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 quick 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 hostâ€™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.
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 a 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 worldâ€¦ 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 upâ€¦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 dayâ€¦