gakka, udang, ken kappukan in sanchez mira

One day in Sanchez Mira, Cagayan, some Ilokano writers meet yet again, on their way to a writers group meet in Ilocos Sur, stopping over to partake some gastronomic blessing.

Well, well, well, the usual and ubiquitous kappukan (fresh raw beef kilawen) is there, and those are slighty scalded gakka (small sea shellfish still abundant in Cagayan coasts), and those are live udang (river shrimps) for kilawen:


These are unusually large gakkas bought in the tiendaan of Sanchez Mira. The usual gakkas being sold or hawked are smallish for the mouth to easily break open the tiny shell and suck out the tasty morsel of a meat (note: this is distinct from tukmem/bennek/dukiang freshwater clams):


These are “native” freshwater shrimps, udang it is called, caught in rivers, the raw live flesh is so delicious, tasty and sweety:


And this is yet another beef kappukan complete with trimmings (fresh liblibro, tualtualia and dalem):


Another serving:

What a bliss, indeed! Cheers!


pangngaldaw iti STR

On a yet another Ilokano writers meet, this time in Gonzaga, Cagayan, we were feted with a nabaknang a pangngaldaw by our kind and generous hosts, right at the STR, a river resort maintained and operated by the municipal government. Well, STR is sirok ti rangtay or under the bridge. But no bridge to burn here. That’s under the iconic steel bridge over the famous Wangag River.


That’s steamed shrimps there, kilawen a sosay, and bilonak salad with KBL:


Freshly caught shrimps steamed briefly and it’s so sweet and delicious, and gorgeous:


Spiced raw fish flesh, with optional dip of Kikkoman sashimi soy sauce laced with wasabi:


We were also treated with a terrific pinapaitan a baka:


Nilingta a malaga was later served, as evidenced by my labay, my plate:

And of course, we washed down it all with a fine brandy (as hinted by the third photo above).