Diego Silang led a revolt against the Spanish government. Diego was able to expel the Spanish provincial governor of Vigan. The Spanish authorities hired Miguel Vico, a Spanish mestiso friend of Diego to assassinate him. On May 28, 1763, Diego Silang was shot in his own house in Vigan.
After Diego’s death, his wife, Josefa Gabriela Silang, took over the revolt and fought courageously. From Abra Josefa led her troops towards Vigan on several attempts, but she was driven back and was forced to retreat to Abra riding a fast horse. And finally a strong force was then sent against her to Abra, this time she was captured. On September 20, 1763, Josefa Gabriela Silang and about 100 followers were executed.
My food: Pakbet, the authentic pakbet cooked in Ilocandia is not a sautéed vegetable in onions and other aromatic ingredients or with shrimp bagoong paste. It is simple boiled vegetables with fish bagoong toped with either bagnet, fried pork or dried fish. The word pakbet or kebbet in Ilocano dialect means shrivel. Pakbet or pakebbeten is to make it shrivel, the vegetables are boiled to a low heat until they shrivel. What ever vegetables available or in season can be used and of course the sweet potato or kamote is a must to add a bit of sweetness to this salty dish.
If I was to cook for the katipuneros during their revolt against the Spaniards lead by Diego and Gabriela Silang I would be cooking pakbet. A genuine Ilocano’s favorite vegetables, bagnet and bagoong are the basic ingredients of pakbet. Who knows this dish must have been cooked for/or by Gabriela Silang and serve on countless times to Diego Silang and his men. I would say that pakbet was a regular dish during their uprising against the Spaniards for the following assumption.
Ingredients are easy to source, pakbet is a dish that uses any vegetables that are available, it also uses kamote as an extender and all are being grown at ones backyards or even in the wild. The sahog use is either bagnet, fried pork or dried fish and of course bagoong na isda which I would say are essential take along foods on any guerilla campaign.
It is easy to prepare, cooking is simple boiling and simmering and no other special cooking procedure, just put all the ingredients in a big clay pot place over the camp fire and leave it until it is ready to serve. With this cooking method the entire battalion’s food can easily be prepared.
It has a long shelf life, these explain why this dish is salty. During the old times foods must be cooked either with a lot of salt or vinegar and almost dry to extend the food shelf life. The katipuneros surely at some occasions did not have enough time to even cook their food, therefore when they can find time they have cook food that will last them for several days. In fact left over pakbet serve the next meal taste better, at this time all the salty aroma of bagoong have already totally infused with the vegetables.
Here is the recipe.
1/4 k. bagnet, cut into big cubes
1 small bundle sitaw, cut in 2” lengths
3 small size ampalaya, seeded, quartered
3 small size round eggplant, slit half
1 small head cabbage, quartered
1/2 c. patani seed, skinned
2 small size kamote, quartered
1 small bundle okra, trimmed
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 big size tomato, chopped
2 thumb size ginger, sliced
1/2 c. bagoong na isda
In a casserole pour 2 c. of water and let boil. Add bagoong diluted in 1 c. of warm water, pass thru a sieve to filter out fish bones from the solution, Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes and remove all scams that rises. Add in kamote, ginger and all the other vegetable ingredients. Leafy vegetables, onions and tomato on top. Cover and simmer at low heat for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables shrivel and liquid has reduced to half. Top with bagnet and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with a lot of rice.
There it is my first ever entry to Lasasang Pinoy.
Lasang Pinoy, which could mean ‘tastes of something Filipino’ or short for ‘the Filipino taste’ is a monthly food blogging event to promote Filipino food. It is a product of email brainstorming sessions of several Filipino food bloggers who thought it was time for a Filipino event in the tradition of Is My Blog Burning.