For somebody who grew up in the province, there is nothing like enjoying a meal straight from the farm.
Alaska Aces star Vic Manuel enjoyed fresh farm treat while on a short vacation in his hometown of Licab, Nueva Ecija. Posting on social media, Manuel simply captioned the photo “Sarap!” coupled with the hashtag #province.
The hard-banging power forward told SPIN.ph that although he has dined in popular restaurants in Manila, nothing beats the good old simple meal.
“Ang sarap ng pagkain sa probinsya. Walang katapat,” said Manuel of his mouth-watering meal.
"Iba talaga 'yung dating saka lasa ng native na pagkain- nilagang talbos ng kamote at sayote, nilagang bilog na talong at okra, pakbet, sarsyado, pritong tilapia, hito (catfish) tapos isasawsaw mo sa bagoong na may kamatis, sibuyas at manga. Ahhh, heaven.”
“Saka yung gustong gusto ko dito sa Licab eh yung buro (fermented rice and fish). Hindi nila alam sa Maynila yan. Saka yung iba pandidirihan yan kasi iisipin nila panis na kanin. Pero napakasarap nun,” he said of the dish best served with fried or grilled fish.
The soft-spoken former PBA D-League and UCAA MVP also bared that the brief Licab homecoming enabled him to feast on other exotic farm foods like dagang bukid, palaka, ararawan (cricket), suso (snail), uwis (wild bird), itim na bibe, and bulig (mudfish).
The feast took him back in time, Manuel said.
"Na-i-enjoy ko talaga dito sa probinsya is parang nag-time travel ako, kasi pinitas ko sa bakuran ng pinsan ko yung mga gulay tapos diretso na sa kaldero. Hindi tulad sa tin dyan sa Maynila, ibibiyahe pa yung gulay, ibabagsak sa palengke, ititinda. Panat na kung baga bago mo mailuto,” he said.
Manuel spent most of his early life in Licab before the pursuit of his basketball dream took him to the Big City.
Now based in Manila, the 33-year old cager bared that once his career is over, he would return to the province and focus on farming.
"Tingin ko mas okay dito sa probinsya. Walang stress, walang traffic, sariwa ang hangin. Iyo ang oras mo. Andito rin mga kaibigan, kababata at kamag-anak mo,” he said.