Tuesday, March 7, 2017

That Sinfully Sumptuous Humba of Siquijor (Visayas)


Dining options in the mystical island of Siquijor are quite limited for the backpacker. There are no fast foods and any mid-range restaurants to speak of. Even carinderias are very few and far from each other. You'd have your breakfast in your hotel or guesthouse then pick from the relatively expensive options of dining in resort restaurants. My meals here were unexpectedly upscale, ranging from not less than P300 to P600 per order. 

Maybe the witches have cast their spells against "eateries"? Err... not really. The "mambabarangs" (local witches), accordingly to my driver-guide have gone to the mountains and have grown old. Their siblings supposedly have refused to accept the "gifts" they're supposed to pass on because of the stigma that society puts on them. As a result, this tradition for which the island is infamously known for is gradually disappearing from modern day Siquijor. But I am digressing.

On the day of my departure from the island, I headed to the port early so I could buy my one-way ticket to Dumaguete (business class available). I saw a carinderia-cum-sari-sari store just in front of the Ocean Jet ticket booth. This is your typical Pinoy carinderia. I picked the Humba, sinfully languishing in mouth-watering oil. I am no cook. That is an understatement. But to my mind, "humba" is the Visayan variety of the Filipino adobo. It is a stewed pork dish that's "sweet, sour, salty" cooked with brown sugar, tausi (salted black beans) and banana blossoms.

My humba is very tasty, its meat tender, and you feel cholesterol impinging on your blood vessels, but I didn't care. One pice of humba costs PhP25 so I ordered 2, plus a cup of rice and a piece of banana. My cheapest meal (many times over) in Siquijor at PhP90 (< $2). 

This is the Eye in the Sky!  



Tender and tasty humba.

Ocean Jet tickets bound for Dumaguete are bought in the small shop at the right in this town also called Siquijor, the capital of the island. The other port is located at the town of Larena. This corner carinderia is located in front of these ticket shops.

Siquijor is the country's 3rd smallest province. It boasts of white sand beaches and a very international population of tourists (backpackers) zipping around this slumbering island.