A week ago, my colleagues and I decided to have lunch together after a lengthy meeting in school. We thought Imay’s at Smallville would be a nice place to go to. Imay’s is known for their native Ilonggo/Negrense cooking with a slight modern twist. Above is a picture of what’s left of porbidang kangkong (an Imay specialty) which we ordered along with kare-kare, crispy squid heads and crabmeat. We passed around the porbida several times with each one getting a small portion to mix with her rice and other dishes. We six agreed that the porbidang kangkong was the most delicious of all. Very typical of Ilonggos and Filipinos in general, nobody wanted to get the last spoonful of rich porbida onto her plate. We paid our bill and poor porbida was still on the table.

We looked at each other and laughed at what we did in confirmation of this very Filipino trait. How come everybody hesitates at having to finish off what’s on the table? Perhaps you have your own ideas. Tell us what you think.

By the way, the porbidang kangkong at Imay’s is actually kangkong leaves (sometimes they substitute it with camote leaves) stewed in rich and spicy coconut milk (gata). It’s my first time to actually encounter such a dish. Perhaps it’s an innovation or adaptation of what Bicolanos create–their very famous bicol express or gulay (accent on the second syllable) as my father would say.