Sat Siri Akal: Spice and Prayers at Iloilo’s Nanak Darbar Temple

Iloilo Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple

For so long, I have been looking for an authentic Indian food in Metro Manila. Authentic yet affordable. However, it seems that international cooking here in the nation’s capital is equivalent to dollar rates! I have to prepare at least P300 to P400 just to satisfy my craving for international food-and one of them is from the Indian sub-continent.

Good thing though, my dad brought masala chai from India. However, my craving didn’t diminished. One night in Iloilo (on a short weekend vacation) my friend Tara and the rest of her barkada invited me for a short “cultural immersion” in Mandurriao District. Curious, when she said that we’re going to Nanak Darbar Temple-the Indian Sikh temple in Ciudad Iloilo!

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Three Things That Satisfied My Tummy in Pahiyas de Lucban

Pancit Habhab at Lucban...Served Hot with a smile!

Well, what do you know. I came up here for two things: The fiesta and the food. In every fiesta in this country, food is always associated-and it means a whole lot of it. When I was at Lucban, although I wasn’t able to go house-hopping for food, the streets of this quaint Quezon town is a feast of gastronomic proportions. Yup, its beyond your usual delicious chorizo, if you know what I mean. There were three things that made my tummy satisfied all throughout the day in Lucban during the Pahiyas.

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The Legendary Isawan of Mang Larry’s at Peyups

In the late afternoons at the sprawling UP Diliman campus in Quezon City, the iskos and iskas ng bayan gather at a vacant lot in front of Kalayaan freshie hall and beside UP Post office. A simple barbeque stand under a few scantly trees is where the people assemble in line, ordering that one delectable street food that is one of my favourites—isaw. The place where I’m referring at—Mang Larry’s Isawan! And I say, parang box office hit ang pila dahil patok na patok sa mga estudyate ang isaw ni Mang Larry!

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Craving Oysters in Iloilo

Steamed Talaba (Oysters) for only P30 per order

Oysters have been one of my favourite foods since college. Growing up deprived with eating talaba, I started eating it when I relocated in Iloilo not so long ago. I fell in love with it. Later on, I’ve got obsessed with it. I always go out with my family, classmates or barkada during free time or dinner time for one small batya of talaba for only PhP25! That’s incredibly cheap! Oysters are very cheap in the Visayas, particularly in Panay, since it is one of Panayanon’s staple seafood. When I moved back to Manila, oysters seemed to be more of a luxury rather than a staple. Known to have aphrodisiac properties, steamed oysters are offered in every town in Panay. They say, it’s a nice food to eat before “making love.”

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Refreshing at Le Bistro Vert

Slow-cooked corned beef of Le Bistro Vert

The stress of fast-paced city life has left us something to crave beyond the usual stuff that we see, feel or eat. We look at the countryside and imagine the fresh foods that the people consume there. How we wish we could have those in the metropolis, however, we are imprisoned with a whole lot of love from MSG and other stuff. The good thing though, fresh farm produce cooked to perfection and served by one of the country’s best chefs, is just located right at the heart of Philippines’ financial capital—right at the heart of Makati City!

Le Bistro Vert (“The Green Bistro” in English) promotes sustainable food by sourcing out its food ingredients locally, from small farmers, organic farms or community groups. In turn, these fresh produce-void of those fertilisers and other harmful ingredients—are cooked to perfection by Chef Sau Del Rosario, one of the finest chefs in the country.

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May 2011
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