Monday, May 26, 2014

Pampanga Culinary Tour: Rediscovering Kapampangan Cuisines and Concoctions Among the Collections

Wazzup Pilipinas!

In celebration of the International Museum Day, the Museo ning Angeles and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) prepared a guided tour of the inner depths of Filipino cuisine with lecturers who not only talk about food but actually live it, at the same time, experience Kapampangan cooking traditions and feast upon it.

True enough, notable personalities like internationally awarded author and culture advocate Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, renowned Filipino chef and artist Claude Tayag, famous food historian and cook Atching Lillian Borromeo and historian and consultant Francis Musni were the chosen speakers to grace the Pampanga Culinary Tour held at the Culinarium of Museo ning Angeles of Angeles, Pampanga last May 15, 2014, and on May 16, 2014 at several sites like Lillian Borromeo's ancestral home - hailed as Mexico, Pampanga's center of culinary attraction., and at the Historic Camalig Restaurant - the home of Armando's Pizza, which earned the monicker as the "Pambansang Pizza."

The Culinarium is dedicated to Kapampangan culinary art and is developed from the basic concept that food preparation is a heritage and a legacy worth preserving not only by exhibit or collection but most importantly by continuous practice of this living tradition.

Culinarium exhibit at the second floor of Museo ning Angeles

Cooking Pots and stoves of yesteryear's kitchen
Bringing back knowledge of the historical past for the benefit of the new generation
A pot, some cups and saucers on top of a table on display at Museo ning Angeles' Culinarium
Adorable Tourism students doing  OJT at the Museo ning Angeles 

Felice Prudente Sta. Maria

Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, the first speaker of day one of the culinary tour, talked about Philippine Culinary Traditions. According to her, culinary history is not trivia gathering, it is about understanding how Filipinos interact with the environment to create a life of sustenance, and hopefully, goodness. Culinary traditions are among the most dynamic elements of culture which demands excellence. She points out four culinary traditions namely, how we Filipinos enjoy eating with others, customizing our food, using new food ingredients, processes and products, and having food traditions.

She also shares that the Philippines is rich in culinary traditions. We are caretakers of traditions for our generation. We decide which to keep - fully, partially or revised. Every generation re-learns from its elders what is valuable and worth keeping alive. Subsequent generations will care and sustain the best, and pass on those that are more meaningful. Some may incorporate modern and more efficient methods.
Claude Tayag

Claude Tayag talked about Filipino food in the international market as he took us to a food trip discussion encompassing Filipino dishes that reached other lands outside the Philippines. He had no prepared slides to show us except a few photos of some people of different nationalities who shared our passion for Pinoy dishes, and made it their business at the

He also shared photos of different variations of the Adobo, and also discussed about Sisig, and how they evolved as it passes from one person to the next.

Bringhi Pizza, Pan de Bagnet, Pancit Pata Humba, and Iced Lemongrass tea.

We then feasted on some Claude Tayag specialty dishes from his Bale Dutung restaurant as afternoon snacks during the break before we proceeded to a tour of Museo ning Angeles and the Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum.

Served as snacks were Bringhi Pizza, Pan de Bagnet, Pancit Pata Humba, and Iced Lemongrass tea.

Atin Ta Pung Singsing and Kulitan
A performance was also presented that afternoon where the Kapampangan song Atin Ta Pung Singsing where played by guitar and written in Kulitan characters. They also introduced the artist who was working on the painting depicting Kapampangan dishes.

A colorful representation of one of the famed salads of Pampanga

An artist's painting canvas

Mix and match of colors to bring out the right hues

Jonathan Tinio, otherwise known as Kim, of Museo ning Angeles starts the walking tour at the museum
Museo ning Angeles exhibit at the ground floor of the museum
Museo ning Angeles exhibit
Museo ning Angeles exhibit
Museo ning Angeles exhibit
Museo ning Angeles exhibit
Museo ning Angeles exhibit
A short walk to Holy Angel University takes us to the Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum exhibit
Kim at the Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum exhibit
The enigmatic Macabebes at the Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum
A lot of interesting pieces at the Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum
Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum exhibit was grand and truly detailed
Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum theater to watch two short video presentations
Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum exhibit
Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum exhibit
Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum also showcases a Vicente Manansala exhibit
Center for Kapampangan Studies Museum Vicente Manansala exhibit
Tinikling and other native dances from the Kuliat Foundation teens

The Kapampangan buffet dinner was a tummy-filling gastronomic delight
The night was ended by a dance performance from the Kuliat Foundation and a fabulous Kapampangan buffet dinner composed of Sisig Babi, Karikaring Baka, Pindang (Damulag and Babi), Pititsan Babi, Ensaladang Ampalaya, Fish Fillet with Tausi, and with desserts  like Tibuk Tibuk, Bukayung Kamuti, Fresh Fruits, and a drink of cucumber juice.

The second day of the tour required us to be up so early as we go on a trip to Sta. Rita Pampanga to see and taste the much talked about delicacies of Pampanga. We had to take breakfast immediately at Imerex Plaza, our hotel accommodation for two days, after a short walk around the vicinity taking photos of the hotel and nearby Pamintuan Mansion, the Holy Rosary Parish church, and the Museo ning Angeles museum.We wanted to visit the market place but it was already too late to do that since we need to be back at the museum for the early morning bus tour.

Imerex Plaza Hotel is one of the newest hotels in Angeles, Pampanga
Having breakfast with friends, Dennis and Wyatt, at Imerex Plaza rooftop
Cornsilog Breakfast at Imerex Plaza
Holy Rosary Parish church
Inside the Holy Rosary Parish church
Pamintuan Mansion
Museo ning Angeles museum
Waiting at the Museo ning Angeles office
On board a tour bus with Kim as our Tour Guide

On board a tour bus with Kim from Museo ning Angeles as our tour guide, we passed by a couple of churches like the San Guillermo Parish and Sto. Domingo church along the way so we took a few minutes side-trip to see them up close both outside and inside for some photo ops.

San Guillermo Parish church
San Guillermo Parish church inside
Sto. Domingo Church
Sto. Domingo Church inside
We did this alternately while we visited the places where they make Turrones de Casuy, and Sans Rival at Ocampo Lansang Delicacies, and the Patko and Burquillos ni Apung Sta. Rita at the home of May Mercado.

Pampanga Culinary Tour Ocampo Lansang Delicacies owner
The current owner says they are very particular with brands that they use on their products and no amount of persuasion has convinced the to change from the traditional and best choice. They also keep the recipe secret and only the eldest and longest-stayed staff knows the secret ingredients.

Pampanga Culinary Tour Ocampo Lansang Delicacies Felisa Lansang

Pampanga Culinary Tour Ocampo Lansang Delicacies D Original
Pampanga Culinary Tour Ocampo Lansang Delicacies Turrones De Casuy
Pampanga Culinary Tour Ocampo Lansang Delicacies Sans Rival
At the Sta. Rita Homemade Delicacies of May Mercado, they said they can be hired on the spot to make Patko and Burquillos for any occasion. Both products can be quickly made just like hotcakes but each one has different consistencies and methods of cooking.

Burquillos making at Sta. Rita Homemade Delicacies of May Mercado
Burquillos at Sta. Rita Homemade Delicacies of May Mercado
Patko making at Sta. Rita Homemade Delicacies of May Mercado
Patko making at Sta. Rita Homemade Delicacies of May Mercado
Patko at Sta. Rita Homemade Delicacies of May Mercado
Patko at Sta. Rita Homemade Delicacies of May Mercado
Burquillos ng Apung Sta. Rita of May Mercado
May Mercado doing demos of Patku and Burquillos making

We then traveled to Mexico, Pampanga to visit the ancestral home of Atching Lillian Borromeo where she shared to us how to prepare Panecillos de San Nicolas (Small bread of San Nicolas de Tolentino).

We then had a sumptuous Kapampangan buffet lunch afterwards. My plate was overflowing with yummy dishes like Sisig Matua, Bulanglang Bangus, Kilayin, Tidtad, Pindang Babi, Bobotung Asan, Paku Salad, Bringhi, Buru & Gule Baryu, and Paksing Demonyu. We also had Tibuk Tibuk and Leche Plan for dessert.

I was not able to take good photos of the dishes since there were a first batch of visitors who already swept through the buffet table leaving us with not too good appearances of the left-overs...hehehe.

This is where Atching Lillian Borromeo demonstrated preparing Panecillos de San Nicolas

Atching Lillian showing us the finished product ready for baking

The ancestral home of Atching Lillian Borromeo

Baked Panecillos de San Nicolas

Panecillos de San Nicolas ready for baking

Chatting with Atching Lillian Borromeo

Another side-trip at Chrysara Nest showroom before proceeding to the Historic Camalig Restaurant where the last speaker, Francis Musni, was waiting for his talk on the History of Kapampangan Food and Culture, before feasting on Armando's Pizzas (Doy's Kapampangan and Marco's 3-Way Tinapa), along with Sago't Gulaman as drink, and Buko Sherbet as dessert.

At Chrysara Nest showroom
Chrysara used to offer their products only for foreign consumption. In other words, they only export it to be bought by foreign buyers. Filipinos needed to buy their products abroad and then bring them home to the Philippines.

Lately, they now allow their products bought locally but sadly most of their clients here are only the people among the affluent, or the big companies here in the Philippines since their prices are too steep fror the ordinary consumers.

Ruel Nimer, Sales Manager of Chrysara, entertained us when we visited their showroom.
An amazing collection can be seen at Chrysara Nest

From candle holders to book ends, Chrysara has an assortment of wonders crafted out of the imagination

It must be perplexing to wander around the brains of the people who conceived these works of art
 The art works at Chrysara was truly world-class and high quality that suits its international appeal. I am proud that the Philippines are able to produce creations that are very competitive with the rest of the world. It is just a shame that only a few members of the society would be able to own these masterpieces.

We then went back to Angeles to visit our next venue - the Historic Camalig Restaurant. You haven't really been to Angeles if you have not visited the previous grain depot that is now a popular restaurant serving authentic Kapampangan dishes and the home of Armando's Pizza and Pasta - where you can find the original pizzas that first made use of local ingredients such as "tinapa", "longanissa", salted eggs and "adobong manok" as pizza toppings.

I Love Camalig has an area where they hold mini-concerts and band shows for their customers
They also recently renovated a room to have it air-conditioned. Though it could use more since the weather was really too hot these days

The Pampanga Culinary Tour-ist settled down at the padded chairs of the Historic Camalig Restaurant after a bus trip
Marco Nepomuceno, the owner of Historic Camalig Restaurant, greeted us with all smiles
Francis Musni, our speaker for the afternoon
Francis Musni talked about Pampanga which is highly regarded as the Gourmet Province and Culinary Capital of the Philippines because of its famed food and cuisine....notwithstanding some raised eyebrows and debate from other provinces who may also claim the titles.

Some of the points highlighted in his presentation includes: Kapampangans are obstinate foodies that eat anything that breathes, walks, flies, or swims, Kapampangan women are the best Filipino wives because they are terrific cooks and homemakers, the experienced famine resulted in dishes involving crickets, frogs, snails, and other exotic creatures, Kapampangan cooking is an art and can be classified into three groups: "Pagtau", Pamyesta", "Pagaldo-aldo," and lastly resonating in memory is the knowledge that there are two terms ("fritu" and "titi") differentiating frying: "fritu" is frying with less cooking oil, while "titi" is deep-frying.

Pizza party for hungry stomachs after an afternoon of roaming around Pampanga
The “Doys Kapampangan Pizza” is a sure delight in their menu. It is showered with local Kapampangan ingredients such as longganisa (Kapampangan sausage), Ebun Buru (salted duck egg) relished with onion and pickles. The unusual blend of flavors is a perfect match which will make you ask for another slice.

Another local pizza flavor they offer is the “Marcos 3-way Pizza” created and named after the owner MarcNepomuceno. The pizza is flavored by sundried tomatoes, Kesong Puti  (local goat cheese) , Tuyu (Salted Dried Fish), Tinapa (Dried Fish) and Classic Chicken Adobo.
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Doy's Kapampangan Pizza has salted eggs (Ebun Buru), longganisa, onions and pickles
Marcos' 3-Way Pizza has kesong puti (goat milk cheese), tinapa (smoked dried fish) and sun-dried tomatoes. 3 -way since instead of Tinapa, you have an option to choose Tuyu (salted dried fish) or classic Chicken Adobo
I had the opportunity to taste two pizza flavors
 The owner said they also offer Armando's Pizza, their best seller, which used to be called King's Pizza, not only because of its size, but also after the previous American owner named Harry (which translates into the vernacular as "hari" - the Tagalog word for king).

Thanks for the Certificate! See you again at the next culinary tour!
Lastly, certificates were given to everyone in recognition of their participation to the Pampanga Culinary Tour. Thank you Museo ning Angeles for the invitation to be part of this amazing two-day culinary tour of Pampanga. Thank you also to Kuliat Foundation and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Please invite us again on your next event.

More photos of our Pampanga Culinary Tour can be found soon at the Wazzup Pilipinas Facebook Fan Page:

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  1. Correction po, it is Sta. Rita Parish Church, not Sto. Guillermo Parish Church. I am from Sta. Rita that is why i am very much familiar of our church. thank you

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