Top 5 Delicacies from Surigao
By Ann Joy Perez
Surigao is the capital of Surigao del Norte province. Known as the “City of Island Adventures,” this region boasts of 17 panoramic islands adorned by pristine beaches, breathtaking caves, rock formations, mangrove forests, and underwater sceneries. Aside from its beautiful wonders of nature, Surigao also offers a wide range of delicacies for every certified foodie. The province of Surigao del Norte is actually promoting the One Town One Product (OTOP) program of the government, offering a variety of locally produced handicrafts, and yes, even delicacies! These are sold both here and abroad. Here are some of the best delicacies that Surigao has to offer.
1. Sayongsong. This famous Surigao delicacy is a “kakanin” wrapped in banana leaves with the color and consistency of a “puto” or rice cake. It’s made up of glutinous rice, brown sugar, calamansi juice, roasted peanut, and coconut milk. Sayongsong comes out wrapped in banana leaves. Some people say it tastes like “puto” but with coconut milk. This can be easily found in public markets, food stalls, and “pasalubong” shops.
2. Poot-Poot Ginamos. This delicacy is unfamiliar to tourists and even Filipinos coming from Manila. Poot poot ginamos is a unique and tasty treat from Surigao. This flavorful delicacy is made of small fishes locally known as poot poot. This type of fish can only be found in Philippine shores. This fish specialty comes with fermented fish sauce which is very cheap, making it even more popular to tourists! One jar of poot poot ginamos costs less than a hundred pesos. This is a must-try for every Surigao visitor.
3. Kinilaw. Kinilaw is a common dish for many provinces. What sets apart Surigao’s kinilaw among others is its exotic flavor. Travellers all over the world and within the country visit Surigao for its delicious kinilaw. This local delicacy is made of raw fish and it does not involve any form of cooking. To prepare this native cuisine, the people of Surigao debone and wash the raw fishes and combine it with a number of condiments. The perfect mix of ginger, vinegar, onions, chilli peppers, and salt makes this delicacy a haven for your taste buds. Some even use “hinatuan,” a type of wild onion to add more spice to this mouth-watering cuisine.
4. Gigaquit Rhum. This local treat is a great “pasalubong” for your friends who love to drink. Gigaquit Rhum is one of the most popular native beverages in Surigao. It even ranks number four in the top five delicacies of the city. This rare and flavorful beverage is fermented at a Sasa tree which is found in Surigao. This is quite similar to the “tuba” but it’s tastier. Gigaquit Rhum is a popular export product because of its good quality and affordable price.
5. Dried Pijanga. Also known as “white goby,” this first class dried fish comes from Lake Mainit in Surigao del Norte. Lake Mainit is the country’s fourth largest lake and the province’s most significant body of water filled with freshwater fauna such as carp, tilapia, catfish, and the famous pijanga. This delicacy has a special story because it’s produced from the efforts of the rural agrarian reform community of Surigao. Tourists and locals bring this home frequently because of its unique taste.
Surigao is a place of adventure for every traveller and food explorer. Aside from the many activities you can do, you can reward yourself with great food after a long day of thrilling escapades. These delicacies are just a glimpse of the variety of local treats you can enjoy in Surigao. For the adventurer in you, Surigao is truly worth the travel.
Author bio: Ann Joy Perez is an alumna from Arellano University Philippines, a former Marketing Assistant and a 25 year old, single. She is into almost all types of Music especially love songs. She also love playing basketball, video games,watching entertainment and films. Watching news tv and reading news paper is one of her favorite hobby and also she loves to eat. Follow her interest on her Tumblr.