Last year, our team at the office managed a quick weekend getaway and headed for the beach. Though it was just an overnight stay, we intended to make the best of it—eat great food and have a rockin’ good time. My Father’s hometown Malabrigo is a sleepy, coastal barangay with very little commercialism (Thank God!). The weather was sunny yet not humid at all, water is oh-so-crystal-clear and the sky was blue —considering we left a very cloudy and rainy Manila.
While I had packed our food, ready to eat or cook—I managed to drop by the public market of Lobo,City. Thank God I did because we stumbled into a stall selling caught-just-this-morning local salmon. Too bad, somebody beat me to the head. This was a great addition to our already bursting cooler. We bought some other staples like kangkong, talong, kamatis, sibuyas andkapeng barako.
While resorts are convenient, I have to say–I get a different high when going back to the basic of things. Sure we had electricity and water, but we slept in an airy nipa hut, with bamboo slats as flooring. The ventilation was fantastic, no airconditioning needed! (although we could hear the puppies play below us). I like the interaction when friends or family prepare the food together. When you share stories, jokes and urban myths while waiting for the inihaw to cook–perhaps over beer or even just soda. I love it when everybody digs in with gusto and passing the viands around– sharing and caring.
Here’s our menu:
- Lunch: Adobong Batangas and Giniling na Torta
- Dinner: Inihaw na Liempo, Inihaw na Isda, Sinigang na Isda and Gising-gising
- Breakfast: Longganisa, Scrambled Eggs, Fried Boneless Dilis, Relish of sibuyas na tagalog and native tomatoes (with salt and calamansi), Kapeng Barako
- Lunch: Inihaw na manok , Inihaw na Bangus, talong at kamatis, Manggang hilaw, bagoong, Pakwan.
Common to all? Lots and lots and lots of rice!
As every true-blue Pinoy knows—reheating adobo makes it better. Kanin na mainit lang ang katapat! The breeze was mild, the leaves were whispering and the ocean was murmuring… You can say we disturbed such a peaceful setting with our laughter, chiding and storytelling.
The first day’s highlight was a quick hike on the beach, up the cliff, to the lighthouse. Parola ng Malabrigo is a beautiful piece of architecture that dates back to the 1800s. It is a short lighthouse because it serenely sits on top of a cliff. So picture-taking—another Pinoy past time was in order.
A walk back to the house (a large nipa hut) whetted our appetite so you can imagine our eagerness for grilled pork belly! Our fish discovery at the market did not disappoint—it was fresh, succulent and did not need any salt. The Gising-gising is a perfect complement to anything grilled. Kaniiiiiin paaaaaa!
Breakfast was simple but the highlight to my mind was the hot brew of freshly ground kapeng barako. What I had was crisp in taste, aromatic and not acidic at all. I was not able to get Sinaing na Tulingan at the public market. I had planned to fry this to a crisp . (It wasn’t such a big loss as I was able to buy from the market before we went home–yum!)
By 10 am we took a pump boat ride and enjoyed the open sea. The water was sooooooo clear you can see the live corals beneath the boat. There were also schools of small fishes that glided making the ocean glimmer for a split second. Ka Ancing brought us to another beachfront. We sought shade in a small bamboo hut that can seat about 10 to 12 people. We bought ourselves ice, offered to buy some buco(young coconut) from the owner of the beach front. The treat was refreshing drink of buco juice—no soda can possibly match!
After which, we treated ourselves to a last swim before our late lunch. Why is food so much better after a swim?
We had brought along spoon and fork which I have to say remained unused. Eating with your hands is liberating—I really wonder why some people think it’s barbaric? It’s the most natural thing to do! And there is a “science” as to how-to. I just think, they are losing out on the fun and appetite factor.
We knew that our great escape had to end so soon. It was time to pack our bags, and our boxes. Where the food stash once was—ended up in our stomachs. Swimsuits be damned!
© 2012, Kitchen Kitchie Koo. All rights reserved.