Sunday, January 9, 2011

Food for the Trails: Isaw at mga Inihaw!

* a selection of meat and innards ready to be grilled;
shot at a inihaw store in Crossing-Calamba, Laguna

Chicken and pig meat (and internal organs) seems to me an integral part of the usual merienda of Filipinos. These isaw or inihaw fall under the general category of street foods. Whether you just want something to fill your stomach or you want a cheaper dinner (yes, I’ve observed that they also make inihaw as pang-hapunan), an ihawan is the place to visit.

You name it: feet, ears, liver, intestines, etc. But I find their Filipino names more amusing. Of course, there is always the danger of catching diseases (cancer due to burned meat or Hepa A), but it is up to a brave inihaw lover to risk it. After all, the touch of spicy dips on the tongue will always be a sensation favorable for those who eat innards-on-stick.


  1. Dear Francis,

    Thank you and congratulations for your very articulate and informative blog. The subject of trees, grassroot Pinoy ways, culture are not of mainstream interest to our kababayans so it is hardly surprising to see zero comments to the culturally rich content of your blogs. You are a true patriot if there is any in our country. It is evident in the love for our country that your presentation breaths and your "campaign" to know Philippines better so we could learn to love it more. Alas, colonial mentality is still strongly etched in Pinoy psyche. Although, of late,thankfully a little bit less so. I cannot help but notice and admire your perseverance in showing our country and our culture with emphasis on its wealth of beauty - the natural and the humane - without glossing over the flaws. I am touched by your quietly brave and truthful blog, the poetry of its poignant yet unsentimental humanity.
    Your poem, in Filipino, gave the victims of the Magindanao massacre the song of "justice", whose cry for it would otherwise simply go unsung and unheard beyond the headlines - because nobody cares.
    I'd like to meet you on one of the days that I am back home. I am keen to meet a compatriot who truly embodies the "I love my own, my native land" spirit.
    Keep at it, you've got a follower and fan in me.

  2. For a moment I thought it was me speaking. Thank you, whoever you are who made this comment. It is true that I deal more with the simple ways of the Filipinos, having no means yet to embark on wide and encompassing travels and self studies on Philippine history and culture. My blog, as I see it, serves as my own training ground for studying practically everything about history, culture, and traditions here in the country. While this blog doesn't have volumes of comments unlike the others, I am grateful for occasional visitors who make time to leave their comments and suggestions. This blog is a part of me already and I hope to continue doing this Back Trails thing for as long as my passion is here. Again, thank you.