Sunday, 28 August 2005

Back to Surigao 2

There is no pangat anywhere else in the world except in the Philippines, particularly in Surigao. It’s vegetable, mind you, cooked in liters of coconut oil, and a wee bit of commercial oil.

I was in Surigao for 5 days and I ate Pangat the second day but by god, how could I enjoy a salty dose of oil-lathered pangat when there was no left-over rice?? And when I say left-over rice, it means, a-day-old rice. Pangat can only be enjoyed with old rice, or dry and cold cooked banana minus the presence of other savoury food like buyad, lechon, and sinugba.

So there I was, ready to gobble all the surigaonon food that I missed for over 2 years only to be mesmerised by their holy presence that I couldn’t eat them, or better yet, that I couldn’t enjoy them. It was all the questions as well. Everytime I open my mouth to venerate the taste of sinugba na isda dipped in real, and I mean real vinegar (not the Balsamic variety with soy sauce in it) a question is thrown at me like old cheese: So, do you work there Soy? (meaning, how much do you earn in pesos?). So I answer the question, while secretly wishing, oh, go to hell all of you, and while you’re there, wash your dirty laundry in a fiery river so I can enjoy the taste of this burnt sinugba.

I just wanted to eat there. That pangat. Oh, I wanted it so bad I could give up my stomach for it, but no, there was another question: What do you usually eat in England, soy? And there I was, chewing the leafy gabi, inhaling the salty and oily taste while being reminded that, shite, I eat mashed potato sprinkled with milk and slathered with butter, and er… yes, I do enjoy it.

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