By Rachelle Dayne Cleope and Amylene Tauli*
Budgeting is a difficult practical word in a student’s dictionary especially of those who are not just enjoying their freedom when it comes to food choices but are also restricted by their limited allowances. Budgeting is quite hard to follow with the existence of classy fast food restaurants.
If someone’s looking for some home-cooked-and-very-affordable-yummy dish, the carinderia is the place to be! A carinderia is a small turo-turo or eatery that is usually family- owned. It is where all the dishes are being displayed, sometimes still in their cooking pots, and one just points to the dish that one wants. Dine in or take out. Carinderias can be found almost everywhere especially at the vicinity of universities and colleges.
What’s in a carinderia anyway? To answer such a question, we strolled around the four universities and colleges around Iloilo City: Central Philippine University in Jaro, the West Visayas State University in La Paz and, Iloilo Doctor’s College in Molo and University of the Philippines in the Visayas Iloilo City Campus in search of the Top 10 Carinderia Dishes: the most universal of carinderia dishes among college eateries of Iloilo.
And the top 10 in no particular order are:
Pancit bihon is a stir fried noodle dish of thin rice noodles cooked with soy sauce and a variant of chopped vegetables and meat. It is a noodle dish a student can chow in his P5-10 coin.
Chicken Curry is a yellowish dish of chicken and curry powder, sometimes with coconut milk. Some like it creamy, spicy and hot, but can also be served without the spicy part. It’s a yummy chicken dish costing P20-25.
Pochero is a famous Filipino stew that can be either beef or pork. It is a certified health dish of protein and fibers. It’s a dish where you can have the bananas at only P20-25.
It is a dish of chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, paminta, and bay leaf. It’s a yummy chicken or pork at P20-P25 per serving.
Mongo is a delicious and healthy vegetable dish. It’s like porridge of mongo that can be bought at a price of P5-P15 in the carinderias.
Tinolang manok is a chicken dish quite like a stew. It can usually be identified by the papaya and chicken slices. It’s a soupy chicken dish at P20-25.
FRIED CHICKEN/ FISH/PORK
A little salty and a little oily, these fried meats are really good for some kamayan tripping with their favorite dip. It’s a fried fish at P15-P20 and fried chicken and pork at P20-P25.
Linaga can be classified as a beef stew. It’s the leisure of beef with a touch of fruity sour flavor of batwan and langka. It’s a soupy dish with your favorite meat at P20-P25. It can also be done with pork.
Laswa is a dish of mixed vegetables like okra, squash, string beans, malunggay, and others. It’s really easy to get to your stomach with its mucus-like characteristics. It’s your all the veggie you want at P5-P10.
It is a dish which originated from the Ilocanos. It’s a mixture of vegetables with a little thrill of bagoong. It’s a serving at P5-10.
As we scan our top 10, we should wonder why these dishes made it as our finalists. If we dig deeper into it, we could see one or two qualities in common. It’s the ALL IN ONE or the ALL TIME factor. It’s either All Vegetables in One, All Meat and Vegetables in One, or All Meat in One. Another is that, a dish maybe an All Time Favorite.
For that, it’s not surprising that these dishes made it to our top 10. Anyone who has a tight budget (and we mean almost everyone) will be looking for the dishes that satisfies the standards of their budget restrictions, taste and health in just a serving.
Some students would usually buy an order of rice and a serving of a vegetable dish, some a vegetable dish plus some meaty dish. Some would prefer some soup or stew in rice. Students would usually come in groups and would eat the same dish. Some would have a kind of picnic on their respected dishes, if the serving was too much, some would just share in just a dish.
Most of these carinderias are pay as you order or pay after. Self service policy can be expected, but nevertheless, they don’t require you to clean your own table after you enjoyed that very delicious meal.
Do our Top 10 Carinderia Dishes sound and taste familiar? Some of us feel eating them everyday maybe a dish per meal or two. However, we always find ourselves craving for the home-cooked dish we have grown with at home (since the two of us come from the different provinces outside Iloilo: Rachelle from Aklan and Amylene from Mountain Province).
What’s the next thing that happens? We’re heading to our suking carinderia for that favorite Ilonggo dish our Manang and Manong would serve, and with matching discount! (hahaha)
So next time you pass by a carinderia, if you haven’t been to one, try checking out these yummy delights, so cheap and really fits to your budget…with some Ilonggo cooking magic!
All About the Authors*
I am Rachelle Dayne Cleope, a 17-year old BS Business Administration (Marketing) student in the University of the Philippines Visayas. My family in Aklan is not rich so I enrolled in UP (….that is aside from academic excellence).
I love the arts particularly the culinary arts. It has a very special place in my tummy and heart. Why? Because I strongly believe that the only leisurable necessity in my college life is a serving of a yummy dish and two cups of rice.
I love food yet I don’t have much to pay for a meal in either Jollibee or Mc Do. Good thing there’s my favorite carinderias around, where my lunch/dinner too, with just a 20 peso bill or two, is a dream come true.
I am Amylene Tauli, also a second year student of UPV taking up BSBA. From Sagada, Mountain Province, I traveled to far away Iloilo just to grab the opportunity of studying in the country’s premier university.
Because cooking is not allowed in our dormitory and the fact that my budget for food is limited, I eat my meals in the carinderias around the school. Actually, I was only exposed to this kind of eateries when I came here in Iloilo because they are rarely seen in Sagada. In fact there are only about two carinderias there, which are located in the market.
Carinderias are really of great help in making my allowance last longer.
She and Me…WE!!!- – THE Rachelle — Amylene TEAM-UP!!
We have been blockmates since first year. We are also classmates in most of our subjects. Here in Iloilo, we are both living in Balay Ilonggo Residence Hall in the UPV City Campus.
We are always together in meals, window shopping, research paper and reports. We knew each other very well, that’s why it’s very convenient for us to team up in this write up of ours in Humanities 1 under Professor Joy Sumagaysay.
We really enjoyed the eating, sleeping and the asaran with our dorm mates while making this Art Research.