Let me take you on a journey via the charming corners of Ilocos Norte, the place each sight is a narrative and each chew is an journey. I’ve been a wanderer on this area for so long as I can bear in mind, and let me let you know, it by no means fails to amaze me. Be a part of me as we discover the colourful tradition, wealthy historical past, and mouthwatering delicacies of Could-Kan Ilocos Norte!
Could-Kan Ilocos Norte: A Gastronomic Journey
The time period “Could-Kan” is a fantastic fusion of Ilocano and Pangasinan phrases, which means “to journey from one place to a different” and “meals.” Basically, Could-Kan is an invite to embark on a gastronomic journey, hopping from one pleasant meals expertise to a different throughout Area 1. In April 2023, our Could-Kan Fam Journey, organized by DOT Area 1, led us via the charming cities of La Union and Pangasinan. On this leg, we explored the higher reaches of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, unearthing hidden culinary gems and immersing ourselves within the native lifestyle.
Bacarra’s Heritage and Crispy Skinny Okoy
Our journey started in Bacarra, a city that proudly preserves its heritage regardless of the diaspora of its residents. The St Andrew the Apostle Parish also referred to as Bacarra Church, standing tall since 1706, warmly welcomed us with songs and dance from native scholar performers. The church, a testomony to Spanish colonial structure, is a dwelling museum with tunnels resulting in the altar, the river, and the close by bell tower – fondly often called the “Beheaded Bell Tower.”
We sampled native delicacies subsequent to this historic website, with Bacarra’s specialty stealing the present: skinny, crunchy Okoy, a pleasant concoction of deep-fried shrimp and greens on glutinous rice batter fritters.
The Bacarra Church was declared a Nationwide Cultural Middle in 1973.
Burgos Megastructures and Gamet
Burgos, a well-liked space famed for the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse (Burgos Lighthouse) and Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, was our subsequent cease. The all-familiar Burgos lighthouse now has a business advanced with eateries, souvenirs, and a vacationer middle. Tricycles await to take passengers up the lighthouse however strolling continues to be an possibility. Guests are not allowed to climb the lighthouse.
We savored Gamet-infused empanadas, the place this uncommon seaweed added a novel contact to the normal snack, showcasing the creativity of the native culinary scene. Gamet will be harvested on the rocky coast and cliffs of Burgos from September to February. They’re thought-about the Black Gold of Burgos as a high quality gamet (the darker ones) that may fetch from P800–1000 per dangkal (or at the very least 6 inches). They’re exported to Japan and made into completely different merchandise like nori. Story on harvesting the sport on this publish.
The Bangui Wind Farm was the one place in Ilocos Norte the place vacationers can benefit from the sight of wind generators. In 2014, a second wind farm was inbuilt Ilocos Norte spanning an space of 600 hectares below three barangays, Saoit, Poblacion, and Nagsurot. The Burgos Wind Farm and Eco Park is now the most important wind farm not solely within the Philippines but additionally in Southeast Asia. The hilly panorama close to Kapurpurawan has round 57 wind generators producing at the very least 370 GWh of electrical energy yearly.
The sight of the majestic wind generators towards the azure sky was awe-inspiring, reminding us of nature’s immense energy harnessed for our profit.
Laoag’s Crispy Dinuguan
Returning to Laoag, we handled our style buds to a shocking twist on a Filipino basic at Eagle’s Nest: Crispy Dinuguan. Think about deep-fried innards bathed in sauce – a pleasant, crunchy variation.
We took a breather within the afternoon again at Plaza del Norte the place we have been billeted earlier than our subsequent escapade.
Paoay Lake, Loom Weavers, Sand Dunes, and Pinakbet Pizza
The afternoon was a whirlwind of pleasure, tradition, and pure magnificence. In Paoay, with its picturesque lake, we visited the Malacañang Ti Amianan or Malacañang of the North, a lavish mansion by the Marcoses overlooking Lake Paoay. Close by, we marveled on the talent of loom weavers of Nagbacalan, whose palms wove intricate patterns into inabel material.
Because the solar dipped low, we launched into an exhilarating 4×4 journey and sandboarding journey within the huge Paoay Sand Dunes, the golden sands glowing within the twilight. The dunes in Suba, Paoay are one of many widest in Asia.
Our culinary journey culminated in a satisfying dinner at Kusina Valentin (previously Herencia de Paoay), the place we indulged in Ilocano favorites like bagnet and sinigang. Nevertheless, the star of the evening was their modern creation: Pinakbet Pizza. Think about the flavors of pinakbet – an area vegetable dish – harmonizing with cheese and sauce on a crispy pizza crust. It was a pleasant fusion of custom and modernity, capturing the essence of our Could-Kan expertise.
In a nutshell, Could-Kan Ilocos Norte is a symphony of flavors, colours, and historical past. From heritage websites to modern culinary creations, this journey is an ode to the richness of Ilocano tradition.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning journey photographer, author and blogger. His works has discovered print in publications akin to Singapore Airways’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airways’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has additionally lent his experience to numerous organizations just like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Basis, Save the Kids and World Imaginative and prescient, contributing high quality photographs for his or her advertising supplies.