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Monday, April 25, 2011

Isabela-Cagayan Cover: Road Trip, Food Trip, Laugh Trip!

Travel Date: April 15-17, 2011

passing through Buntun Bridge in Cagayan, the longest bridge in Luzon

Road trips are always fun. I can hop on a moving vehicle anytime, and not care about wherever it's going. 

Composed of seven people badly needing a break, we took a 13-hour road trip to the north -- and it was well worth the bumpy and zigzag-y ride! We headed to Cabagan, the last town of Isabela, where my colleague and one of my travel buddies grew up. We left Manila at 1:00pm on Friday (April 15) and arrived at 2:00am on Saturday (April 16) in their family house.

The next day, we were greeted with a hearty feast on the table for breakfast. The other thing I love about traveling is trying different dishes in each destination. There is something about remembering a place with the food it serves -- it is more satisfying, and it completes the sensory experience of the place.

Here are some of the dishes we sampled:

NOTE: pancit = noodle dish popular among Filipinos and Chinese alike

Pancit Cabagan
Isabela (homemade)

I was surprised to see pancit with this much sauce. No, it's not soup, it's really sauce. It's very tasty, and although it is a simple homemade dish (sans the usual pancit toppings/garnishings like vegetables and meat), it reminds me of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton, but better. Way better.

Pancit Batil Patung
Cagayan (Hotel Roma)

It took a few minutes for us to figure out how to eat this. The pancit itself is served on a plate, but with a bowl of soup on the side. We experimented, and you can either pour the soup over the noodles like a sauce, or scoop a spoonful after chewing on the pancit to "relax" your palate and get rid of the saltiness. It is called as such because it is served with egg (batil) cooked sunny side up, put on top (patung).The egg in the photo is hidden underneath that heap of crunchy chicharon, which I loved!

Cara-beef Tapa
Isabela (homemade)

It tastes like beef, too, and I was not able to tell the difference. It's just that, all the while I thought it is illegal to kill carabao for food (am I right? I think I learned this from my mom).

Pawa (P25/$0.55)
Piat, Cagayan (bought outside Our Lady of Piat Church)

A sticky rice delicacy made with peanut-and-sugar filling, it tastes different but good. I just couldn't get myself to eat more than five (ooops, maybe that's too much already?).

Banana Cake (P25/$0.50)
Piat, Cagayan (bought outside Our Lady of Piat Church)

I was convinced by the vendor that it is a "special" product of Cagayan. Because it was cheap, I got myself two. Only to realize that it is too dry for my taste.

Alcala's Milk Candy (P40/$0.90)
Cagayan (bought from Candice grocery store)

This is one delicacy worth hoarding! It is made from pure carabao's milk, and you can really taste the creaminess melting in your mouth! Once you pop, you can't stop!

Of course, the best part of going on a road trip are the stories shared with everyone while crunching time and munching on chips. Bouts of laughter filled the long and tiring trip, in between moments of silence while everyone dozed off. But everyone was in high spirits, as we took that epic journey. We covered  a lot of  the northern road -- over 1,200 kilometers!

Check out the rest of our Isabela-Cagayan Road Trip in the following posts:

Isabela-Cagayan: CHURCHES
Isabela-Cagayan: CALLAO CAVE


what are these? Im looking for the long unwinding road that few voyagers use to pass through

Hi @fa17107def7d9ccbdb08c6604899dde5 ! This is part of my road trip to Isabela and Cagayan, places in the northern part of Luzon. Quite an adventure, but the temperature was too hot! No wonder Tuguegarao is rated as the hottest place in the Philippines.

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