Sunday, February 12, 2012


There are 3 reasons why I decided to join Aksiyon Klima in its Iloilo road trip although I have been hurting from too much travelling and I thought I'll take it easy for a while.

First are the churches because I want to update my Olympus Camedia-era gallery on such.

Second is to have another take of that to-die-for La Paz Batchoy.

Third is to finally get acquainted with Pansit Molo.

The first intention is a disappointment because I was only able to shoot the 19th century San Agustin church of Dumangas (first photo below) while doing a courtesy call to the mayor, and update my take on the 19th-century-also San Jose church in Iloilo City (second photo below) during a lull in a forum with local planning and development officers. The churches of Jaro, Molo, and La Paz will have to wait for another time.

But not La Paz's batchoy as I was so determined not to fail in this mission which my the-other-day reconnaissance informed to be just a short walk from our hotel. And it was indeed a heavenly breakfast of that classic noodles tempered in chicken stock with an avalanche of meat and liver slices, fresh raw egg, and a shower of crushed chicharon which deserves a rightful place among the titans of the Filipino noodle cuisine.

And Pansit Molo too as I was finally properly introduced this bowl of ground-pork-wrapped-in-wonton-wrappers-and-cooked-in-a-sublime-galicky-concoction at Ponsyon's while killing time for the flight back to Manila at the Plazuela de Iloilo.


DUMANGAS CHURCH. Perhaps there is basis on the locals' claim that their town of Dumangas is in fact the oldest town in the Philippines. It was believed to be the center of Panay's nobility long before the Spaniards came in 1565 and built Iloilo's first ermita. But what will be the town's first church was built between 1620 and 1625. What is now the present church was started to be erected in 1887 by Fr. Fernando Llorente (OSA) and completed by Fr. Rafael Murillo (OSA) in 1896.  The church has been described as "magnificent and of exceptionally monumental proportions..." It has been declared as a national landmark by the National Historical Institute.

SAN JOSE CHURCH. The Jesuits probably built the first church in 1617 --- the same year that Hilo-hilo was accepted by the Augustinians as a mission. In 1873, the present church was started to be built where an image of the Nuestra Senora del Rosario, said to be found in a box during a raid by Dutch pirates on La Punta de Iloilo in 1614, is enshrined.

LA PAZ BATCHOY. There are various versions of the origin of the batchoy. What is conclusive is that it originated in the La Paz market in Iloilo somewhere between 1938 and 1945, and that it evolved from a Chinese noodle dish.

PANSIT MOLO. This noodle dish obviously originated in Iloilo City's Molo District and is an adaptation of the wonton soup. 

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