Sunday, April 10, 2016

Here's What an Authentic Summer Fiesta is Like

Fiestas are among the highlights of summer in Manila. And I'm particularly excited about food dishes they feature during these local celebrations. Every region in the Philippines has a food dish specialty to brag about during fiestas--specialties you shouldn't miss out on.

When I was a kid, my mom's boss would treat his Malacanang office staff to different places in the North and especially time it during a fiesta in the locality. We often went to a hilltop resort in Pangasinan (the boss' hometown) for an overnight stay after enjoying time in another resort also in Pangasinan.

Everywhere we went then was like grand fiesta. The food dishes served were special and abundant, mostly seafoods, like the lunch we had when we were at the Hundred Islands. About a hundred fresh milkfish (bangus) were laid out on the burning red-hot grill and we ate only the bellies! The air was filled with the sweet aroma of grilled fish and shrimps or prawns.

Then roasted pig (lechon) was everywhere. One time when we went somewhere in Tarlac, the place "flooded" with lechon. That's the nature of fiestas--abundant food servings. Everything was placed on banana leaves and we ate using our bare hands. There were softdrinks but mostly we had fresh coconut water.

A lot of Ilocano food dishes were served--Pinakbet, Diningding, Kilawin and Dinakdakan, to name a few. What I still remember to this day was the home-made mouth-watering longganisa that was stuffed with ground lechon. And who'd forget the dry Dinuguan?

Well, actually, what I really, really enjoyed was the baskets-full of sweet, ripe kalabaw mangoes!

You should experience an authentic fiesta.

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