Thursday, April 18, 2013

travel around the Philippines without leaving the dining table

Unlike a lot of people who are going out of town this summer, I don't think I'll have the time to go outside the confines of my hometown. That means I won't be able to try out the different cuisines that are local to the different places in the Philippines. 

Despite the lack of travel plans, my adventure with food will continue. And I don't have to go too far to try out food from different provinces. Berris Cuisine is featuring several dishes coming from one region of the Philippines everyday during its lunch service. When the restaurant began this "themed lunches" with viands hailing from the Ilocos region, I became excited. I won't have to leave the dining table to get a glimpse of a region's culture.

On the day Berris Cuisine offered viands from the Western Visayas region, I was intrigued by a dish called 'laswa'. For Tagalogs, 'laswa' means foul or dirty. But for Ilonggos, 'laswa' is a hearty vegetable soup. When I first saw it, I thought it was the Batangueno 'bulanglang'.

The laswa/bulanglang similarity indicates how encompassing food culture is in the Philippines despite its archipelagic nature.