Q:Na feature mo na ba ang UP chapel?
The Protestant One, Yes. I haven’t featured the Catholic one.
Vigan Ukoy (Okoy)
Aside from the Vigan Empanada, another original Vigan treat that hasn’t escaped from the bounds of the Heritage City is the okoy. Okay is another deep fried (translates to lots of calories) dish consisting of cabbages, batter and shrimps. it is best served newly cooked as it is at its best when freshly cooked: crunchy.
Best dipped in Sukang Iloko and best eaten with bare hands, it is sold in the Vigan Empanadaan in Plaza Burgos in Vigan City. One order costs 30 pesos.
It’s March already! Time Flies by. So here are the posts that were made the same period in the past two years.
- Ilocos Sur Provincial Capitol
- Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia
- Magsingal, Ilocos Sur Town Hall
- Calle Crisologo, Vigan City
- Refreshments: It’s More Fun in the Philippines
- Crystal Arcade, Escolta, Manila
Photo: Officials of DOTC MRT3 pose with a CAF 3000 model from Madrid Metro. Courtesy of Philippine Railways.
Don’t get excited yet for that. Since MRT3 capacity expansion through acquisition of new rolling stocks will get a year or two to finish, we don’t really have that much alternatives from the MRT3 to travel from North to South in EDSA. The current Bus Segregation Scheme alleviates the traffic only in a limited scale. And then the MRT 3 had a very nice idea of setting up buses to travel down south from North Avenue to stop only at Makati and Pasay Areas. Nice idea, but it was doomed to fail from the start.
MRT should have used the already existing bus franchisees to do the task for them. But in reality not even the buses could equal MRT’s reliability of bringing lots of people from North Avenue to the South Areas of Metro Manila within less than 20 minutes. Unless the new trains arrive, there’s no hope for the sardine can that is the MRT Trains.
But of course, you could comfortably ride a bus if you know that you’re not late, our penchant for traffic is rooted in our notorious “Filipino Time”. But that’s another topic.
Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Located on the southern coast of Laoag, Paoay Town boasts of two things: The Paoay Church and Paoay Lake.
The Paoay Church one of the four Baroque Churches of the Philippines in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is an outstanding example of the Philippine Earthquake Baroque Architecture, adapting to our seismicity. The church structure has huge buttresses in its sides and the rear of the church to protect it from earthquakes. The facade is richly made with Philippine Symbols. The facade just had a recent limestone retouch but give it time to be exposed to the elements, the facade will look battered again.
The church dates from the establishment of a separate Paoay town in the early 18th century. The church is dedicated after St. Augustine, the church is officially named St. Augustine Church but is more popularly known as the Paoay Church. (San Agustin in Manila is dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, but being the Augustinian Mother Church made San Agustin stick more.)
The Paoay town is also famous for its lake, which is subject to a very popular legend surrounding its origin. They say, that the site of the lake was once a site of an advanced and prosperous town, but they turned greedy and evil so that God submerged the town in deep floods. After the deluge, the old town is no more, it was already deep in the lake. Until now, locals in Paoay claim they see houses deep in the lake and fishes with “gold earrings” with them. At the Laoag City side of the lake is the Malacanang of the North.
Travelling to Paoay isn’t easy as it is not aligned with the National Highway. When communting to it, the best way is to travel from Laoag City through a jeep in the Batac City Highway Junction.
Puerta de Reina Isabel, Intramuros, Manila
The last gate to be built at Intramuros during the Spanish Era, the gate was built in 1868 as a replacement to the ruined Puerta de Santo Domingo nearby. It was named after Queen Isabel, the only queen of Spain.
During the American Period the streetcars of Manila entered Intramuros to the Santo Tomas Station through this gate.
Also within this gate is a bronze statue of Queen Isabel herself, first housed in Plaza Arroceros (Lawton) but transferred to exile in the plaza in front of Malate Church until a typhoon toppled it in the 70’s. Eventually it was finally placed in Intramuros in front of the gate named after her, in time for the visit of his descendant then Prince Juan Carlos of Spain. He is now the King of Spain.
Vintage Photo Source: Intramuros of Memory by Jaime Laya and Esperanza Gatbonton.
Longanisa is a pork dish consisting of ground pork marinated in seasoning and wrapped in dried pig intestines. Due to the cultural and environmental differences in every region of the Philippines, there are a lot of variety and style of cooking when it comes to longanisa. Since we are focusing a lot of foods from the Northern Philippines, the Ilocos Longanisa. Longanisa is a pork dish that resembles the Spanish Chorizo and Sausages.
The Ilocos Longanisa is spiced with sugar, soy, salt, pepper and lots of garlic. It is strongly flavored with garlic as Ilocos Garlic is so aromatic and flavorful.
Cooking it is easy, you just boil it with little water until the oil and the caramel comes out and fry it until the skin becomes leathery. Best served with rice. Also, we usually remove the excess oil and make the caramel the flavor of our fried rice to pair up with the cooked longanisa.
By your dust, and by the dust of all the generations, I promise to continue, I promise to preserve! The jungle may advance, the bombs may fall again―but while I live, you live―and this dear city of our affections shall rise again―if only in my song! To remember and to sing: that is my vocation…
A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino by Nick Joaquin
Nota Bene: In comparing Bitoy Camacho’s entrance in the play, I could deduce that like Ibarra is Rizal’s eye and mind in Noli, Bitoy is Nick Joaquin’s eye and mind in the play. The last words of Bitoy’s line will ring a bell: that is my vocation. And the majority of Joaquin’s literary work is about Manila. That’s just for me because I have real “Portrait” in full.
The Sunshine City and the Capitol
Laoag City is the capital of the Province of Ilocos Norte. The name of the city was derived from the Ilocano word meaning, light or bright, earning it the monicker, The Sunshine City.
The City actually sits on junction of the sea and the River, thus it can only be reached through the bridge built to connect San Nicolas and Laoag City. Actually San Nicolas was once part of Laoag City.
The first thing that you see in the City is the City Plaza and the imposing Provincial Capitol of Ilocos Norte. Designed in the Neoclassical Style and houses the provincial government of Ilocos Norte.
One interesting thing in the capitol building is the bust of Rizal with an eagle above it and a Filipina (judging from her dress) holding a quill while looking up to Rizal and the eagle as if she is looking for something. Looks like some Manifest Destiny symbolism, but that’s for me.
The Ideal Theater, designed during the 1930’s is a very good type of building in the streamlined Art Deco, a variant of Art Deco employing lesser ornamentations but with with more lines reminiscent of machinery or ships. The façade of the theater was flanked by two massive pillars between vertical bands. The theater is the first building that Pablo Antonio designed and is also the same building that launched his career as an architect. It was due to his design for the Ideal Theater that Nicanor Reyes commissioned him as the architect of FEU in Morayta.
Cine Ideal, one of the oldest movie houses in the Philippines, was established in 1912 by the Roces Family. The theater started on a wooden building in Avenida Rizal but due to the immense and growing popularity of the movie theaters back then, it was rebuilt in concrete with the Art Deco building by Pablo Antonio. It played Japanese movies during the World War II. It survived the 1945 Liberation of Manila during World War II and was immediately opened after the war. Due to the boom of the Cinema during the 1950’s to 1960’s it was expanded to cater growing clientele. It suffered steady decline during the 1970’s, when the major movie houses shifted out of Avenida Rizal and was eventually demolished in the later part of 1970s to give way to a shopping mall.
During its heydays, Idea was popular for showing only movies from the MGM production house, as its competitors also show movies from only one Hollywood Production House.
Oscars Livestream Links please?
If you know one. You could save a lot of souls tonight. Please?
Vigan Royal Bibingka
Another popular rice dessert from Ilocos, but take note Bibingka is found throughout the Philippines in different ingredients and variations. The bibingka in Ilocos has Glutinous Rice (Malagkit) Flour , milk, eggs and butter as the ingredients baked in oven (traditionally firewood ovens) and topped with grated cheese.
When I was young, Royal Bibingka was served whole with you manually slicing it into pizza like pieces. That was until someone had the idea of preparing them in muffin pans. That lessened the hassle of slicing the very sticky dessert manually as it sticks to the knife. It was a big hit. Bibingka is a famous pasalubong of people who came from Ilocos to Metro Manila and the best bibingka shops are located along the Manila North Road. Among the many sellers of the treat, my favorite is the Marsha’s Delicacies.