Summery Province Escapade

Cantilan Surigao Fiesta (66)

Village on the riverside at Cantilan, Surigao del Sur

The rustic smell of my beloved province, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, which is also my parents’ hometown, brings back fun memories of summer vacations I had during my childhood. It’s a different vibe and feel since the air smells fresher in rural areas compared to the urbanized city I currently reside in.

I remember those moments when we had to wake up every day, very early in the morning before the sun rises.  A walkathon from my mom’s maiden house down to the nearest beach almost became a daily morning habit for my mom, siblings, my aunt and cousins.

And the good thing about waking up at dawn?  We were not only having our early morning walking exercise, we also got the chance to witness a beautiful sunrise especially when we reached the seashore!  For me seeing the sunrise first thing in the morning was one of the most memorable childhood moments I had. And it excited me all the more when I already heard and saw the slow gushing of the beach waves. It meant we can now get ourselves wet and swim. And that for us was already an achievement after our walk trip.

Being so young then just made me enjoy the thrill of swimming and playing in the beach. At first I was scared of going farther since the water gets deeper and the waves can be so high. But my mom kept encouraging me to stand tall when the waters become deep for me to reach. Then I would jump and just go with the flow as the waves come after us. And when I finally got it, I was overjoyed to have overcome my fear. When I felt like being pushed down because of the waves, I tried to swim forward and find my way up.

Because we swam often in the beach, I learned to swim in my own way. I watched my mom doing a frog style swimming and then I would imitate her after. In the beginning I was wondering if I did it right but as days went by I know I did but only for a very short time. Then surprisingly I learned floating which up to now still amuses me since I would most often float after swimming a lot and then paddle my way backwards.

And the best learning was when I finally had enough guts to swim under water knowing how I dislike soaking my face too long in the seawater. I especially found it personally fulfilling when I knew I can swim much farther than I imagined it to be.

Food Love: Kinilaw

Fresh from the fisherman, take out the head an...

Fresh from the fisherman, take out the head and tail, this is the local sashimi. Fresh fish in coconut milk and vinegar plus hot chili. My fave, as I am the one doing it. As the congregation is having a picnic at Danao. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From time to time, I check my yahoo mail accounts to see if there are new emails. And then when I logged out in one of my accounts, I saw this article Making a Kinilaw via Yahoo Philippines!

It is an article about making kinilaw or raw fish in English.  Kinilaw is one of the favorite delicacies here in the Philippines especially to people who are mostly living in the Visayas and Mindanao region. Since my parents are from Surigao del Sur, a province in Mindanao region, they love eating it.

I found eating such food odd for me since I am really used to eating foods that are cooked.  Like how can my stomach take it? My mom even told me that the fish is cooked since it is dipped in vinegar. But lately I don’t know what pushed me to really try eating it. I got curious how it tasted since my younger brother eats a lot of bits and pieces of kinilaw though he was never an eater before.

At first bite, I got conscious when I tried to eat the part which is the edge of the fish. When it’s fried, I love eating that part especially when it’s crunchy! But then I still ate despite thinking that it’s raw. Guess what?!  I ate more but not a lot. At least I can manage to eat it now especially when the mix of other ingredients is tasty. I do not prefer it when it’s too sour as it taste vinegary.

The best thing about eating a kinilaw is to end it by drinking a dark colored softdrink called Coke. I’m not endorsing the product but more like it’s the brand we’re used to drinking after eating a kinilaw. And it’s something to look forward to which is great! Eating kinilaw is my way of appreciating my parents’ roots as well. A tasty dish. Happy eating!