05 Mar2008


The main reason I was in Legazpi a couple of weeks ago was to place several parcels of land up for sale, owned by a family company. Located about half an hour from Legazpi near the shore in the barangays of San Jose, Malilipot, Hindi and Bacacay, the flat parcels are currently coconut plantations with extensive frontage on national or paved barangay roads, and ideal for turning into middle-income housing subdivisions or small “haciendalettes” for Bicolanos residing in Manila or abroad, but want a place to stay when back home for a visit. Several parcels are a ten minute walk to a nearby jet black sand beach. A total of roughly 30+ hectares are on the market, with parcel sizes of say 4 hectares to as large as 9 hectares, and prices are unbelievably good, particularly since I know at least one of the owners! :) To kick-off the selling process, I met with roughly 20-25 local real-estate agents from the Albay area to give them a personal tour of the different properties, and describe the parameters for the sale. And, of course, we laid out a luncheon buffet to make sure all of them were well-fed! I was so engrossed with the local specialties that I completely forgot to photograph the small lechon that was placed on a side table. It had a crisp skin and very flavorful meat. Up top, pinangat, a local dish (best done in Daraga, I am told…) with gabi leaves and coconut milk.


Alimasag with thinly sliced ubod (heart of palm) and gata (coconut milk).


Kinunot, a Bicolano dish made with either shark meat or stingray meat with coconut milk and lots of malungay (horseradish tree) leaves.


Simply steamed crabs, mostly alimango (mud crabs) , with a lone alimasag (blue crabs) on top.


A lubi-lubi salad with coconut milk and dried fish (I think).


Large slices of grilled tanguigue.


A “bicol express” that was more pork than sili (I must say, I didn’t like this dish).


And lastly, a terrific pako salad with lots of tomatoes and a local coconut vinegar. I also forgot to photograph the dessert buffet which was mostly made up of sweet mangoes and other fruits. Total cost for the buffet, which could have fed a total of 40 people? Roughly PHP500 per person or $12. That’s what I would call a great deal…



  1. thejollyjetsetter says:

    Hey Market Man, I’m curious about your kinunot. I remember snorkeling off Donsol back in the mid 90’s, and being offered what was at that time Whale Shark meat. I do hope these sharks are not the endangered type. I’ve eaten all sorts of strange things in my travels and I realize that dishes of these sort often times make up a part of the country’s culture, but like Sharks fin soup, it should be discouraged. I wonder if we can find a “kani replacement” solution for these kinds of dishes?

    Mar 5, 2008 | 5:10 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    thejollyjetsetter, I don’t eat shark’s fin soup either, since I saw how they were harvested and dried in a factory in Indonesia. I don’t eat bird’s nest soup either. I am presuming these were from non-endangered shark species, but can’t be sure… there was shark meat for sale at the Legazpi market but it looked like a pretty small shark. The rays are also sad to eat, but a common source of protein, if I am not mistaken, it is one kind of ray that is particularly endangered and not all… but like you, I have reservations about some of these dishes…

    Mar 5, 2008 | 5:14 pm

  4. Gay says:

    I agree, Daraga pinangat is the best.

    Mar 5, 2008 | 5:45 pm

  5. Eileen Clement says:

    WOW! What a spread!

    Mar 5, 2008 | 5:52 pm

  6. bernadette says:

    I ate kinunot only once somewhere in Albay and it was just delicious! When I learned it was the meat of the ray, I knew that that would be my last take of the dish. My mother hails from Naga City and everytime we visit her folks, we are treated to these dishes that you have posted (except the kinunot)—I can almost smell the pictures! :-) Aaah! Masiram!

    Mar 5, 2008 | 5:54 pm

  7. honey says:

    I think the shark meat they use comes from a small shark,. at least teh ones i see in the market are small. usually, what we have in the market are sting rays.

    MM, i was so inspired by your post about langka that last saturday, lunch consisted of langka in coconut with shrimps in it and inihaw na lawlaw,served in coconut leaves and eaten kamayan style. best we had in months.

    kinda weird but gulay na langka is what bicolanos usually bring with them to the beach. a trip to the beach is really not complete with that

    Mar 5, 2008 | 6:19 pm

  8. Ejit says:

    In the place where I am right now shark and stingray can be bought in the market at EC$ 8.00 per pound (around USD 3.00). It’s as common as tilapia and bangus is in the Philippines. But the locals here are not as experimental as Filipinos are in cooking. They just fry the shark and stingray meat. I would probably ask one local to cook Kinunot. Can someone share the recipe for this? On a funny note, they dont eat malunggay here. As one of the locals said… “Filipinos eat everything even shrubs and bushes”. They dont eat kangkong as well but since there are Filipinos in the island… you can definitely see kangkong grown in the backyard.

    Mar 5, 2008 | 7:30 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Ejit, may I ask what island you are on? As for kinunot, I have never made it myself, but here is a brief description from my Honesto C. General Coconut cookbook. Boil some shark or ray in watr for about 5 minutes. Scrape off the scales and shred the meat with a fork. Set aside. Boil coconut milk, add some ginger, onions and peppercorns, stirring constantly. When the coconut oil is evient, add the shark/ray and some vinegar, actually 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 kilo of pating or shark. Then when the fish is cooked, add siling mahaba chopped up and cook a minute or two more before adding the malunggay leaves. Mr. General counsels NOT to stir the malunggay or it will turn bitter. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

    Mar 5, 2008 | 7:36 pm

  10. Maria says:

    Masiramon!I’m drooling here in snowy Toronto.Pinangat is my all-time favorite Bicolano dish.Mabalos again for the post,MM!

    Mar 5, 2008 | 7:48 pm

  11. JE says:

    The kinunot looks the most and intriguing and appetizing out of the lot. Excellent variety in the dishes, though.

    Mar 5, 2008 | 11:13 pm

  12. Maria Clara says:

    The steamed crabs, grilled tanguigue and pako salad stole my heart!

    Mar 6, 2008 | 12:53 am

  13. Belle says:

    yummy yummy yummy

    Mar 6, 2008 | 1:51 am

  14. victorsmokymtnretreat says:

    Mr. MM: Can you give me more information on those parcel of 4 or 9 hectares. Will these become a part of the middle-income housing subdivisions? I live here at the Smoky mountains, Tennessee and am interested in getting a peaceful place to stay when I visit.

    Mar 6, 2008 | 7:43 am

  15. dhayL says:

    They all look so good! I’m just wondering who cook these dishes? Did u have it catered ?

    Mar 6, 2008 | 8:00 am

  16. Angela says:

    My dad was from Daraga and we visited family every year. I remember all these foods and particularly like the pinangat. You’re right, there’s something wrong with that Bicol Express you pictured. . .I’m not one for kinunot, either. Everything else looks YUMMY!!

    Mar 6, 2008 | 8:00 am

  17. elaine says:

    Among the dishes, I LOVE pinangat the best…I like the ones with shrimp and crabs, extra hot(I could eat these for weeks,)! I would have liked the pako and lubi salads too…Love,love these photos, MM! Nakakagutom!

    Mar 6, 2008 | 8:32 am

  18. Pedro says:

    This meal was so hearty. Indeed, it was a very delicious meal.

    Mar 6, 2008 | 11:34 am

  19. shalimar says:

    i wonder if I should take months off from work and just do a great gastro tour all over the country….

    Mar 6, 2008 | 12:00 pm

  20. joey says:

    What a fabulous looking spread! And such blogger synchronicity again! I just made my very first laing the other day :) I was totally enamored with Bicolano cuisine when I visited the region so I’m hoping to recreate some of my faves :) Laing and Bicol Express being some of them :)

    Mar 6, 2008 | 2:40 pm

  21. Ejit says:

    Marketman, i’ll definitely try the recipe that you shared. I’m in Canouan Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The other day I just bought some dolphin meat from the market. I’m wondering if I could use this to make Kinunot. My mom is into seafoods business in the Philippines but I haven’t seen her sell this kind of fish. It’s not the dolphin that we see in Ocean Adventure hehehe!

    Mar 6, 2008 | 7:28 pm

  22. Erlinda says:

    Great photos, MM.
    I wish to echo Victorsmokymtmretreat’s post.
    How about posting or if you prefer
    e-mailing me(I know your blog is not into “commerce”) info about those properties
    you mentioned? How far are these properties from Manila?
    Thanks, MM.

    Mar 6, 2008 | 9:25 pm

  23. Noel says:

    Hi, guy.

    We met at M and B’s dinner the other week and I recently looked up your site. I’m happy you enjoy Bicolano cuisine. My father was raised in Daraga, as a matter of fact, and we used to spend a couple of weeks each summer there when we were very young. That stopped when the NPA problem started getting bad.

    Anyway, I most always have a supply of pinangat direct from Daraga, both mild and hot. E-mail me where I can send you some if you want any. Unfortunately, these spoil easily because of the gata, so I keep them frozen. Just steam them before serving, though, and they’ll be fine.



    Mar 6, 2008 | 11:13 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    Noel, yes, it was good to meet you and your wife last weekend… and thanks for the pinangat offer, may take you up on that sometime. My lolo was born in Hindi/Bacacay and then moved to Cebu, so we have some links to the area… Regards, MM Erlinda, and Victor, I have emailed you separately… I am not handling the sale directly and will forward a contact number to you of an agent on the ground… thanks.

    Mar 7, 2008 | 7:11 am

  25. paoix says:

    Marketman, what does pako taste like? I’ve never had it before.

    Mar 7, 2008 | 10:18 pm

  26. pinky says:

    im a true blooded bicolana!!!i love it!!

    May 23, 2008 | 12:11 am

  27. Linda R.Corsiga says:

    Actually, kinunot is not just shark/ray meat. We also substitute it with tambakol or the small tuna, galunggong, tanguigue or blue marlin or any fish (but not fresh water fish) that is meaty. In my place in Sorsogon, we “paksiw” first the fish in vinegar, ginger, garlic and pepper so it would be much tastier. We flake it before cooking it in coconut milk. Aside from the coconut milk diluted in water which we use to cook the fish, the “kakang gata” is a must. We add malunggay or if we want something crunchy, we cut kangkong stems into small bits(without the leaves of course)and half cook it and then pour the kakang gata. For Bicolanos, we don’t forget the spicy chili because kinunot is not real kinunot without it. Masiramon talaga!

    Jun 5, 2008 | 7:25 pm

  28. galunggong says:

    When we visited Bicol , we had pinagat & bicol express w/c was all chillies & coconut milk no pork at all.Pinangat was the best .Do you have the recipe for this? I would love to cook this. Pacific islanders cook taro leaves something like this.It’s just onion,salt ,pepper & coconut cream wrap in taro leaves put in foil like small parcel baked in oven for an hour.Bicol style was way more intricate & masiram!I remember when i was small kid welived at Jose Panganiban & we had Paco ginataan,i miss that so much.

    Jun 12, 2008 | 7:32 pm

  29. aileen C. says:

    Wow….sarap kainin mga luto.lalo na taguigue…

    Jul 22, 2008 | 10:34 am

  30. Demi Falle says:

    hmmmm….mouth watering dishes..thanks for the amazing gata dishes with crabs..makes me feel like cooking now ;-)

    Sep 27, 2008 | 8:50 am

  31. Haliya says:

    MM i swear that i will love you forever (and your posts) lol because of this delicious spread. I miss this food so much especially Kinunot na pating or pague from Bulan, Sorsogon when I was but a child vacationing in Ticao during the summer holidays. At the end of the pier in Bulan is a little hole in the wall restaurant with the best Kinunot recipe in the world. My family knows them judging from how they all knew each other’s names down to the youngest relatives lol but I haven’t been back for so long and to just see this featured here…it makes my heart ache and my longings for the varied flavour renewed and so with passion I am going to scour the market for such ingredients and am just hoping that I find everything at the markets here in London, UK. :((

    Aug 9, 2009 | 10:18 pm

  32. SaHAra:'; says:

    :”:’;hi mR. mArkEt mAn,,,
    I’M jUst wOndEriNg.
    abOut tHAt kInUnOt:’CAn I aSk If evEr yOU kNOw tHE pROpeRTiEs Of MalUnGgaY tHaT cAuSes iTs spOilAgE? Or dO yOU knOw wHY dOEs iT spOil,. oTHEr tHAn dUE tO tIMe Or ‘cAUSe oF cOcOnUT”;
    PLEaSE:’;I anD mY paRTneR rEalLy jUst nEeD aNSwErS;”
    cOz ITs fOr OuR tItlE dEfeNSe aND sOOn ON OUr rESeaRCh pApER:”./.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 11:55 am

  33. erwin says:

    ako ay tubong nabua then im working in iriga in 1 year..im we have to experinces to cook of
    kinonut and pinagat.now im a chef cook na.yes i belive the bicol dish is verry delicios…

    Oct 29, 2009 | 7:30 pm


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