Thursday, December 12, 2013

My “Tilang” Encounter at Kerikite

Do you know what that is?

Taklobo, in Tagalog, I think? Or a similar specie? Whatever, I just know they call it “tilang” - pronouced 'tee-lung' in the speed as how you would say "fillet", "obey", "belong", "along" etc.

It was still alive being contributed by one man to the lunch fare being prepared! My first time to see this thing live! A woman told him to bring it to the right side of the stage, where men were grilling fish. Instruction was: immediately cook it (blanch) after the “masag” (blue crabs) is done in the big kaldero! I followed the man, eager to watch how they'd cook the tilang!

Seeing that the pot was not yet ready, and seeing that I was tailing him eager to see more of the tilang, this manong instead placed it on a low side-wall of their barangay stage. I took pics of course. I was curious about that shiny slimy flesh protruding out of the shell. It kept moving! I attempted to touch it just at the tip.

And OMG my dear heart thumped at millions per second when this man shrieked like an old woman! His sound was something like “ayiiiiiiiiii” with hands on his head - too loud all men at the other side of the stage and all women inside the multipurpose hall came to check what was happening, as if ready to do a rescue attempt. And they kind of chorused to tell me that the shell can suddenly close and cut my fingers.

Well, their being alarmed, alarmed me, I swear hehe! In my mind I was saying “I know, I know, I watched this thing on NGC" – but how would they know, right? All that the man saw was my finger starting at the rim of the tilang! Bad me!

Anyway, when everyone calmed down – including me myself and I, I was back at the tilang. Finding nothing to poke it with (I was on the side of a performance stage, okay?) I picked a stick of cigarette and started touching that flesh. It does move at other parts, but the one I was touching wouldn’t. I think it was pretending to be dead at least on that portion!

Ahhehehe, part of my crazy brain was hoping it would suddenly shut hard with a loud crack or suddenly open wide in my face and say “bulagaaaa”!

How was it cooked? After brushing moss and other things that cling to the shell, they just dunked the whole tilang into a big boiling pot of water!

Let's go have lunch next!

For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers:
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10


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