08 Sep2009


It was roughly 9:30 am, and we had just finished circling the seafood section of the market in Bacolod City. A little peckish, we decided to have a light snack at the edge of the seafood section where this cheery lady had catering trays filled with freshly cooked dishes, turo-turo style. We sat at the tiled counter (meant for fish) now covered with a vinyl cover, to enjoy our morning merienda. The halaan or small clam soup was the first thing that caught our eye, and at PHP20 a bowl, this was the deal of the month! Can you imagine, a heady broth of just cooked small fresh clams, patola (loofah), alugbati, onions, etc. for less than $0.40? Fantastic!


Also on offer were adobong pusit or squid, a little later some stir fried ampalaya or bitter gourd with eggs, a huge tray of kinilaw or vinegared raw fish…


In addition to the soup, made from clams purchased some 10 feet away, we had an order of kinilaw (PHP30) which was good, but not great…


I took a photo of the proprietress measuring out a portion of soup for take out… Some of the best things in life, foodwise, are often the simplest, most honest and freshest dishes… And they are incredibly well-priced. :)




  1. digitalmac says:

    that’s good eatin’!

    Sep 8, 2009 | 4:47 am


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  3. bearhug0127 says:

    MM, these are great comfort foods…saraaaap…the clam soup with alugbati and other veggies looks good.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 4:51 am

  4. millet says:

    have never made clam soup with patola and alugbati. makes me want to try this sometime.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 5:25 am

  5. sanojmd says:

    wow, simple pleasures of life…meals did not have to be eloquent and extravagant to be enjoyed.. it only proves MM that a thousand dollar worth of a dinner using the people’s money is NEVER a simple meal.. we can eat a simple yet decent meal without looking patay-gutom..

    Sep 8, 2009 | 5:33 am

  6. Lou says:

    Clam soup is yummy! And with patola? What a great idea. I should try this with the blander veg available out here, like summer squash.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 7:08 am

  7. James says:

    If it doesn’t cost $300 per head, the meal is not worth eating!

    Where’s my champagne?!?!?!?

    Sep 8, 2009 | 7:49 am

  8. natie says:

    ..dishes of my childhood—miss patola.40 cents!

    Sep 8, 2009 | 7:51 am

  9. ingrid says:

    ay kasarap! i would wish its rainy and eat the clam soup.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 9:11 am

  10. Cris Jose says:

    Not all the best things in life are expensive. Not all the pleasures of life bear a price tag.

    Before I borrow the seal of disapproval (LOL) … Hi, MM! I certainly miss having halaan soup… and that certainly is a steal at Php20.00 a bowl. I miss Bacolod… miss the incredibly fresh and incredibly cheap sea food. :)

    Sep 8, 2009 | 9:54 am

  11. Toping says:

    Now that’s good, down-home food (except for the alugbati, which I hate, hehe). And you can’t beat service with a smile, too!

    Sep 8, 2009 | 10:38 am

  12. junb says:

    send the clam to manila which will take a day or two then served in a restaurant this will probably cost P200-300 per bowl and of course taste wont be the same anymore :)

    Sep 8, 2009 | 11:19 am

  13. marcial bonifacio says:

    nothing beats pinoy food vendors! sarap!

    Sep 8, 2009 | 11:30 am

  14. Joyce says:

    “patola (loofah)” reminded me of the loofah craze that hit the philippines a few years back where people grew patola to sell as loofah later on.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 11:58 am

  15. diday says:

    millet, me too I’ll give it ago — interesting alugbati and patola. I have made baby crabs with alugbati, ginisa style.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 12:59 pm

  16. sheena says:

    mas masarap talagang kumain lalo na kung hindi mabigat sa bulsa… :)

    Sep 8, 2009 | 1:40 pm

  17. Gener says:

    Halaan,,,i used to get them just 8 meters away from my courtyard. i used to get them fresh from the beach enough for a soup of the day! i just let it stay on the water for several hours to let all the sands they ate to removed then ready to cook! good for me as few people in this country knows how to eat halaan, good for me anyway! i have a huge stock of halaan just few meters away from my house..

    Sep 8, 2009 | 2:53 pm

  18. Ariel says:

    i have only used patola for miswa. usually for halaan i use pepper leaves then I use bottled clam sauce as the broth.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 3:51 pm

  19. Asi says:

    yum yum.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 4:42 pm

  20. Fred Lopez says:

    just saw this today. off topic, I think MM mentioned this last month?


    Sep 8, 2009 | 5:01 pm

  21. Lory Baylon says:

    Thank you for your blogs about bacolod it decreases my homesickness here abroad.thank you also because you are considering bacolod as one of the best food dstinations in our country.

    Sep 8, 2009 | 5:03 pm

  22. Camille says:

    Meal can be simple and cheap but very satisfying..I havent had adobong pusit for a very long time.I miss home…

    Sep 8, 2009 | 5:14 pm

  23. Anna Banana says:

    This reminds me of the “ukyang” soup I had as a child in Ilocos. Ukyang being the ilocano term for the tiny, tiny clams. What a perfect post for a rainy day!

    Hmmm, I actually have a stupid question, is there any difference between tulya and halaan? Or are they just terms we use to call clams of any sizes?

    Sep 8, 2009 | 5:51 pm

  24. chris says:

    i miss halaan. it’s a favorite. but i dont buy them anymore since most of the tahong or halaan for the manila market come from the manila bay…

    Sep 8, 2009 | 6:39 pm

  25. Vicky Go says:

    @ariel: Oh yes, patola w miswa & “hibe”. The patola & hibe sauteed in garlic & onion & maybe a little bit of alamang/bagoong. And then the soup served w a bit of that reddish-purple preserved (buro) small fish! Talk about comfort food on a rainy day!

    @Anna B: not sure what halaan is in English, but tulya is periwinkle. I think like Manila clams, these are all varieties of clams that happen to be “small”ish. Back home, we used to make tulya very simply: “sinuam” w a small crushed knob of luya & perhaps some malunggay leaves added at the end! Sooo good! And I am making myself really homesick!

    Sep 8, 2009 | 11:02 pm

  26. Vicky Go says:

    Found this Feb 2005 MM post on clams: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/halaan-clams

    Sep 8, 2009 | 11:12 pm

  27. Connie C says:

    The clams that MM featured here I think are the ones found under deeper water and are more flavorful. There are those with a a greenish hue and are gathered from under shallow muddy waters which I made a mistake of buying once in Puerto Princesa. The latter will make the soup cloudy with ultra fine sand even after soaking them in water to purge the sand and grime. Still, they make a delicious hearty soup.

    What a shame that we can’t eat clams harvested in certain places for fear of contamination.

    Sep 9, 2009 | 1:29 am

  28. juls says:

    more bacolod entries!!!!

    heheheh… MM, i’m sure Ms. Fores has knighted you honorary Negrense with all the food articles you’ve been dishing out from my province…

    can’t wait for the lumpia wrapper entry of yours…

    but still, can’t believe you’ve never featured Calea!

    Sep 9, 2009 | 1:48 am

  29. juls says:

    MM, have you gotten the Aug issue of appetite magazine? — all about Negros….

    Ms. Fores ought to bring you to Hinigaran sana….

    Sep 9, 2009 | 1:49 am

  30. chiqui says:

    yummy clam soup.

    Sep 9, 2009 | 4:55 am

  31. Gener says:

    Anna Banana,
    Halaan is actually from the sea BUT there is no specific name for ilocano i guess so we simply called it “UKYANG” or DUKYANG or BENNEK which is mainly named for halaan of rivers. There are many names for this shells in ilocano and even sometimes named them as KAPPO or BILDAT which is different varieties with the same characteristics..This shells are quite different anyway from AGURUNG,BISUKOL,LEDDEG,DURIKEN,BIRABID,SUSU and KUSKUSLENG which are all edible and delicious to eat.this are the shells which are not known in tagalog and english except ofcourse having scientific names….

    Sep 9, 2009 | 2:45 pm

  32. Flor says:

    In Eastern Visayas where I’m from, we call this ” Balinday or Barinday. Also good sahog for pansit! Try it!

    Sep 10, 2009 | 8:54 am

  33. Anna Banana says:

    Hi Vicky and Gener, thanks for the replies :) Oh those ilocano terms! Haha, haven’t heard of them for quite some time. I love bisukol! So I guess halaan is just a generic term then.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 1:17 am

  34. psychomom says:

    i thought periwinkles were small su-so?

    Sep 15, 2009 | 12:07 am


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