Friday, June 13, 2014

Pasalubong Options 6: Cagayan De Oro and Tuguegarao

For today's edition of noteworthy products from country's different provinces, I'm featuring a city from Mindanao down south and an area in the northern tip of Luzon.

1. Cagayan de Oro City 

Frequent visitors to Cagayan de Otro and the nearby island province of Camiguin are familiar with  Vjandep Pastel, a coffee bun with custard filling. This version incorporates malunggay / moringa in the dough. 

I've been to Cagayan de Oro countless times, but it was only recently that I tried their Baked Siopao. I was expecting it to still retain its character as a steamed bun, but this is what you get when you have the dough baked.  

2. Tuguegarao and Cagayan

The Buco Roll of Tuguegarao's K's Bakeshop's and Delicacies is a winner. The dough was soft and it had real coconut filling. Not too sweet--just right.

I always look forward to devouring a pack of Alcala Milk Candy, made from  carabao's milk.

Speaking of carabao, have you tried carabao chicharon? Don't knock this. It's quite addicting. It comes in a variety of flavors. The Onion and Vinegar variant has the unmistakable tang of vinegar. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lingayen's Capitol and Governor's House

I'm excited to feature Lingayen, the capital municipality and seat of government of my home province ,Pangasinan. Lingayen is derived from the Panagasinan word "lingawen," to look back, and a recent trip to Lingayen afforded me another glimpse of the capitol. 

We were given a quick tour of the provincial capital grounds upon our arrival, and what a sight it was. It was heartening to see money and attention was poured in to spruce the place up. It looked better than the last time I visited decades ago. I just wish they do something about the capitol resort hotel.

We started the tour at the back entrance.

The provincial seal, pictured above. Notice the cauldron with billowing smoke? The two triangular figures beside it represent pillars of salt, one of the main products of the province. In fact Pangasinan is derived from the word "asin", which means salt.

I love the design of the capitol building, done in art deco style, if I'm not mistaken. Art deco is more streamlined than art noveau. 

Above is the facade of the capitol building, and below is the view from the front entrance.

We then went back inside to tour the upper floors.

Goofing around. 

I tried on the governor's table for size. 

Below is the legislative hall.

We went another flight of stairs leading to the rooftop, and we were afforded the view of the governor's official residence, pictured below.

Roof detail.

More minutiae.

After the capitol building tour, we headed towards Urduja House, the official residence of the governor. The house is named after a mythical warrior-princess.  

Strong Southeast Asian influences are incorporated in the design of the house

A portrait Urduja, legendary Pangasinan leader.

Last look of the view from Urduja House

I do hope the provincial government  continue with the improvements in the capitol grounds, and beyond.

Pasalubong Options 5: Bulacan and Dipolog

For this edition of food gifts from different provinces, I'm featuring a province north of Manila and a northern city on the southern island of Mindanao. 

1. Bulacan

I love peanut butter, so this is a no-brainer for me. I love the packaging--I thought at first that Bhern's Creamy Peanut Butter was an imported brand. I'm happy someone made an effort to make their product presentable. This is gooey, spreadable peanut butter, and like many local peanut butters, it is quite oily.

Bulacan is also known for chicharon, and Boy Iwa's Chicharon is quite good.

2. Dipolog

I already featured bottled fish from Dipolog. Here are two more from the historic city. Many swear by Nam Namm Spanish Sardines, pictured below, saying it is the better brand.