Sunday, November 20, 2011

Viaje Sagada | Indigenous Flavors of Sagada

The taste of Pinikpikan and Moma (nganga) in the Cordilleras are just two of the many  flavors native to Sagada. Never miss the chance of giving them a try when you're up there in the Cordillera region.

Day 4 - November 1, 2011

The Pinikpikan...

So after inhaling tons of pine-scented smoke at the Panag-apoy ritual, we headed next to Pinikpikan Haus, a restaurant that will serve us Sagada's specialty. Priced for P100 per head, we were able to fill our stomachs with this controversial dish.
| Pinikpikan is a chicken dish native to the Cordillera Region. It is composed of chicken, ginger, some string beans and black pepper. However, the preparation of the chicken for this meal is somewhat controversial as it violates some animal rights.

Controversial eh?! The way the chicken is killed  for a Pinikipikan dish might sound cruel and offensive for the advocates of animal rights. The chicken is killed by beating, thus incurring bruise and internal bleeding, which according to the locals will add flavor to the meal. Instead of dipping the chicken on a boiling water, the feathers are removed by placing the chicken over a fire. In fact, according to wikipedia, the way pinikpikan is prepared violates Philippine Animal Welfare Act 1998. But how can a tradition, long been practiced in the mountains of Cordillera, break a man-made law created just 13 years ago. Traditon vs Law? 

the classic Pinikpikan
So how's the taste then? the closest flavor that is comparable to a Pinikpikan would be Batchoy. At first, I thought it would taste like Tinola, but it really was like La Paz Batchoy. The chicken tastes fine, there's a smoke flavor in it. To sum it all, the Pinikpikan dish tastes good, it's not exceptional though.

The Moma...

You'll probably see a lot of people in Sagada (well, not just in Sagada but all throughout the Cordillera region) chewing and spitting red substance, that's moma.

By 11:30 pm , we were still at the 2nd floor lobby of George Guesthouse. We're still up late at night, busy chatting and reviewing everyone's photo of the whole Sagada trip. We were scheduled to leave by tomorrow so we're making sulit our remaining time in Sagada.

Yesterday, while we were on the road to Pongas Falls, Heiz asked the driver of our jeep if she could have his Moma, (opcors ung hindi pa nangunguya). Heiz then gave the Moma package to me to give it a try. Finally after a day, I will get to try its taste.
| Chewing a moma or nganga is also an old practice done by the elders not only in the Cordilleras but throughout the Southeast Asia. Though currently, you'll rarely see a person still chewing this except in the region of Cordillera and some remote areas in the Philippines    
Moma includes three main ingredients, namely, a Betel Nut, a dash of lime powder, and a leaf of betel pepper. One must wrap the betel nut and lime powder in a betel pepper leaf, then this wrap would be chewed until it turns red inside the mouth. You'll have to spit it afterwards, swallowing it might cause aches to your stomach.

Betel nut, Lime powder, and Betel pepper leaf
I tried it, and all I can say is that it tasted weird, it is quite mapakla and a bit minty. As if my mouth got numb after chewing it. I don't know how the old folks get addicted to its taste.


Viaje Sagada-Baguio Series, Sagada-Baguio Trip for 7D6N (Oct 29-Nov 4, 2011)
Viaje Sagada | No Sun at Kiltepan - Part 2
Viaje Sagada | I Survived Cave Connection - Part 3
Viaje Sagada | Lost in Echo Valley - Part 4
Viaje Sagada | Pongas Falls and the Death-defying Trek - Part 5
Viaje Sagada | Witnessing the Begnas Ritual - Part 6 
Viaje Sagada | The Might of Bomod-ok Falls - Part 7
Viaje Sagada | Blazing Rituals of Panag-apoy - Part 8
Viaje Sagada | Indigenous Flavors of Sagada - Part 9
Viaje Sagada | Soloing the Hanging Coffins of Echo Valley - Part 10
Viaje Sagada | Foodtrip in Sagada - Part 11

Itinerary | Sagada 



  1. Ikaw ng masipag mag-blog? I'll try Pinikpikan next time though naawa naman ako sa chicken. :( Yung matatanda sa province namin ngumunguya din nyan and di ko gusto kahit di ko pa natry.

  2. nice one ivan. wala bang thanks to smarla for the lighting effects? :) thanks for the mention.

    si kuya driver(sorry i forgot his name)--red teeth :) ei, ivan, you better know the art of spitting the moma.
    more-more blogs on sagada!



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