Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Samar Day 2011: The Showcase Center

Remember this paragraph from the previous post?
Following day, I roamed around and chanced upon a little new building by the corner of the capitol grounds near the tennis courts. Hmm, its their yet unfinished tourism offices doubling as the province’s product and destination showcase. Many interesting things I encountered there and all I could say was “it’s about time Samar, show it off”! Here is a one-stop location to get familiar with everything the province has to offer – though most are still their products. Well, am sure more information on each town’s tourist attractions should be following soon since I saw that not all towns have already showcased theirs. I liked the t-shirts but the one I wanted to buy came “free-size-only” and none that I could consider a real fit for the gradually thinning large physique of My Royal Highness hehe. Sigh.

Just what sorts of interesting products did I see in that showcase?

Ah well, for starters, have you heard about a “Malunggay Polvoron”? How about “Fish Polvoron”? Those are some of the products from Barangay Buray, in the town of Paranas. I know and I knew that the said barangay is well-known for producing many kinds of delicacies like piñato and other sweets. But how do the Malunggay and Fish Polvoron taste? Eh, am not telling… you have got to go there or find a way to have some sent to where you are! The former is just 35 pesos and the latter is 40 pesos per pack of (I think) a dozen pieces! Hint: the fish flavor is actually ‘anchovies’ so don’t start imagining you’ll savor the taste of sapsap, tanguigue or tulingan hehe. I loved them just the same. Well, since when have I not liked polvoron in my life anyway? And any flavor for that matter!

Do you know what a “Corioso” is? How about a “Curioso”? Eh, am not telling too! Just wait till you get to get a bite at them. Remember, for the local Samareño (that’s how people call themselves – not Samarnon) there is and was nothing called “Hopia De Pili” until Mana Charito decided to play cute some few years ago! Her tasty version is/was commonly called “Special Corioso” or “Special Curioso” which people in the booths told me they also make albeit for special occasions or orders! I was like a fool trying my tongue on each of the displayed items but in the end I decided they taste delectably the same to me! Delicious cookies I must simplify, but yes, I’ll have to call them “Corioso” or “Curioso” if the vendor or the label says so. Okay?!!

There were the familiar, though I did not really know were being produced in Samar. Like? Salabat is one. Peanut butter is another. Hey, one of the brands is even called “Ludy’s”! There is also “Special Pork Chicharon”, Brown Rice, Organic Rice, Yema, Polvoron De Pinipig, Danggit, Salvaro, Banig and other woven products, Tahong Crackers, Galletas, Pili Nuts, wood carvings, wood furniture, cut flower, sinamay and many many dizzyingly others more. I said familiar because I have seen them as such products from either Metro Manila or other places in the country, though I did not realize these are also produced in Samar. Whohoa! There is even an ATM just outside this new small building! Yes, the “Automatic Tubig Machine” where I chanced upon a police officer getting his peso-worth of thirst quencher. But yes, he told me the said machine came from Cebu!

Now, how about Ruscas? Do you know what it is? I didn’t hehe. How about “Pinawa”? That’s a kind of brown rice, I learned. How about “Decaña”? How about “Chip Charap”? How about “Rosquillas”? Yes, its rosquillas with an “AS” at the end and its not a typo error! Do you know what “sisi” is? They say it’s a “rock oyster”, but what is a rock oyster? The friend of rock lobster? Down… down… down… (yes, I’m singing now hehe)! Cousin of Talaba? Ah, the people there tells me yes but its not Talaba. “Sisi” by the way is pronounced in a fast succession of the two syllables like the speed and tone in how you’d say “gazette” or “passé”. NOT like the way you would say “busy” or “city”, okay?! Now what is a “fermented sisi” or “fermented rock oyster”?! I did not try (yet) as it looks eeky hehehe! There is also “fermented oyster” – yes, without the ‘rock’ – so I surmise that one is the talaba. Now am sure you’ll be familiar with bottled milkfish (cooked bangus fish preserved in little jars). But there are also little jars that are labeled “fermented tahong”, “afritada tahong” and many others more. Then there is the “hipon” that I always like. But be wary you Tagalogs, when a Waray says “hipon”, that means tiny little shrimps – I think its even krill – probably the equivalent your bagoong! And there are “cheese sticks” too. But made from carabao milk! Just like the “queseo” or “kiseyo”. Do you know that?

Ah well, I had a grand time familiarizing my eyes with all those things inside their tourism building. But that was not all. Outisde the little building are a line of tents offering the freshest agri-products from towns far and near. And OMG this is really fiesta. Everything seems to be a special showcase. Like? Like “ampalaya” twice the length of my size 12 shoes and glistening green! Or string beans where most strands were about a meter long! Bayabas, santol, kamatis, kalamansi, camote, cassava, balimbing, saging, luya, bell peppers long and bell peppers round of various colors and so many others more. Do you know what is that thing called “butig”? Me neither hehe. I just know everything on display were bigger healthier versions of what we commonly see at supermarkets and the local palengke!

Go Samar… GO!


  1. Wow Samar is indeed a good place...I like the fruits and food there...Great post too...I learn more on it...^_^

  2. you just combined two of my favorite types of bogs, travel and food! fish polvoron? hmm..sounds...fishy to say the least hehe.. but i love all dessert so If i ever came across it I would probably try it out! great post!