Last week, my brother and I trekked the lower half of Luzon, and paid the family’s land tax in Tayabas, Quezon, my mother’s hometown. Ate 5-peso pansit at the palengke for breakfast. Visited the relatives, where one quipped the last time I was in town was back in high school, a thought that just sank in as probably true. Passed by Lucban where I took unsatisfactory pictures of the grotto, which I really didn’t think was awesome at all. Since I was in the area, the chance to indulge on an old childhood staple-breakfast must not pass: had another 5-peso pansit meal, of the habhab type. This one wasn’t presented in a banana leaf though, but a plastic bag. Anyhow, I re-discovered how pepper-y Quezon pansit is, which I actually implemented on some fresh, palengke-bought pansit noodles I cooked chami-style 2 days later. Now this I did quite well, compared to my attempt at pansit lucban, which I smothered with too much soy sauce since I couldn’t replicate the flavor the family was well acquainted with.
I also did crave for red-bread called katagalugan, but wasn’t able to find it. I always pestered mom to bring some whenever she needed to go to Quezon before. We settled for budin and espasol. Since we did bring the car, my brother proposed that we pass by the Dalahican Fish Port in Lucena to eat lunch and buy seafood. Ordered fried tilapia-like fish, which was I guess a little more favorable than tilapia itself. Since we really had to feed only ourselves, and give some of the bounty to relatives in Bulacan, we satisifed ourselves with crab and some young lapu-lapu. One day later, cooked the crabs with spicy sauce, and I just had to have fried rice with it (this is one combination I’ve got to have; plain rice was never a justifiable substitute for me), and I would score myself a 6 1/2 for the effort and output. A couple of days after that, fried the young lapu-lapu, only to be disappointed that frying it may not be the best idea.
FOODIE PLEA: For anyone who is familiar with the seafood tatampal (this was a big favorite of mine, back in Obando, Bulacan), leave a comment, or email me. I will owe you, big time.
Searched online for prospects, but the only links I found pointed to deep sea fish. It’s not fish, its looks like a ‘sea centipede’, a 5-6 inch thing I would assume belongs to the shrimp family.