10 Apr2007

squid1

I was in the town of Culion for just 8 hours or so. In that time, we had a wonderful crab breakfast, toured the center of town and visited the Municipal Hall and took a squid2quick look at the local marketplace (small and we were there at the wrong time of the day). I also got to see the Museum at the Culion Sanitarium (hospital) and visited the church and did a brief coastal tour in a tricycle. At around 1 p.m., we returned to our host’s home for lunch. The modest but proud home on the main street of the municipality had a wonderful doorway and wooden stairs that led to the living quarters on the second floor. Made of solid narra planks for the flooring and walls, this home must have stood on the same spot for 50+ years. It also always amazes me how so many homeowners in the provinces keep wonderful potted plants in their gardens, bringing a burst of color from flowers of all sorts. It is so civilized. While it was sweltering outside, the home was rather cool, with breezes coming through the large windows and air vents.

squid5
squid4

I have to admit I was a bit uncomfortable with all of the fuss. Several people were busily preparing lunch and having visitors from Manila was probably messing with their normal ebb and flow. We had a fantastic lunch of fried lapu-lapu (caught just hours before) with squid3a sweet and sour sauce, and some huge squid that were first boiled, then lightly breaded in flour and deep fried on that charcoal stove I featured in an earlier post. The guests were served first and attended to in a manner that makes one understand why Filipinos are almost certainly amongst the most hospitable people in the world… I am used to welcoming people into my own home, and I enjoy cooking for them in a manner that will satisfy and fatten them up…but my brand of hospitality barely holds a candle to the few hours that I spent in this home in Culion. It was a wonderful experience and my thanks go out to our hosts that day…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Julie says:

    Thanks for featuring my hometown. It’s heartwarming to read about visitors enjoying my island and what it has to offer. Not been home for over 15 years and I know a lot has changed since the last time I visited. Your photos make me homesick. Thanks again.

    Apr 10, 2007 | 6:03 pm

     
  2. noemi says:

    what a yummy lunch. It makes me want have a vacation.

    Apr 10, 2007 | 8:10 pm

     
  3. Franco says:

    Lovely post. I want to go on vacation again.:)

    I miss the pace of life.

    Apr 10, 2007 | 9:20 pm

     
  4. corrrine says:

    It’s nice to have a friend in unfamiliar territory. Can you introduce me to your friend. hehe. The squid looks yummy!

    Apr 10, 2007 | 9:39 pm

     
  5. Maria Clara says:

    All I can say you managed your time wisely. In eight hours you have had scouted their market, visited their landmarks and luncheon with your hosts. Just eating and chit chatting takes almost an hour to two hours. Well planned, spent time and great accommodations from hospitable hosts. Lucky you. Your lapu lapu looks absolutely delicious since they came directly from the source. The squids look fantastic too. That makes them apart from the other lapu lapu and squid you had in the past – freshness in all its meaning and characteristics.

    Apr 11, 2007 | 12:05 am

     
  6. perkycinderella says:

    I miss the serenity that you can almost touch in the province.

    Apr 11, 2007 | 12:10 am

     
  7. Teddycapz says:

    Your feature on Culion, Palawan, among others, makes for great rustic musing about our own ancestral hometown visitations of yore. And that is what makes reading many of your posts simply endearing. Thanks, Mr. Marketman.

    Apr 11, 2007 | 1:05 am

     
  8. alilay says:

    that charcoal stove is a little bit modern because i remember that my grandma used to cook in a clay stove. every morning she will dampen the clay and ashes and smoothen the edges of the stove. now its like molded cement

    Apr 11, 2007 | 1:32 am

     
  9. Marketman says:

    alilay, you are absolutely right. I think they just bought the cement molded base recently. And yes, the clay ones are the older version… what amazed me is that they were still cooking on charcoal at all… imagine regulating the heat… Teddycapz, we must be getting old…heehee. Perkycinderella, that’s a great way of putting it “serenity you can almost touch”… and I would add lots of other adjectives like purity, earnestness, eagerness, etc.

    Apr 12, 2007 | 11:47 am

     
  10. Lou says:

    How are those huge squids in their degree of ternderness? My friend told me that she pounded them with a tenderizer “mallet” before boiling (half an hour) and they are very very tender. Ditto with medium octopuses. I’ve eaten them in curry. Any other known or hidden secrets about tenderizing them? I’d appreciate it a lot because they are readily available fresh or frozen in Montreal.

    Apr 13, 2007 | 2:09 am

     
  11. Flora says:

    Your article about “Lunch on Main Street in Culion…” makes me homesick…
    The pictures reminds me about where I came from… the food esp. the alimasag, and you fry the lapu-lapu and the squids and put some red tomatoes and fried rice…all are yummy and crunchy. It makes me hungry…
    Thanks for your posting…
    By the way, my mother came from Talisay, Cebu, my father came from Ormoc City and I was born in Culion, Palawan. How’s that???
    I went to Cebu last summer of 2006. I stayed in Montebello Hotel where I enjoyed so much than in Manila. You know it!!!!The cleanest place I’ve even known…I love it!.

    Aug 2, 2007 | 11:38 pm

     
  12. olazabal says:

    I totally miss the place. I was born their 35 year ago. Last July 31 was the feast of St. Ignatius, my beloved school.

    Aug 3, 2007 | 12:42 pm

     
  13. rick says:

    wish i was playing basketball in libis.canada is cold right now

    Dec 27, 2007 | 12:49 pm

     
  14. emerlyne bulotano says:

    have a nice day in culion..i live in rizal st.brgy.tiza..
    thanks for visiting us…

    Sep 26, 2008 | 4:23 pm

     
 

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