Panubli-on is the Ilonggo word for heritage. It is also the name of the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) exhibit at Greenbelt 1 that ran from July 31 to August 4, 2014 and from August 4 to August 6, 2014 at the Activity Center of Glorietta in Makati City. It showcased various goods made by small and medium enterprises (SME’s) based in Region VI or Western Visayas. For Ilonggos like me, its abundant offering of piaya, butterscotch, kalkag and mangoes is a little piece of home. The cheerful and unwavering smiles of the people manning the booths were very much welcome in the middle of the crowded concrete jungle of Manila (Ilonggos are known to be very sweet. Our singsong and delightful voice sometimes belies the meaning of our message).

The centerpiece of Panubli-on exhibit

Ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 4, 2014

Some of the hardworking people behind the exhibit

       Each of the six provinces in Western Visayas had its own booth, some of which had live demonstrations while others had free food tasting.  I will present the booths of the provinces in alphabetical order.

Aside from the world-renowned Boracay and its annual Ati-Atihan Festival,
Aklan is also known for Precious Moments items.

Native bags, pouches and home decors from Antique

Capiz shell products from Capiz

Canned sardines and milkfish, P45-50 (a little over US $1) and vacuum packed smoked milkfish, P170 (US $3.88) from Capiz. The canned milkfish tastes nice and has a little heat, which I like. It goes well with rice or plain crackers.

Kamias (bilimbi or cucumber tree) jigger from Capiz

       Guimaras is a small island province that boasts of having the sweetest mangoes in the world (and some of the most scenic beaches I have visited). The mangoes they brought to Panubli-on did not disappoint.

Guimaras products led by the star of the show, the ubersweet mangoes. These mangoes taste like nectar and every bite oozes with flavorful juice. As we say in Ilonggo, “Kanamit gid ah!” One kilogram of mangoes, P120 (US $2.74)

Cashew and mango butterscotch and mango piaya from Guimaras

Mango tarts and sweet potato chips from Guimaras

Calamansi and mango concentrate and mango catsup from Guimaras. The mango concentrate tastes like its fresh fruit counterpart. Despite my reservations, the mango catsup actually tastes good and it does not have any hint of fruitiness.

Atsarang manga or pickled mango and mango jam from Guimaras.

       Cashew, cashew butter and mango cashew biscotti are some of the products from Guimaras that were available at the exhibit. I can attest that the cashew from Guimaras is at par with the cashew from Palawan, and the cashew butter is creamy and hindina kakasawa. I am eating the biscotti as I am typing this, and man, it is very good. It has chunks of cashew and candied mangoes, and the base perfectly complements the mangoes.

The booth of my home province, Iloilo.

Squid rings, P200 (US $4.56) and kalkag (dried krill), P75 (US $1.71) from Iloilo. The squid rings are divine. Kalkag is great as snacks (I just had a handful before I started writing this entry) or fried rice topping.

Bagoong (shrimp paste), P95 (US $2.17) from Iloilo. Perfect for green mangoes. This is one of my favorite products in the exhibit.

Turmeric tea from Iloilo. The 180-gram bottle costs P110 (US $2.51) while the 320-gram bottle costs P145 (US $3.31)

       For those who know Iloilo products quite well, you might wonder why Ilonggo staples such as biscocho, barquillos, merengue and pinasugbo were not included in the exhibit. Panubli-on wants to highlight the up-and-coming enterprises in the region, not the established ones.

Negros Occidental booth

Chorizo, 500-gram pack costs P200 (US $4.56) from Negros Occidental. I bought one pack, but I have not cooked it yet.

Other products from Negros Occidental

Piaya, P15 each (US $0.34) or P100 for 8 pieces (US $2.28) from Negros Occidental. These piaya are products of Kartaps (short for karga and tapas karga means load and tapas means cut or slash, these are some of the steps for harvesting sugar cane).

Chef Ronnie Guance was nice enough to have his photo taken while demonstrating how to make piaya

How to make piaya with Chef Ronnie
Tubo (sugar cane) blast mixes the sugar cane juice with ice. The tubo juice is fresh from the sugar cane sticks, which Kartaps people brought with them from Negros Occidental. They also sell sugar cane juice that they make while you wait (like the one in Vietnam, but Kartaps has a more compact machine) for P50 (US$ 1.14) for 16oz.

       Panubli-on is a great trip to the six provinces (and three major islands) of Western Visayas without the plane ride. On one hand, it gives small businesses the exposure they need to improve their sales and to make known to people their existence. On the other hand, it also gives the general populace the chance to sample products from other regions and the knowledge that these products are a huge part of our culture.

       Thank you, Ares, Nang Gingging, Nesgen and Pats for accommodating Virg and I. Sa tanan nga bulig, madamo gid nga salamat.

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