04 Mar2009


A late afternoon arrival, a trip to the local fish market, a quick stop at our host’s home to drop off our bags and freshen up, another trip to the airport to pick up Mrs. MM arriving from Cebu, a visit to The Ruins, and you can imagine we were all FAMISHED and ready for our first taste of Bacolod. And we were to be guests at our host’s Tita MM. I kid you not, those are her initials. It felt a bit like interlopers to be arriving for dinner at our host’s relatives’ home, but I can tell you that with such a warm and natural welcome, we were VERY QUICKLY AT EASE and gosh, can the locals eat or what? The first and one of the best discoveries of the trip had to be the adobong takway. Takway are the young runners or shoots/tendrils of gabi (taro) plants that look like soft pliable vines. These are stripped of their outer layer and chopped up into two inch pieces and sauteed with garlic, wonderful cane vinegar and a little soy. Some might find them a bit slimy, but I ABSOLUTELY loved this dish.


I could have dined on the adobong takway and rice alone (not to mention that brilliant garlic rice down there) but before this was even put on the table, a tray of fantastic lumpia ubod was laid out for us and I ate three pieces before I could sit down. The lumpia ubod was intensely flavored, without being excessively fatty. The garlic flavor slowly EXPLODED on your palate and I could taste it the following morning… The wraper was nice and thin and it was agreed that I just had to see how this lumpia ubod version was cooked, and a date the next day was set to meet the lady who made them…


We also had a terrific bowl of pancit molo, redolent with ham in a flavorful broth with freshly made molo wrappers that were silky and soft. But the food kept coming and coming and I gave up taking photos as I didn’t want to be rude, actually, I wanted to eat. There were several whole grilled fish, a bowl of aligue, camaron rebosado (fried battered shrimp), ukoy, red rice and several other goodies that I didn’t write down.


For dessert, we had a fantastic kalamay hati in perfectly sized single servings, some half moon cakes (something like taisan with custard on top, sinful) and salab or fried coconut meat. This was just the first meal of the trip, and I felt like I had eaten enough for the next day or two! All of this shared at a table for 8, with guests, our host and the rest of the family coursing in and through the dining room, just like any large family’s dinner time… Only later did we realize that our gracious and generous host, Tita MM, an incredibly warm soul with an obvious love for the food of Bacolod and Negros, was the wife of the Mayor of Silay! A huge thanks to Tita MM for such an endearing, honest, delicious and welcoming meal!


We would return to Tita MM’s home the next day to learn how to make bicho-bicho and lumpia ubod as well as explore some local markets as well. I have to clarify, this was our host’s tita, not ours. But by the third hour of our visit, it seemed natural to start referring to any tita as though they were our tita… :)



  1. titashi says:

    oh my what a spread! i would have traded my day job to be at your place in Bacolod and eat all those food hahaha! I’m looking forward to the lumpia ubod recipe MM, please post it na : ) And I am wondering how different the kalamay is from the ones sold her in our palengke, bite-size pieces is easier to eat than the big slices.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 9:42 am


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  3. myra_p says:

    Okay, those custard cakes look sinfully good… My morning coffee suddenly tastes so blah.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 9:55 am

  4. Jaja says:

    I love lumpiang ubod from Bacolod. I used to buy from the lady at the Salcedo Market just to satisfy my craving for that.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 9:57 am

  5. thea says:

    hi! i enjoy reading your blogs a lot… do you think you can share the recipe of the fresh lumpia ubod? i miss eating it so much! i hope you can share it with us… :D

    Mar 4, 2009 | 9:58 am

  6. deirdregurl says:

    wow, sarap! and to think, you were just on your first meal. looking forward to your next meal adventure in bacolod.
    napag usapan tuloy namin ng hubby, had we been to bacolod? and we realized, not yet! perhaps its about time we should ;)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 9:59 am

  7. ted says:

    Can’t wait for the lumpia ubod recipe post!!!! Yes, post it naaaaaa ;-)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:02 am

  8. ted says:

    forgot to say pleasssseeee!!! hehehe.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:03 am

  9. Dale says:

    Oh… My… Goodness… That meal looked amazing. I wish that we had that kind of food outside of the Philippines! Thanks for sharing the experience MM!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:04 am

  10. vina says:

    i miss half moon cake and lumpia ubod!!! gotta eat those when i go home in april!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:08 am

  11. ragamuffin girl says:

    I saw the picture and my heart stopped. I absolutely love takway. My mom is from Negros and used to cook this all the time when I was younger. I can’t remember the last time I had it!!!!
    The best lumpiang ubod I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating in Manila was at the old Rustan’s Cubao. The really old one with food stalls lining the entrance. The ubod was thin, fresh and chockfull of filling. Wish I could go to Bacolod. Wish takway could be found in HK. :)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:18 am

  12. Ellen says:

    What a fantastic experience, MM! I could almost taste the food.

    I have been to Bacolod once and the food is really, really heavenly. Something I can’t forget. I can just imagine the eating marathon that you had and that made me want to go back to Bacolod.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:24 am

  13. abby says:

    can’t wait for the lumpiang ubod recipe. I have been craving for these since I left Manila 10 years ago and don’t know where to get them here in NY. And a big thank you btw to sister, I tried the crescent cookie recipe and they were fabulous.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:29 am

  14. Maria Clara says:

    Adobong takway shoots up my curiosity factor to the ceiling. The unassuming gabi’s aborted stalk served in beautiful serving dish cooked in ubiquitous garlic, vinegar and soy sauce trinity impressed the palate of a foodie-who had dined to all Michelin rated restaurants and world class restaurant Per Se raved about it. It must be real good. Good stuff does not need be sourced from foreign land. It is growing in the wilderness like weed in our rich land. Hoping I will not have a nightmare tonight with that “fantastic kalamay hati” and have a good night sleep like a baby with a pacifier. Very difficult for me to get out of my mind good kakanin.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:38 am

  15. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Man!!! The picture of the pancit molo hit me in the gut!!! It looks soooooo good!!! Have to make a trip soon!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:41 am

  16. jun says:

    Yummy !!!! This is a lot better than the food serve on the restaurant in Manila. Home cooked regional food is something that the restaurant in manila are missing.

    Every restaurant in manila serve sinigang, sisig, lechon kawali, kare-kare, pinakbet, ginataan. nobody specialize on true homecooked regional food.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 11:04 am

  17. Lee says:

    Takway costs so little, a bunch good enough for a meal for three is only five pesos! I love cooking this with lots of garlic. I’m really glad this was one of the food you had in Bacolod.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 11:20 am

  18. toping says:

    Ah, that takway is making me laway

    Mar 4, 2009 | 11:24 am

  19. Marketman says:

    Lee, I LOVED the takway. Like so many simple and abundant ingredients, they can taste so incredibly good.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 11:36 am

  20. jona alforque says:

    seeing your post, I miss the lumpiang ubod and guapple pie of El Ideal restaurant in Silay City

    Mar 4, 2009 | 12:26 pm

  21. JLB says:

    The takway looks delicious, I’ve never heard of it before.

    Just curious, are there any other Filipino food/restaurant blogs by bloggers who are actually in the Philippines (not foreign Filipinos or OFWs)? The ones on the links page are all Filipinos based in foreign countries. One of the reasons I read MM is because it’s a Filipino food blog from someone who actually lives and travels around the country. Kinda gives MM much more credibility. :)

    BTW, I love the Eating Asia blog. Beautiful photos and interesting entries from around Southeast Asia. Thanks for the link!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 12:41 pm

  22. kittyM says:

    a gained 5 pounds just reading this pos! Yum Yum…the baby wants lumpiang ubod…NOW…poor husband. Best ones in manila?

    Mar 4, 2009 | 12:45 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    JLB, several in the links are based in the Philippines, 80breakfasts, Bucaio, LoneyKitchen, PinoyCook, Tablefor3, etc. for example.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 12:53 pm

  24. RobKSA says:

    This reminds me a lot about my childhood that were spent in Iloilo and Roxas City. I really need to go back there, pronto :(. Thanks for sharing and maybe tell us how to exactly cook takway as I remember that it can be “makati” if not done properly. Once in a while I can see takway around here in Saudi Arabia but don’t have the courage to buy because of that “makati” memory if not done properly. Thanks

    Mar 4, 2009 | 12:58 pm

  25. Rhea says:

    takway also tastes good when sauteed in/ with bagoong [guinamos sa mga Ilonggo]. just had lunch, pero naglalaway ako sa pics.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 1:30 pm

  26. Doddie from Korea says:


    I partially grew up in Bacolod (went to high school and college there). I love the Ilonggo fresh lumpia – redolent with garlic and such sweet savory sauce. I shall look forward to see how they made this. I actually remember buying this from a store in front of La Salle University (USLS) when I was still in college.

    Please don’t miss out in tasting the Bacolod version of Ni-laga (pronounced Nee-la-ga, sharp accent on the last two syllables) that is sour and flavored with batwan. Oh and you must try the pork stew called Kadyos. It is heavenly. Now I miss Bacolod and its wonderful food so much. Sigh

    Mar 4, 2009 | 1:42 pm

  27. rina says:

    MM the half moon cakes look like they’re from Pendy’s, another Bacolod institution. Bob’s and Calea should also be on your “don’t miss” list.

    if you have the chance to get pancit efuven from the market it’s a taste of Bacolod you can bring home.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 1:57 pm

  28. Mila says:

    That custardy dessert looks like those inverted brazo de mercedes we had in Angeles. I love Bacolod for the desserts, all that sugary heritage makes for a bounty of sweet nibblings.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 2:46 pm

  29. Rose5 says:

    wow! kalami sa adobong takway…love it with gata sad…hmmm will try to look for it sa carbon or mandaue market

    Mar 4, 2009 | 3:09 pm

  30. Ariel says:

    fresh lumpia and pancit molo. now I really want to go to Bacolod.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 3:27 pm

  31. suzette says:

    i absolutely love this lumpia and pancit molo… i have an ilonngga friend who now lives here in laguna, during their special occasions, her mother sends these dishes together w/ lechon, brazo de mercedes and other bacolod treats. yum!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 5:08 pm

  32. Celina says:

    Glad you got to try takway. The last time I ate it was years ago when I used to live in Bacolod. Our lavandera used to cook it best. She also made the most delicious Ubad(inner core of the banana trunk)with kadyos, pata and batwan. This is never served in any Manila restaurant.

    The lumpia from Bacolod is like no other. The wrapper is made with no eggs therefore making it very thin and light. There is no sweet sauce like in Manila and there is a very strong garlic flavor. Long ago, it used to be served with a spring onion stuck inside but has since disappeared because most people would remove them. It was worth the bad breath believe me. Raw garlic and spring onion……..what a combination but heavenly. The best lumpia ubod still is made by Emma Lacson. Her empanada and panara are like no other, not to mention her pancit molo. She used to have her “manuglibod” who used to sell her products around the streets of Bacolod with a bila-o on his head. His was know as “Agi”. My mom used to buy from him the pionono and angel cakes among other goodies. As he got older his son took over the manuglibod trade. I am sure many Negrenses will remember all these. All these goodies sold in your doorstep. What a luxury.

    The most incredible piyaya is still made by the Bailon’s. It is super thin and crunchy, hollow with a thin shiny coating of muscovado sugar. Everyone else’s pale in comparison. Others are imitations of this original.

    Those yema covered cakes in your pictures are the half moons from Pendy’s. There are also the delicious Chinese Lumpia made by Mrs. Uybico sold in Pendy’s everyday.

    If you will notice, the carousel of flights from Bacolod are always full of boxes of food not to mention fighting cocks. Now you know why………..

    Mar 4, 2009 | 5:37 pm

  33. Celina says:

    Doddie from Korea, the pork stew is not called Kadyos. Kadyos are the black beans cooked with pork.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 5:38 pm

  34. Doddie from Korea says:


    That is weird since my friends and their moms would call the stew/soup, Kadyos. I am aware that the beans are called Kadyos and even the eatery that used to be in front of La Salle called the stew Kadyos. Hmmm, I need to email my best friend there (who lives in Talisay City) about the name again.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 6:01 pm

  35. grace says:

    if you are still in bacolod, please do not miss Calea’s, they have a branch near El Fisher Hotel and another one in Robinson’s. they’re cakes are the BEST!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 6:13 pm

  36. millet says:

    i’ve never had adobo takway…i love it with gata, but i haven’t had it in a long time. might just try to cook adobong takway this weekend, after i try out moni’s stir-fried pako with oyster sauce. ahhh, the new dishes we get to try because of this blog!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 6:13 pm

  37. iyoy says:

    am not to sure about this and i hope others from western visayas would chime in. “takway” is the runners of another kind of gabi, the one they call “abalong” whose leaves and stalks can also be cooked with guinamos. in the link MM provided, the photo of gabi shows just one sorry looking runner whereas a single “abalong” plant may have three to four which can grow as long as two feet (possibly longer). the difference between gabi (“gutaw”) and “abalong” is that the latter does not have well-developed tubers.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 6:56 pm

  38. Rona Y says:

    I hope you managed to get some empanada while you were in Silay! The filling is much much too sweet, but the crust is incredible. It’s old-style–the kind that’s coiled then rolled out, so there are layers and layers. Someone I read once said Filipino empanada should be made with cream of whatever soup (?!?!?!?! Do Filipinos really make it that way? I’ve never had that kind of empanada–sounds like the North American cream of whatever soup casserole–ick!), but the Silay version is NOTHING like that! Must be eaten fresh, though, or it gets too greasy!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 7:01 pm

  39. Rona Y says:

    By the way, any chance of finding out where the kalamay hati and those half-moon cakes were from? Or were they homemade?

    I’m meeting my mother in Manila later this month, and she can bring me some!

    Mar 4, 2009 | 7:03 pm

  40. sanojmd says:

    adobong takway is a must try.. i love pansit molo..

    Mar 4, 2009 | 7:10 pm

  41. RobKSA says:

    Both the kadyos beans and the pork stew with kadyos are called “kadyos.”

    Mar 4, 2009 | 8:12 pm

  42. brenda says:

    that’s correct…. kadyos is the beans and the stew is called kadyos. in Iloilo there’s a dish called KBL (kadyos, baboy and langka) never tried it though, never liked it.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 8:34 pm

  43. faye.astorga says:

    :) wow! i love the lumpia ubod, pancit molo, and the custard sweets. comfort food talaga. they are perfect for merienda (for me!) MM, about time you visited Bacolod. We know you’ve been intrigued with the place for a long time. hehe. hope you enjoyed it.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 10:21 pm

  44. Celina says:

    Those half moons are from Pendy’s

    Mar 4, 2009 | 11:08 pm

  45. lyn says:

    o man — i remember my mom’s pancit molo. i looked forward to it every holiday season (since that was the only time she made it). I haven’t had a good bowl of pancit molo in SUCH a long time. Thanks for bringing back to warm-fuzzies. I think it’s time I learn to make some =)

    Mar 4, 2009 | 11:41 pm

  46. Francis says:

    Nothing here in California would ever compare to adobong takway and half-moon cakes from Pendy’s.

    Thanks for the post Marketman! This totally brings me back home to Bacolod.

    Mar 4, 2009 | 11:56 pm

  47. simone says:

    JD’s lumpia ubod is also yummy and peanuty.. The wrapper is soft and chewy. They have a branch in the new Iloilo airport and I often see flight attendants and pilots buy them by the dozen. If you happen to go to Iloilo try it. The other delicacies are not as good though..

    BTW, MM don’t forget to try Bacolod’s Napoleones. It is heavenly!

    Mar 5, 2009 | 12:49 am

  48. angelbride says:

    I had a lot of distinct memories of takway and kalamay-hati. Growing up in the “uma” in Silay, takway is the cheapest meal in the house, almost to the point of getting tired of the same food(because tatay didn’t want one of his chickens to get cooked). Kalamay-hati is always a yes on our table every “tingkalalag” season. My nanay and grandma makes a delicious version, which makes me crave for it right now. My grandma on my mother’s side of the family used to make the best “pinangat” in Silay where she would go to her suki in the city hall offices to sell it for years. She cooks her abalong pinangat with bits of pork and “gumaa” dried fish for hours till its very tender then finally putting in the coconut milk and spices and cook through. Now I so miss everything from Silay when its about food. There’s no place like home. I try to go home once every two years and I always have this list of food that I wanted to eat when I get there but once I’m back in Albuquerque, it seemed like i didn’t have it all! Looking forward to come home early next year though.*grin* Thanks for sharing this Mr. MM.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 12:53 am

  49. Ona says:

    OMG – those Moon cakes look so delightful, especially that buttery custard topping! I come from a family that LOVES taisan, we’d definitley be fighting over a last piece of moon cake.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 2:55 am

  50. openonymous says:

    I used to live in Bacolod and still miss the diwal I want to try it again, but everytime I come home to MNL in the holiday season people tell me that it is not in season. I can still taste that grilled diwal, oh it was so rich!They look like razor clams but not even close when compared to taste, the shells looks like angel wings.
    I also remember the Alimusang cooked sinigang style by the roadside in Pulupandan. It was just like kanduli, same catfish family?
    Also , were you served the fish called Tequiero or kitang in tagalog? that was such a sweet fish.
    bacolod also has the a version of the bulalo but it is is sour soup though like sinigang, it is called Kansi, I remember going to kansihans in the housing communities in Bacolod which were just houses or garages converted to eateries
    how can I forget the inasal? isol was not popular then, in the late 80’s so what i did was ask my driver to go to my fave inasal place and buy all the isols for my contentment.
    I remember kalamay hati as being packaged in coconut shells and sold in Pulupandan or the Negros navigation piers.
    yes, I fell in love with Bacolod and its fair maidens, if i didn’t move here in the tets, I will be in Bacolod tending to my salt mines.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 3:36 am

  51. Mimi says:

    yummy custard cakes! they remind me of half-inipits with a very yolky looking top…mm, did you manage to get the recipe for this? would love to make some, someday…thanks for sharing!

    Mar 5, 2009 | 9:20 am

  52. cynthia says:

    When I was still in college (circa 91-96), our boarding house is just a street away from Libertad Market where we buy fresh takway. This had been my staple diet during those times when my mother could hardly give me enough allowance for one week. To stretch my budget, I buy several bundles of takway and cook it into adobo, put it in a “garapon” and store it in the ref for lasting consumption. I just reheat it or put on top of sinaing and whoa, instant adobo rice na!

    I’m not sure if you have tasted bukayo and baye-baye already?
    Bukayo is made from freshly grated young coconut and sugar while bukayo is a ground roasted rice and brown sugar mixed with young coconut and molded into squares. Laguna has this similar kakanin, only theirs are white in color because they use white sugar.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 10:34 am

  53. vina says:

    Doddie from Korea:

    I believe the name of that store in front of USLS was Yummy Yummy? yes, they made good, lumpia ubod (and sisig!). the cook there, Nene, has her own store now, called – what else – Nene’s Snackhouse, in front of USLS-IS.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 3:06 pm

  54. maddie says:

    Someone sells good fresh lumpiang ubod here. They are from Bacolod also. Quite close to what we had back home. I’ll email you the number.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 4:16 pm

  55. Lee says:

    A variation of the KBL can be found at the Corner Eatery in Libertad Extension, where Lizares Avenue ends. Instead of the black kadyos they use the brownish red beans which I guess are from “balatong” or string beans. Namit gid!

    Mar 5, 2009 | 5:12 pm

  56. Katrina says:

    I was just in Bacolod, and now you’re making me want to return, MM! Our visit was just way too short, bitin! You probably got to eat more than I did — even with my researching on what to eat in Bacolod, I never even heard of takway. I shall note all the food you had so I can look for them next time.

    I loved those half moon cakes of Pendy’s. Another thing we enjoyed at Pendy’s was the Angus beef tapa, served with these beautiful fried eggs which I’m sure were organic. And their ensaimada was good, too. Not sure if they would’ve been YOUR type of ensaimada, MM, but I really liked it…and I’m picky about ensaimada. Pendy’s was also where I got all excited pasalubong shopping, because they had all these treats I remember from my childhood but hardly see anymore.

    Mar 5, 2009 | 6:08 pm

  57. winter says:

    Man, i was just in bacolod and missed the takway! Going back in 3 weeks, will look for it. It was my first time in negros, and negros didn’t disappoint — tapa and adobo at pendy’s, inasal everywhere, lumpia from el ideal in silay… ay caramba! no wonder gerry’s grill closed…what with fine dining so cheap.

    I finally understood why a colleague said I wouldn’t appreciate Starbucks there because of Kuppa’s: a cup of great coffee, served in a coffee press, for 30 bucks, at the same size as Starbucks’ hundred-bucks cup. Had a chance to sample the baye-baye and napoleones, too. And mango agogo (ice candy)! I think I gained 10 pounds over 5 days…but no regrets :-D

    Mar 5, 2009 | 7:44 pm

  58. faye.astorga says:

    Ahhh, so the custard cakes are from Pendy’s. Thanks Celine!Will now add that to pasalubong list. Bailon’s piaya (a must), Calea cake, Napoleones.. now those goodies are uniquely from Bacolod. ;)

    Mar 5, 2009 | 11:51 pm

  59. ktyne says:

    Hi Dodie…maybe we’ve had crossed paths in La Salle since i daily visit a very close friend there and i graduated there too. The lumpia ubod in front of la salle is from Yummy Yummy (formerly capitol supermarket) and the you can still have this mouth-watering KBL (Kadyos Baboy Langka) soup they make if you can come home here and all also those great home-made foods made out of the best ingredients your palate can taste.

    Mar 6, 2009 | 12:16 pm

  60. Angie from NY says:

    Abby, you can try the fresh lumpia made by Luisa Dabao who is from Iloilo. She can be reached at 718-626-6171, she lives in Astoria, NY.

    Mar 6, 2009 | 10:53 pm

  61. Glenn Jones says:

    Glenn from NJ says;
    Anyone who has a recipe for piyaya, please can you post it. i love them and want to make some. thank you soooooooo much.

    Mar 7, 2009 | 10:32 am

  62. suzie says:

    Anybody who knows of a store in California or in Portland,Oregon that sells fresh Abalong or Takway, the ‘runners’ of the Taro plant? Thank You!

    Apr 19, 2009 | 4:50 pm

  63. beth says:

    waaa… i miss takway.. i once found a store that sells takway when i was in NY!!! men… i cleaned that strings for hours.. it took us 5 minutes to wipe it out… it was worth it.. Nobody cooks like BACOLODNON!!! and i’m proud to be one!!!

    Jun 8, 2009 | 3:05 pm

  64. shelle says:

    @beth actually pancit molo is not from bacolod it’s from iloilo. which was definitely cooked by an “ilonggo”.. just enjoy the meal.

    May 9, 2010 | 12:25 am


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