29 Jun2007


We are back in Manila. Feeling a bit like bruised fruit after our whirlwind roadtrip to Pagudpud and back that included about 22 hours in the car, 30 mins in public bathrooms (in 1 minute doses), about 26 hours of sleep and 39.5 hours of food, food, food (oops, and a few churches, a lighthouse, windmills and dip in a blue lagoon in between)!! Frankly, I don’t think we will ever do that trip again. Instead, I suggest you grab a cheap flight to Laoag airport and rent a car or van with driver and local guide. Of course you then wouldn’t be able to bring back even half as much stuff as we did… Several kilos of bagnet, about 100 pieces of longganisa, 5 kilos of potent garlic, 5 kilos of stunning kalamansi, 2 kilos of large guavas, several glasses of real siling labuyo, 8 bottles of vinegar, 2 bottles of bagoong na isda, 15 kilos of fantastic sea salt, 36 royal bibingkas, 5 cassava cakes, korniks, sampaloc candy, a surprise treasure from Vigan, a native stove of clay, 3 palayoks to go with it, extra palayok covers, five pieces of furniture (for delivery, thank goodness), assorted doodads and t-shirts for pasalubongs…

Now I realize that Marketman has blog post constipation… In the pipeline are nearly 50-70 posts and hundreds of photographs from recent trips to New York and New England, Boracay and Pagudpud and I just don’t seem to be able to write them as quickly as I experience them…But stay tuned for posts on what one reader amusingly called “Marketman’s amazing race” 2007… Heehee. Not to worry, no more trips are planned for the rest of the year so I will soon return to regular programming eventually… And I will go back to the kitchen after I shave off the 10 pounds I have gained since the beginning of the summer…there is this pinakbet I want to replicate, a kamias and chicken dish, and egads, what to do with all that bagnet?! :) Many many thanks to all of you who wrote in to suggest things for us to eat, visit, try, hotels, etc… we all TRULY appreciate your help. We didn’t get to everything you mentioned…but we did our best to do a shocking amount in such a short timespan…



  1. suzette says:

    wow mm! you really look you are in very good shape now! doesn’t look you gained some weight at all. must be all those trips :)

    Jun 29, 2007 | 9:32 am


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  3. smiles4angels says:

    Great photo. Magnificent scene. Interesting Subject.

    “Photography takes an instant out of time, intantly altering life by holding it still” –Dorothea Lange

    Jun 29, 2007 | 9:33 am

  4. bambooshootjr says:

    Hurray for MM and family! I’m glad you enjoyed Ilocos.

    Roadtrips are great, no matter how tiring it may seem. Ask the Kid. What dessert treats does Ilocos have to offer, may i ask?

    Jun 29, 2007 | 9:36 am

  5. Maria Clara says:

    In sixth week period you traveled to New York, Boracay and Pagudpud. That’s quite a bit of mileage!!!! If you are a car you need a tune up, tire replacement and battery but you are still up and running with a set plan to fire up the stove eventually. The royal bibingka must be good.

    Jun 29, 2007 | 9:39 am

  6. CecileJ says:

    What do do with bagnet? Use it in that pakbet that you want to replicate. Try nilagang bagnet (cook like nilagang lechon with asparagus spears). May sound strange pero masarap yun.

    Give it as a prize to loyal readers of this blog???!!!!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 9:41 am

  7. Kongkong622 says:

    I agree with Cecile J about the bagnet :)

    Why not make it Binagoongang Bagnet with lots of kamatis and suka. Oh yeah, use your Ilocos Garlic for the extra yummy flavor :)

    Jun 29, 2007 | 10:04 am

  8. joey says:

    Whoa! Sounds like an awesome trip and your listing of the stuff you lugged back has got me hungry to get out and discover the many things our islands have to offer :)

    “…and egads, what to do with all that bagnet?!” — Some problems I wish I had :)

    Jun 29, 2007 | 10:10 am

  9. kaye says:

    wow! i won’t mind being one of the few to taste authentic bagnet!! teehee!!

    i love reading your travels.. makes me feel like i was there enjoying the scene and the time to relax.. nice posts.. keep them coming.. still waiting for the rest.. hehehe!!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 11:18 am

  10. awi says:

    Hi MM — i’d like some bagnet please. i loooove bagnet ;-) mwhahahaha.

    Jun 29, 2007 | 11:18 am

  11. mila says:

    Looking forward to reading your recreation recipes with the ingredients you got. In my last trip up north this June, I loved that town where you see rows and rows of sili on sale along the road. It’s near the place where they sell garlic galore.

    Jun 29, 2007 | 11:25 am

  12. ajay says:

    Are those windmills in Ilocos??!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 11:51 am

  13. carina says:

    yes, those are the first in Southeast Asia, if I’m not mistaken. We were there in Bagui Bay during the inauguration. Breath taking!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 12:19 pm

  14. Krizteene says:

    Wow! You must be tired from the trip. But it’s really worth all the effort you and your family exerted. We’ll be looking forward to your posts, but for now, do take some of your needed rest. Have a great weekend ahead!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 1:32 pm

  15. allen says:

    Welcome back! I wouldn’t having some of the bagnet hehe

    Jun 29, 2007 | 4:46 pm

  16. Apicio says:

    Discovering your site is a lucky break. I see a person curious about people and places, somebody who loves adventure and the anticipation of adventure. Your tree-planting facet gives us a glimpse of someone seeking to leave a place better than he found it. I think no mind-set could be better than that. Thanks for reserving us a seat for the trip.

    Jun 29, 2007 | 5:56 pm

  17. bernadette says:

    ha-ha-ha! You sound like my husband after a long trip :-)! I’m as usual looking forward to your writings and musings—whether it be trips here or abroad. I hope you did enjoy your trip nevertheless!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 6:36 pm

  18. leila antonio says:

    Nothing can beat a road trip to Ilocos and down to Pagudpud. My family have had the pleasure of doing road trips to Ilocos several times especially when balikbayan relatives are home. Tiring but it’s worth the trip. We never miss to make a stop at Vigan to have a taste of their famous empanada. And of course the visits to churches.

    Wow! daming bagnet naman, sarap! Why not make bagnet salad? Chopped tomatoes and onion, laced with bagoong then top it with chopped pieces of bagnet. You can also add cilantro or chopped spring onions. Saraap i-partner with fried fish. Nakakagana kumain!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 6:54 pm

  19. elaine says:

    with all those food stuff, i guess shedding those extra pounds might just take a back seat, huh…discovering your website is truly a goldmine! i think no other website could provide such diverse topics on food, travel and just about anything! It’s refreshing!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 7:16 pm

  20. jengkie says:

    i can’t wait to see the pictures and more posts about your trips!

    I love pagudpud! I recently went there alone for some soul-searching and R&R! hehe!

    Jun 29, 2007 | 10:54 pm

  21. eej says:

    uhm…What’s a bagnet? Everyone seems to have taken interest on this particular local delicacy or ingredient. Can someone please describe or share the English term for this.

    MM, I experience delectable treasures of our country & enjoy life’s simple pleasures through your eyes and adventures. Keep on blogging!

    Jun 30, 2007 | 1:13 am

  22. Rob says:

    Jun 30, 2007 | 2:25 am

  23. eej says:

    Wow, thanks Rob for such a great visual. It seems to be similar to pork rind or chicharon albeit, cooked with/in bagoong. Boy, talk about a double whammy… cardiac delight alright!

    Jun 30, 2007 | 3:19 am

  24. lojet says:

    In our household in Cebu, bagnet is the equivalent to our chicharon adobo. Once a year during barrio fiesta when pork is plentiful the belly is cut into pieces as big as in that picture and cooked in a kawali until a lot of the oil is rendered. When cooled the whole thing is stored in a large covered tin. The oil helps to preserve the meat. There was no refrigeration.From time to time after that, pieces are fished from the oil and some of the oil are used to fry the adobo the second time. I remember a little water is sprinkled to make the skin blister. The whole thing lasted for months.

    Jun 30, 2007 | 6:47 am

  25. eumir says:

    soak those chili’s with sukang iloko, put some garlic and salt…. wait for two weeks… BAAAM!

    Jun 30, 2007 | 8:41 am

  26. Dodi says:

    Hi MM!
    Just remember to increase your HDL levels as well.

    Jun 30, 2007 | 8:52 am

  27. Queen B says:

    Looking forward to your posts about your recent trips and food adventure! Hmmmm… what to do with the bagnets… paksiw na bagnet? sinigang na bagnet?

    Jun 30, 2007 | 1:28 pm

  28. ysa says:

    i was heartily laughing at the immensity your “take home” while wondering what type of vehicle you used in your road trip that you were able to cram all those in!!!! if there’s a word to describe the state you were in upon your return to the city, that word would be bedraggled. That’s how i define myself after a trip to the north (up to Cagayan Valley). i remember our trips … the “papunta pa lang” is no problem: wide leg spaces, sitting is comfy. Its the “pauwi na” when space becomes precious because of all the things, the same things that you’ve enumerated though not as much plus the ingredients for ilokano pakbet, that we’ve put in the car. We usually end up with our chins on our knees because the floor of the car is already so full. Am also happy to note that you have a “pinakbet to replicate”. Hope its the pinakbet done the ilocano way: with bagoong isda, lots of tomatoes, eggplant, okra, sigarillas. Don’t forget, when cooking, it should be shaken, not stirred. Welcome back MM and family, and will be looking forward to your thoughts on ilocandia.

    Jun 30, 2007 | 6:43 pm

  29. paolo says:

    My God! You guys eat food I have never even touched in my whole life.

    Time to visit the Phils again, I suppose.

    Jun 30, 2007 | 6:56 pm

  30. jo says:

    WOW MM, what a trip, you remind me of the energizer bunny. You just keep on going and going… hehehe

    We (the household) are looking forward to your post on all of those delectable food finds and travel adventures.

    Thank you for taking us along with you and your family on your food and travel trips.

    Jul 1, 2007 | 3:52 am

  31. Lei says:


    I’m so happy to see your picture on the windmills, good that you were able to go there after mentioning it.

    Jul 1, 2007 | 9:14 am

  32. HD says:

    I don’t know if I was cooking the bagnet right, but I like it to be more of like achicharon, but when I do that, the meaty part becomes tough, so what I’ve been doing now is to separate the meat from the fat and skin, and then cook the fat until it becomes chicharon, the meat cooked just enough to kill most the germs hehe.

    I add bagnet to pinakbet or to ginisang mungo.

    Jul 1, 2007 | 11:07 pm

  33. wil-b cariaga says:

    i dont know if you like dinuguan, but using bagnet for dinuguan is also great. . . but heart clogging. . . haha

    Jul 2, 2007 | 6:44 am

  34. LPD says:

    Where are those windmills located? Are they a lot of them? I remember on our way trip to Las Vegas from LA, but a lot…thousands of them …spectacular…

    Jul 2, 2007 | 7:54 am

  35. eumir says:

    They’re located in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, a town before pagudpud.

    Jul 2, 2007 | 8:32 am

  36. Dits Sotto says:

    I believe those are not windmills but wind turbines. I was told that windmills are to generate water and Wind Turbines to generate electricity. Been to Ilocos lately with a group of foreigners. Ate Bagnet with KBL, Kamatis, Bagoong and Lasona. I tasted the best Pakbet ever!!! Our driver/tour guide Manong Maning cooked Pakbet without cooking oil and using bagoong na isda and not hipon like we always do here. Kanamit!!!!

    Jul 7, 2007 | 7:00 pm

  37. Marketman says:

    Dits, you are probably correct, it would seem more accurate to say wind turbines…but it sounds so much better to call them windmills…

    Jul 7, 2007 | 8:54 pm


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