ala eh

passed by my former house (and office) in Lipa City last weekend and can't help but reminiscence. i lived for more than 3 years in this well-known city of Batangas, my birth province, while working with an environmental group and as an editor/journalist of a multi-awarded Tagalog-based community newspaper.
named after an itchy, poisonous wild plant, Lipa City was famous for its kapeng barako*. since we have regular supply of brewed coffee at my current office, it still feels (or maybe smells) like home. however, i really missed my favorite dishes such as:
gotong batangas. a beef soup that uses innards (from tripes, internal organs to exotic cow parts like... butt and balls hehehe) as main ingredients. yumyum...
the thick, creamy and tasty lomi. no lomi in the world can compare to Batangas-style lomi.

inihaw and sinaing na tawilis, the only commercial fresh sardine in the world. tawilis is endemic to Taal Lake. 100% ala eh fish.

i miss swimming in the mysterious Taal Lake. eventhough the city proper is few kilometers away from the lake, the mighty city was once a flourishing lakeshore town. but after repeated obliteration caused by the eruption of Taal Volcano, Lipenos finally decided to settle away from the lake. currently, the city has one lakeshore barangay.

i miss my old home, my old office, my former cats named friskies and scarface, and my ala eh friends :)

don't forget these delicious dishes when you managed to visit Lipa. a very wonderful city, more dazzling than Gov Vilma Santos : )

*Lipa was the center of coffee production during the Spanish occupation period. it's citizens accumulated huge wealth because of coffee industry. however the city's bourgeois lifestyle ended when the price of coffee dropped in the global market while wide infestation destroyed many coffee plantations. even though most of the coffee trees grown in lipa today are already arabica and robusta, the city is still associated with the authentic kapeng barako or Philipine liberica.

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