Sunday, June 12, 2016


Back in 2011, the hubby and I worked on the first-ever food documentary on our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, "Piging Para kay Pepe."
It was there that we met several food historians, including Felice Prudente Sta. Maria, whom I gladly found out published "The Foods of Jose Rizal"  a year later in 2012.  In this era of humanizing heroes we'd all like to know what this outstanding human being liked to eat. When it came to his gustatory demnds, was Rizal as common as you and I?

June being the month of our nation's independence, let me share with you some more interesting tidbits about our beloved Pepe and his gustatory inclinations.

In his book "Rizal Without the Overcoat," historian Ambeth Ocampo writes, "I discovered that Rizal usually had hot chocolate, a cup of rice and sardinas secas for breakfast."  What is sardinas secas?  Tuyo.  And the man loved fish because for lunch he usually had ayungin (silver perch). When it comes to his meals, Rizal, the man who sparked the fires of independence of our nation was as simple as every Juan.

In the third chapter of "Noli Me Tangere," Rizal described how the tinola, a soup with chicken and vegetables, was served to the guests- the meatier parts for important people while the neck and wings for the least welcome guests. Did you know that during Rizal's time, the soupy dish was made not just with green papaya or sayote but also with squash (or sometimes potatoes) for added starchiness in the broth.

The 25th chapter of "El Filibusterismo, fourteen young Indio lads spend their time  at the Pansiteria Macanista de Buen Gusto. In his translation of the historical novel, National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario describes Pancit Langlang: "... may kabute, hipon, pasta ng itlog, sotanghon, mga hinimay-himay na manok at kung ano-ano pa." Did you know that during his stay in Belgium as a student, the young Pepe cooked too much Pancit and ate it for two days?

Three boiled eggs. That was Dr. Jose Rizal's last meal according to the accounts of Asuncion Lopez Bantug in her book "Lolo Jose." He ate two of them but, was said to have thrown the third egg away for the rats who shared his cell.

Next time, you eat rgular PInoy fare, remember, ang hindi marunong magmagahal sa sariling pagkain, ay mas malansa pa sa bilasang ayungin.

No comments:

Post a Comment