Happy Birds 3.0: Iligan

Fiestas in the Philippines are a big thing.  It's that time of the year when an entire town celebrates in honor of their appropriate patron saint each year or so.  This year, we were fortunate enough to be invited to the fiesta in Iligan City, the hometown of our wonderful friend who, together with her family, showered us with incredible hospitality and generosity that goes beyond words.

Upon arrival in Cagayan De Oro, we headed straight to Timoga, Iligan for lunch - a town known for its savory, delicious lechon. 

However, it wasn't that easy to get a hold of that crispy pork skin and succulent meat, let alone find one.  When we got there, the owner told us they already ran out as early as 10 am (it's fiesta, after all).  But like any establishment whose mission it is to please its customers, they somehow managed to find and serve us the best roast pig in the world.

Salty, full of flavor, with a perfect ratio of pork skin-to-fat, it's best eaten with pusó, which is rice wrapped in coconut leaves.  Kinilaw (ceviche) is a refreshing side dish to cleanse the palate.

A great meal makes for happy faces.

And puppy love, perhaps?

Salbaro - a sweet crunchy delicacy made from cassava, drizzled with caramelized coconut - for dessert.

And that was only lunch on DAY ONE.

Afternoon snack, barely an hour and a half after lunch:  sweetened bananas.

Dinner: Tatay's Grill and Bar
National Hi-way, Tambo
Brgy. Hinaplanon
Iligan City

Clockwise from top left: grilled tuna panga (jaw); stewed fish roe and liver; fried calamari, escabeche (sweet and sour fish).


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