Be Cool in BICOL!
After the double whammy of MILENYO and REMING
in the last quarter of 2006,
which hit Albay in much the same way that
PINATUBO and its Lahar
devastated my home province of Pampanga in 1991,
I'm happy to report that the hardy folks
in this part of the country are well on their
way to getting back on their feet again.
I flew to Legaspi immediately after Holy Week
to attend the much anticipated wedding of two shiny happy people:
Dr. Glenn Isip and his lovely wife, Jennifer!
(Glenn the Groom,
is obviously way too shiny for his own good.)
And since it had been a year since my last trip to Bicolandia,
I wasted no time in visiting old haunts
and discovering new pleasures in Tabaco and Legaspi:
the legendary Baby Back Ribs of Boracay
are available in Bicol...
at a much lower price (!!!)
along with its perfect partner:
OETTINGER Wheat Beer from Germany.
As is our wont,
my Best Friend Dr. HonHon of Binakayan,
and our Hosts,
Dr. Elmo of Polangui
and the Benig siblings of Tabaco,
drowned massive amounts of ribs and sausages
from the wonderfully-stocked deli case of the restaurant.
THE SEVEN BALLS:
these colorful abaca home accents
are one of the most popular pasalubongs
from Bicol these days,
second only to Pili Nut Candy.
Ate Salve's BICOL EXPRESS:
she's the Isip Family's longtime yaya and cook;
her version of the province's most famous dish
is simply the best I've ever had---
best eaten with steaming hot white rice,
you can't Beat this Heat!!!
also known as Laing in the rest of the country,
Camalig, Albay has the best in the country;
and the best Pinangat comes from LET's restaurant!
nope, it's not something you smoke,
but it's just as lethal:
Tabacs are the large bolo-like knives
forged for centuries by the blademasters
of Tabaco, Albay.
despite sharp gouges caused by its most recent "silent eruption"
that now mar its perfect cone from some angles,
as seen from the Legaspi Airport,
still more than qualifies as one of the
Eight Wonders of the World:
...I'll be back soon, Beautiful!!!