Today, at our school cafeteria, inspite of the array of “saucy” lunch dishes to choose from like menudo, adobo, linaga, bakareta, and spareribs, I still ended up choosing the driest dish,the most common, the most popular viand of all — fried chicken. That’s why I’ve come to conclude:
We Ilonggos are voracious chicken eaters. (Geez, that sounds frightening!) Give us plenty of food choices and we’ll still have chicken any day.
I know, I know. The premise is weak so let me just cite a concrete proof instead. Just how many chicken houses are there in Iloilo city? For regular chicken inasal( chicken barbeque on a stick), there’s Mang Inasal, Barrio Inasal, Chicken Sari-Sari, Jo’s Inato, Pecho Pak, the barbeque stands such as at Plaza Jaro, Plaza Mandurriao, along UP in front of Doctor’s Hospital, near the freedom grandstand, at La Paz Market….For native chicken inasal, usually served whole, there’s Tatoy’s, Breakthrough, Nes & Tats and Nato & Helen, Rawit’s at Central Market, Corning’s and co. at Valeria extension…For the “45-days” or “bantress” whole roasted chicken, there’s Andok’s, Pecho Pak, the roadside roasters like Mang Pedro’s, Buto’t Balat (also a resto). And for fried chicken, there are the food-chain giants like Jollibee, McDo, KFC, Greenwich, Kenny Rogers. There’s Andok’s (now more popular for its fried chix), JD bakeshop, and the rolling “Jollicarts”parked at busy intersections at downtown Iloilo. (This list is only partial; I need to scour the whole city still.)
I’ve always been fascinated by the Ilonggo’s predilection for chicken: be it fried, barbequed, roasted, stewed (adobo) or in a soup (tinola and binakol) . The only thing not done to chicken, I suppose is to make kinilaw out of it.
Given a choice of restaurants in the city serving Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian and Continental cuisines, most Ilonggos are still found eating at chicken houses.
WHY DO WE JUST LOVE TO EAT MANOK?
I’m throwing this question to Ilonggos out there who might happen to stumble upon this young blog. Let us know what you think.