Dear Doreen on Tatoy’s

Here are the places self is hoping to visit, this January, if she can rustle up enough funds, that is šŸ™‚ Self decided to bite the bullet and not teach for a couple of months, hence she has to be extremely vigilant about finances.

Bacolod (imperative)
Iloilo (also imperative)
Naga (imperative)
Iriga (semi-imperative)
Manila (only for a few days, imperative)

Yikes! Self will definitely run out of funds and/ or time. Dearest Mum brushes aside self’s anxieties: January is sooo far away! Even self’s brothers haven’t given a thought yet to her returning (after three years, shows you how much they miss her)

But self is starting to read up/ research places to visit, things to do, food to eat!

A few days ago, she mentioned Claude Tayag’s list of “hole-in-the-wall” eateries in Manila. Then, she reached for Dear Mentor Doreen Fernandez’s classic Lasa: A Guide to Dining in the Provinces (Who published this book? Self certainly hopes it is still in print!) Imagine self’s excitement when she discovered that Doreen describes several of the restaurants included in Claude’s list! (Mind you, Doreen’s book was published almost 20 years ago!)

Here’s what she wrote about Tatoy’s:

The restaurant has 96 bamboo tables, and they are fully occupied, especially at lunch time. Customers come walking, on tricycles, in cars and jeeps, and even by the busload. It is a veritable dining Mecca.

The owner, Honorato Espinosa, is a humble, quiet man in rubber slippers, who oversees the operation by moving unobtrusively about like one of his employees. He started with a few tables, selling only litson manok (inasal to Ilonggos) stuffed with tanglad and tamarind leaves and roasted over charcoal. When it gained popularity, he bought a similar but larger adjoining restaurant. He serves only native (bisaya) chickens, leaner than the poultry-bred, and raised by him. These are marinated in a secret tenderizing and flavoring formula.

Wow! Tatoy’s sounds like a precursor of the “free-range, organic” chicken trend! Self is there, self is soooo there . . .


  1. Kathleen said,

    November 3, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    My dream is to go back to the Philippines 10 pounds underweight and eat my way back to normal! I would go to Bicol, because I love their sili-coconut milk cuisine. Pampanga for ancestral dream food. Baguio for the vegetables and cold air that makes you eat more. Manila for the sheer abandon of eating.

    Thanks for reading my blog. One of my linkers took me off her blog and added Michele Malkin! Yikes! šŸ™‚

  2. November 3, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Hi, Kathleen,

    I am just so entranced with your memories about growing up in Baguio. To me, that would seem like a “fairyland,” because Baguio was always my favorite place — we headed there three, four times a year: Holy Week, summer, New Year’s, etc etc Imagine living there year-round!

  3. November 3, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Baguio was a fabulous place to grow up. Where did you stay when you were there?

  4. November 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    We had a condo . . . walking distance from Mines View Park. We still have it, but I haven’t been to Baguio in almost 20 years. The last time I went, it seemed so much more crowded, also Session Road was not as clean as I remembered it being . . .

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