I went to Lucban with an empty stomach so the first thing I looked for when I arrived is a place to eat. Unfortunately, almost all restaurants were full and the clouds were heavy it seemed like it would rain so I decided to roam around first just in case.
While walking, I spotted a stall selling Pancit habhab and my grumbling stomach told me to buy one.
Pancit habhab is a popular dish in Lucban and I like it because there are practically no vegetables except for the onions and it is sprinkled with vinegar which reminds me of the pancit we sell in the province. This is served in banana leaf and it’s called habhab because you have to eat it without using fork, only your mouth.
After my fix of pancit habhab, I saw a stall selling fried kiping, the main decorative piece in Pahiyas made of rice galapong and shaped like leaves in different colors. I already knew that these are edible but I was still delighted with the thought of eating them so I bought one. This was rather bland and sugar must be added for flavor. However, if like me, you enjoy munching something crunchy (and colorful, hehe) while roaming around then it’s a must for you to try it.
On my way out, I saw a lady selling these sugar-coated goodness and I salivated. According to her, this was called Pilipit (7 pesos) and it’s made of kalabasa, malagkit (the rice, I suppose) and sugar. It’s sweet (of course) and it’s like the softer version of something familiar during my childhood though I couldn’t point out exactly what.
I think the most famous food from Lucban is their longganisa. In almost every corner, there’s a stall selling this dish. I was tempted to buy a dozen or so but thinking of all the effort needed before I can eat them (cooking, washing the dishes, etc) stopped me from doing so. I can always dine at Buddy’s. hehe
I ordered two plus 1/2 order of Bopis and rice. I found their version of bopiz bland, I am used to the spicy and flavorful one sold in the carinderia near where I live. Lucban longanisa plus vinegar was superb especially because I don’t like my longganisa sweet. I was very happy with my meal and it only costed 60+ pesos.
While in Lucban, I noticed that the tap water I drank had a tinge of sweetness and is extra refreshing. When I asked the carinderia helper about this, he explained that the drinking water in the area came from Mt. Banahaw. Ah, that’s why! I suck in geography so much I didn’t know the majestic mountain I saw during my trip to Quezon was Mt. Banahaw! In fact, I thought Quezon province was north of Manila (I was thinking of Aurora). I even argued with Dams because he said they passed by the place during their Mindanao-Manila road trip. Now I know, better refresh my knowledge of Philippine geography.