The province of La Union, which is 6 hours north of Manila, is bordered by Ilocos Sur in the north, Benguet to the east, Pangasinan in the south and the South China Sea in the West. It traces its origin back in 1854 when a Royal Decree was issued by Queen Isabella of Spain on April 18, 1854, creating this province.The name La Union was derived from the union of various towns from the different provinces such as the 9 towns of Pangasinan, 3 towns of Ilocos Sur and the villages of Eastern Pais del Igorotes that stand on both sides of the western foothills of the Cordilleras. La Union was already a bustling and important trading port, especially for gold, dominated by Chinese and Japanese merchants, long before the Spaniards came in 1572.
The province maintains itself through agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries. They produce products such as soft brooms, rice wines, dried fishes, and baskets. Visitors and natives of La Union expect the climate to be relatively dry from November to April and wet from October to May.
The province of La Union, is also known as the “Surfing Capital of the North”. It made a big splash in the local and international surfing community at it is now one of the favored surfing sites in the Philippines after Siargao in Mindanao. Surfers will concur that La Union beaches have decent surf breaks. On good days waves can reach up to 8 ft to 10 ft. San Juan, Tuboc, Bacnotan, and Darigayos are popular surf destinations in the province. Though the surf is inconsistent, on a good day, waves can be totally awesome!
Other than surfing, La Union also prides itself with Botanical Gardens found in San Fernando City. These Botanical gardens showcase different pavilions in a sprawling ten-hectare facility ---a Fernery, Palmery, Fragrance Garden, Sunken Garden, Evergreen Garden, Arid Paradise, and a Shade Garden – with flora and fauna that are indigenous only to the Philippines. Truly, La Union is a haven of paradise for the adventure-seeking and nature loving individuals.
Now for our featured dish, we bring you Pinapaitan or papaitan , which is an authentic Ilocano recipe.
Here for the enjoyment of Filipino Americans is an exotic dish called,Pinapaitan or Papaitan brought to you by Island Pacific’s Isla Kulinarya.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 43 minutes
1 pc Ginger, 1/2” chopped, ½” sliced
2 pcs Onion, 1 quartered, 1 chopped
4 cloves Garlic, 2 chopped, 2 sliced
2 pcs Bay leaves
1 tbsp Peppercorns, black
1 tsp Thyme (dried)
1 tsp Tarragon (dried)
1 lb Tripe
1 lb Intestine
1 lb Pig’s cheek and snout
1 lb Pig’s liver
1 lb Goat’s meat (kambing)
2 tbsp Cooking oil
1 cup Water
½ pkt Sinigang Mix (Sampaloc)
1 tsp Fish Sauce (Patis)
1 tsp Shrimp Base (Sysco)
1 tsp Chicken Base (Sysco)
2 pcs Bitter gourd (ampalaya), large, chopped
3 pcs Hot pepper (Siling labuyo)
Add all the meats. Bring back to a boil, and simmer for 30 minutes to tenderize.
In a colander, pour all the contents of the pot to strain and drain.
While timing the grilling procedure, place bitter gourd in a blender and puree (you can also use a stick blender). Strain juice.
Grill meats until golden brown
In a wok, pour oil. When heated, sauté sliced ginger, sliced onion and sliced garlic.
In the wok, sauté all the meats for 10 minutes. Add water, sinigang mix, fish sauce, shrimp base and chicken base. Cook for another 10 minutes until sauce is reduced.
Catch us again next week as we feature another Ilocano recipe, you'll surely love. Don't miss it! Mangan tayon!
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