Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #26: Back to Iloilo, The Place I Still Call Home

Da Where: Iloilo City and Capiz, Philippines
Da When: August 6-9, 2011
Da Who: I'd like to call this a solo trip but since it's home, I say, throw in my family too! :)
Da Trivia: I'm shamefully 'fessing up; it's been 2 years since I last I stepped foot in Iloilo. :(

It all started when I got a text message from Nanay, saying that Lola wants me and my sister home for her birthday. Yikes, has it really been two years since I've last set foot in my hometown?

Though I have been living and working in Metro Manila for the past six years, I still call Iloilo my home. After booking last-minute roundtrip flights (my heart missed a beat coz I hate paying for regular airfares ;D) and wormed a 1-day leave approval out of my boss, I found myself on a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Iloilo International Airport early Saturday morning, right off a work shift.

Forty-five minutes later, I stepped out of the plane and took in the verdant views and gulps of fresh air. Yes, I'm home. Back to sights, sounds and tastes familiar. :)

Comfort Food at its Finest: LaPaz Batchoy

Not many people know that I was born and spent the first decade of my life living at my grandparents' house in LaPaz, a 3-minute walk away from LaPaz Public Market, the birthplace of the LaPaz batchoy. If you've been living under a rock and don't know what batchoy is, it's a noodle soup made with pork organs, beef strips, crushed pork cracklings, chopped onion stalks, chicken or beef stock and round noodles.

It's the first thing I ask for when I'm home. And there is no other restaurant here in Manila that could ever duplicate the authentic taste of LaPaz batchoy. I should know. I grew up eating this dish, even maybe before I could walk and talk. ;D

Super Special LaPaz Batchoy
Photo credit: Deco's LaPaz Batchoy