beef, carabao meat, venison, goat and horse meat as primary
ingredients in most dishes. People from the region have verdant and fertile gardens but
are not vegetable eaters in contrast to their Ilocano neighbors. The only vegetable they
often use are "gabi" (taro) and "kamote" (sweet
A TASTE OF PANGASINAN is fancier
compared to Ilocano cooking since the province has better economy and soil fertility.
Being inhabited largely by Ilocano settlers, people here have similar food habits with the
Ilocanos. Pangasinan salt, "Bagoong" (fish or shrimp paste), "Bukayo",
Green Pinipig and "Tupig" are well-known. The province also has
its famous bangus which is distinguishable due to its smaller head and asymmetry of
its body and tail.
A TASTE OF PAMPANGA is considered to
be the 'Queen of Philippine Cuisine' with its fine delicacies and fancy cooking.
Kapangpangan cuisine is so diverse that you have a wide choice from exotic delicacies of
stuffed frogs, Camaru (crickets made into adobo and deep-fried with garlic)
to delicately flavored cured meats like Tapa or Tocino and
delicious confections like Turrones, Yema and Pastillas.
A TASTE OF TAGALOG PROVINCES can be
described as the melting pot of Luzon. Typical recipes are: "Guisado",
Bulanglang, Kare-kare, Dinuguan, Sinigang, Kilawin
and batchoy (a soup fare). Each Tagalog province is known for certain foods
- Batangas Bulalo (tasty broth
made from beef), Tawilis (a small sardine only found in Taal lake) and Sinaing
na Tulingan (mackerel cooked in coco milk)
- Bulacan Special Ensaymadas, Putong
Polo, Ampaw, Candies, Atcharang Dampalit (sweet pickled weeds with small
- Cavite Oysters, Coarse Cyrstalline Salt,
- Laguna Binakol, Buko Pie, Kesong
Puti (cottage cheese) and Espasol
- Rizal "Balut" and Penoy from
Pateros, Pancit Malabon from Malabon, Binarutak from Antipolo, Old Style
Adobo (cooked Estofado style w/ saba) from Angono
- Quezon Longganisa (sausage), Hardinera
(pork loaf), Saging na Suman (mashed raw saba w/ sugar wrapped in banana
- Bicol Laing [uses gabi
(taro), coconut milk and hot chili peppers], Pili Nut
A TASTE OF VISAYAS is characterized by
meals and food products comprising of fish, either fresh or preserved. Cebu and Bohol
deserve special mention because these places have the lowest rainfall in the Philippines
and its rugged corn is often a rice substitute. Other notable provinces in the Visayas
islands are famous for the following:
- Iloilo Batchoy (a soup fare), Guinamos
(Ilonggo version of bagoong), Tulapjo (fried pork fat), Cadios with Langka
(small black beans cooked in coconut milk), Fresh Lumpiang Ubod
(coconut heart spring rolls), Piyaya
- Capiz, Aklan Fresh Seafood whether barbecued,
steamed, fried or boiled
A TASTE OF MINDANAO is created by a
convergence of the three main groups of settlers in the region namely the Moslems, the
Zamboangueños, and the "immigrants" (Ilocanos, Visayans, etc.) Among the
Moslems, pork and many of the poultry meats are prohibited. They have tasty recipes for
rice and coconut. Zamboanga, the melting pot of Spanish, Chinese and Visayan families,
reflect the characteristic culinary art of these cultures.
While there exists regional variations in
the food habits of Filipinos, some recipes are basically the same. Besides being rice-fish
eaters, the following foods are popular:
MAIN DISHES: Adobo, Adobado, Asado, Bachoy, Caldereta, Dinuguan,
Mechado, Menudo, Nilaga, Pesa, Paksiw, Pinangat, Pochero, Relleno, Sinigang, Tinola, Pancit, (Molo,
Malabon, Palabok, Sotanghon, Canton, Bihon etc.)
and the well known Lechon (suckling pig).
VEGETABLE DISHES: Bulanglang,
MERIENDA OR SNACK ITEMS AND DESSERTS:
Cuchinta, Puto, Bukayo, Bibingka, Espasol, Sapin-sapin, Guinataan, Palitao, Polvoron, Candied
Condol, Saba, Langka, etc. Turon, Maruyang Saba or Camote, fruits in syrup, Leche flan
BEVERAGES: Tuba, Basi, Lambanog,
Duhat wine, Salabat, Fruit Ades.