15 Apr2007


After a long day in Culion and a 90 minute banca ride back to Coron, we landed at the pier behind the local market late afternoon and decided to see if there were any fish on offer… f2The market was HOPPING and the selection was quite impressive. I guess locals buy their dinner an hour or two before they cook it up and I was so thrilled that I decided to purchase a fish and hope the cook back at the hotel would agree to prepare it for us… The problem was, what fish should it be? Up top, these small salinyasi, were the fish leaping out of the water in the early morning banca ride to Culion… sort of like little dilis or anchovies, I had never eaten these particular fish before so we passed on them despite their freshness. The next batch of fish were incredibly fresh looking tulingan at just PHP40-50 a kilo but the minimum size was about 2 kilos or so and it isn’t a favorite of mine… Several vendors had reef fresh talakitok that are always an easy choice fried, in soups, with sauces, grilled, etc…but I passed on the first few batches of this fish, pictured below…


Lapis, the fourth choice, looked interesting but seemed to be a bit big for our dinner requirements.


An amusing local name adidas or tsinelas (flip-flops) for these fish meant a definite pass…


Isdang bato and a warning from a local that these were third class eating fish meant skipping these as well…


Beautiful, colorful and abundant, these loro or parrotfish seemed to nice to fry up but I wasn’t bowled over…


The glutton in me took a second look at this gi-normous 6-7 kilo bahura or jack/talakitok but I only needed dinner for two people so I circled back through the market…


…and ended up with this 1.2 kilo yellow spotted talakitok that was incredibly fresh and would be perfect for dinner…assuming our hotel cook would oblige us. f9Thankfully, the cook, Henry, happily fried the fish up for us and served it with a sweet and sour sauce. Along with some vegetables, we had a fantastic dinner. And the cost? Just PHP80 a kilo (PHP96 for the whole fish) + about PHP50 for a cooking fee! We could have fed 3 hungry folks and for less than $1 each…don’t you just love eating in the provinces??? Fish prices ranged from PHP30 to 100 a kilo (the latter for fine lapu-lapu) and they were amongst the freshest fish I have ever seen for sale…



  1. MRJP says:

    When we visit the Philippines again, Palawan will definitely be the place we will see first. These series of posts about Palawan made me really wanna see the province.

    Apr 15, 2007 | 11:43 pm


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  3. eumir says:

    80 pesos a kilo? MM, that was a steal…. hehehe

    Apr 16, 2007 | 7:30 am

  4. millet says:

    “isdang bato” or “isda sa bato” is the locals’ generic term for all kinds of reef fish. those in your photo are not third class specimen at all..they’re good fried, or paksiw.

    Apr 16, 2007 | 4:28 pm

  5. Maria Clara says:

    You are indeed rewarded on your local vacation – fresh catch of the day for dinner and no dent in your wallet plus lush, serene and impeccable sceneries. Wishing upon a star that someday I will be able to enjoy Coron!

    Apr 17, 2007 | 3:18 am

  6. Cecile says:

    came across your site looking for a new recipe for lapu lapu, loved the story about Lapu Lapu being your relative. My family went on the same Coron adventure, staying in a local hotel, renting bancas to go out and buying fresh fish at the market for the cook to prepare. We just brought our own bubbly to celebrate the beauty of the place!

    Jul 3, 2007 | 4:18 pm


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