Flavors of the Regions – Manila Newsletter


Every new year, I look forward to the release of the Bangko Sentral calendar which comes in three forms: wall calendar, desk calendar and daily planner. In recent years, the Bangko Sentral, through a series of calendars, has showcased its art treasures with paintings by Filipino artists, pre-Hispanic gold collections, artefacts and antique wooden crafts. . The Bangko Sentral has its reserve holdings, not only in gold and currencies, but also in art.

Leafing through these calendars is like browsing our heritage and history, as well as the artistry of Filipino masters and artisans. Through these calendars, the Bangko Sentral shared with the public its art collections which are rarely exhibited while awaiting the creation of a museum. I have shared these calendars with friends and several of them have kept them saying they consider them collectibles as well.

Last year, instead of representing some of its works of art, the Bangko Sentral presented in its 2021 calendar the lighthouses scattered over the Philippine archipelago. It is always a tribute to the versatile work of the Filipinos who worked to put up these imposing monuments. Said calendar was full of anthologies accompanied by superb photographs. Lighthouses have stood the test of time and still remain tourist attractions. More importantly, they are all still functional as navigation beacons for sailors and fishermen.

For 2022, the BangkoSentral guides us on another tour, this time through the culinary specialties of the different regions. His calendar is aptly titled Panlasa: Flavor of the Regions. Many would be familiar with the dishes presented there, but the presentations would still be very pleasant and interesting. Some dishes have their etymological origins while several others are endemic to certain regions due to the ingredients coming from those regions. The evolution of dishes, their popularity and our love for them manifests our distinct tastes and character as Filipinos. Below are some sample dishes.

Lechon it is said to come from the spanish word lechona which means “suckling pig”. A popular variation is Cebu’s lechon, with the mouth-watering taste of its blend of garlic and onion. From the Cordillera, etag is a term used for meat preserved in the traditional way. It is often served as an offering during festivities and is used to perfume pinikpikan and other traditional delicacies. From the Ilocos region, bagnet comes from the word Ilocano bagnetine which means “to preserve the pork”. This method of cooking dates back to the days before the Spanish set foot in the Philippines.

From the region of Caraca, bunta is an elaborate and creative way to serve crabs. Buntaa got the word name binuntaan which means “to withdraw”. Its preparation consists of extracting crab meat mixed with crab fat (align) and stuff them into the crab shells which are then boiled in coconut milk. From the Western Visayas, a more recent vintage is the “KBL” or kadyos, baby, langka (pigeon peas, pork and jackfruit). This delicious pork stew has the sweet and sour taste of batwan, the citrus aroma of lemongrass and the purple hue of kadyos. From the region of Bicol, there is the pinangat, a puff pastry roll of pork and shrimps cooked in coconut cream. From the Tagalog region, silog is the popular breakfast of sinangag and itlog, spawning variations such as faucet and tocilog.

Thank you BangkoSentral for this welcome gift for 2022!

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The comments above are the personal opinions of the writer. His e-mail address is [email protected]




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