I am an Igorot, a Filipino, an earthling. My ethnicity may have made me different, but so does yours and the others out there. Our disparities may be glaring at times, however, if we look through our heart, we will notice our commonality as human beings.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two Cordilleran Contestants to Pilipinas Got Talent Finals?

How I wish they both will make it!

Ingrid Payaket:

When asked if she is going to the gym, she answered candidly "Natural lang po. Ganito po kasi mga Igorota. Maskulada. (This is natural. This is how Igorota looks like. We got muscles.)" LOL!.

And upon knowing that there are no girls yet qualified for the finals of the show, she quipped "Nanawagan po ako sa mga kababaihan, ipantay natin ang laban. (I am calling to all women, let's level the field.)". Smart and talented!

and the Baguio Metamorphosis:

(click here to see a clearer video of the Baguio Meta performance)

The group have chosen an apt name! They metamorphosed the stage with their smooth and eclectic dance moves.

Actually, a third group made it to the the semi-finals of the show. Funny Baguio duo Powerpuff Corn failed to grab a grand final slot but for sure, they gained lots of fans. Here's the rock and reggae performance of Cesar and Ryan.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More of Wine...

Drop by at any souvenir shops in Baguio and you will surely notice the wine bottles in different colors and sizes lined in the shelves. But do you know that those commercial wines, even the tapey, are prepared in what I considered as "modern and commercial" way. For sure, if those wines were made in the traditional means, they will be sold at a much higher price.

Modern wine making normally uses commercial yeasts available in the market; the traditional method utilizes "bobod", a yeast prepared traditionally (again!) For commercial production, the main ingredients were liquefied prior to fermentation, which is not the

case if you want to make a genuine Igorot wine. As for the taste, the commercial and home-made tapey taste almost the same but still, nothing can beat the richer flavor of what has been prepared the original process.

Here's another fact, not all of the ingredients are native to Cordillera. While strawberry is in the backyard of the wine makers in La Trinidad (capital town of Benguet) and bugnay (a red, sweet-sour berry) is now cultivated in the region, other wine main component are from the neighboring Ilocos and Cagayan regions. Duhat (black plum or java plum) is available in the Cordillera but most of the supply comes from the lowland provinces of La Union and Ilocos. Yakon is sourced out from Nueva Vizcaya.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pinikpikan... The Way It Is

Why do we have to hurt the ones we love to eat?

Gross! Maybe, but that's the way it is when you want to have Pinikpikan. You have to "killing-me-softly" the chicken. Pikpik, where Pinikpikan was derived, means to pat/tap and such is done hundred of times in preparing the main ingredient of the dish.

Before your imagination runs wild, let me share how this controversial food is prepared.


  1. Chicken (much better if you have a native chic)
  2. Salt
  3. Ginger
Optional Ingredients:
  • Sayote (Chayote) or Papaya
  • Leafy vegetables (cabbage, pechay or bok choi, saringit or cabbage shoots)
  • Etag (salted/smoked pork. I'll tell about this next time.)
  • Onion leaves (leek)
"Torturing" the Chicken
Before killing the chicken, using a stick, tap the inner part of each wing consecutively from tip to base and vice versa until they turned dark red. (To be able to do this, ask an assistant to hold the chicken head and feet. Spread the wings and join them backward then hold the tip with one hand.) When the wings are done, hold the feet and hang the chicken downward then deliver a killer whack at the back of its head. Others prefer breaking the neck (yap, there are expert neck breakers) than this bludgeoning part.

The controversies of Pinikpikan arose from the way its main ingredient is prepared. Many calls it inhumane since the chicken is killed slowly or softly (thus the song "Killing Me Softly" was associated to the dish). The beating is meant to make the blood curdle inside which in effect is believed to render a richer flavor to the meat compared to ordinary butchered chicken. With the right force (just enough to bruise but without cutting the flesh), the process would only take 10 minutes at the most.

(Photo from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinikpikan)

"Undressing" the Chicken

When the chicken is already dead, pull off the the large feathers in the wings. Then singe the chicken directly in an open fire or
with the use of an LPG blow torch. Pluck the burned feathers but be careful so as not to tear the skin apart. Repeat the burning and the plucking until almost all of the feathers are removed. If you want to include the head and the "adidas" in the cooking, don't forget to peel off the feet skin and the outer covering of the beak. Wash the "undressed" chicken afterward.

Just like the tapping part, there is no other way to remove the feather of a Pinikpikan chicken but through singeing. Otherwise, it will not be a Pinikpikan.

Butchering the Chicken...
There's a way of doing this without breaking any bone of the chicken. Cut the skin under the neck just above the depression in the breast. Lay the chicken on a table. Use one hand to hold the breast down through the incision made then use the other hand to pull the neck up and towards the back to separate the breast from the back and ribcage with all the innards intact.

Locate and remove the bile before working on the other organs. Avoid bursting the bile for it can make the whole chicken taste bitter. In case the bile bursts, wash the tinctured part immediately until the green coloration disappears. Wash the intestine thoroughly and slice open the gizzard to remove its yellowish inner lining. Tie up all the internal organs using the intestine and include it in the cooking later.

Cut the meat to your preferred slices and don't forget to chop off and discard the claw nails.

The simplest way of cooking is Pinikpikan is to boil all the meat with a ginger. Then add salt to taste when the meat is almost cooked. That's it!

If other ingredients are included in the menu, boil the etag (salted pork) first before putting in the chicken and sayote. Add salt to taste. When the meat is cooked, add the leek and other vegetables.

And presto!

If you want to try Pinikpikan, drop by at Sagada Lunch when you are in Baguio (I haven't tried other eateries yet if they also have pinikpikan. ) I am sure you will also find the same delicacy in most of the local hotels and lodges in other parts of the Cordillera.