Panlasang Norte: a newfound taste of North Luzon with Pilmico

In order to help backyard farmers and to promote sustainable entrepreneurship, we must love local food. Mahalin Pagkaing Atin, an advocacy program of Pilmico, focuses on helping, teaching, and encouraging farmers to embrace backyard farming as a sustainable form of livelihood for locals. The program also instills a “pride of product, pride of place” mindset.

A farmer plants rice in San Manuel, Pangasinan province, a back-breaking work.  Photo credit: Inquirer.net
A farmer plants rice in San Manuel, Pangasinan province, a back-breaking work.
Photo credit: Inquirer.net

From the hearty chicken stew that is pinikpikan in the Cordillera to the crunchy, deep-fried pig skin of bagnet in Ilocos, you can say that the northern part of the country – like any other region of the Philippines – boasts of a rich culture and food history. Traveling the country gets you accustomed not only with the local people, history, and traditions but more importantly, it acquaints you and lets you in on local delicacies or specialties. In other words, it’s a chance to get to know the diverse selection of local Pinoy food. With more than 7,100 islands, can you just imagine how many savory, hearty, and even exotic dishes the Philippines has to offer?

Pilmico

Since 2014, the advocacy themed Mahalin Pagkaing Atin has been traveling the country through Food and Livelihood Expos to raise awareness about embracing our local food. Pilmico, the food subsidiary of Aboitiz Group and the company behind the program, visits tragedy, poverty, and conflict stricken areas and helps the people residing in these areas build a new life and prepare them for sustainable livelihood. During the Food and Livelihood Expos, Pilmico also conducts seminars on animal husbandry and nutrition as well as cooking and baking demonstrations to showcase the different flavors of the provinces and promote local delicacies.

Mahalin Pagkaing Atin (MPA)

Mahalin Pagkaing Atin has been to places like Tagum City, Davao, Bohol, North Cebu, Iloilo, Ormoc, Palo, Carigara, Baybay, Tacloban, Roxas City, Samar, Butuan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Isabela. Now, Mahalin Pagkaing Atin is hitting the road once more to share this advocacy to more kababayans after a quick pit stop at Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City last July 31 for a session with Metro Manila’s savviest foodies, TV personality, and Mercato Centrale co-founder RJ Ledesma.

The MPA and Mercato Centrale Experience

group

Mercato Centrale Group is the brilliant organizer of popular premier food and lifestyle markets in the metro. It is a great venue both for passionate up-and-coming food entrepreneurs and food lovers who are tired of the usual restaurants and fast food chains.

July 31 was extra special as Mercato Centrale BGC partnered with Mahalin Pagkaing Atin featuring delicacies from the north.

I am not really a foodie. I appreciate good food but I am easily satisfied by what’s available. Hence, I get so amused (and then confused) when there’s too many food choices available at a time. I end up getting what my companion will order.

With a thousand gift certificate worth of food of our choice from MPA, we raided over 50 stalls of gastronomic delicacies that fit our taste, guided by the theme: Panlasang Norte (northern taste). Having a theme in mind before going to night markets was great help for me.

Read also: Delicacies of each region in the North

Marvin and Aldrin drooling over this stuffed boneless lechon!
Marvin and Aldrin drooling over this stuffed boneless lechon!
Getting my share of Vigan longganisa. Never been to Vigan Ilocos though and that's on the bucket.
Getting my share of Vigan longganisa. Never been to Vigan Ilocos though and that’s on the bucket.
Not your ordinary balut (fertilized duck embryo). I'd still not dare try one. haha!
Not your ordinary balut (fertilized duck embryo). I’d still not dare try one. haha!
Taste of your favorite places in a plate!
Places in a plate. Taste your favorite place!

The program was packed with live band, hosted by Mellow 94.7FM DJs Tracey Abad, Chris, and Stan Sy. And their special guest, Chef Boy Logro, who is amazingly funny and humorous. Unlike other chefs I’ve watched, Chef Logro has nonstop punchlines we can’t stop laughing. If good music, good laugh, and good food won’t satisfy you, I don’t know what else can.

Good food and good music.
Good food and good music.
Rolled milk coated with sugar in Bulacan is? Pastillas de Leche! Price goes to Bulaceno, Aldrin.
Rolled milk coated with sugar in Bulacan is? Pastillas de Leche!
Price goes to Bulaceno, Aldrin.
With Chef Boy Logro who wowed us with much laughter and hearty meal.
With Chef Boy Logro who wowed us with much laughter and hearty meal.
Pinakbit with Bagnet by Chef Boy Logro.
Pinakbit with Bagnet by Chef Boy Logro.

With Bonifacio Global City Estate developing almost every corner with buildings, I am hoping Mercato Centrale will keep its space for foodies and food entrepreneurs.

Thanks Mr. Marcie Linao for the invite! 🙂

Mercato Centrale at 34th St. and 8th Ave. Bonifacio Global City is open Friday to Saturday 6:00PM to 3:00AM.

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