Ilocos’s history is filled with tobacco smoke. For one century, Ilocano farmers planted only tobacco.
Post-Tobacco Monopoly, a big part of the growth of the region comes from tobacco. It has sent many children to school. It has built better roads. We have to admit it as a fact that tobacco growing is part of the Ilocano cultural heritage.
The cultural aspect of a place one visits is as fascinating as the sights and food. I really don’t get it when the pa-sosyals look for what else but puro kasosyalan. In my eyes, nothing compares to the rawness of the countryside. I get mesmerized by unadulterated local scenes, I enjoy hobnobbing with ordinary folks, I like digging deep into that carinderia type of food as well, I need to fill my memory bank with vivid representations of the real world.
The Dayo ti Batac, where farmers meet to trade and barter their cows and carabaos, was able to satiate my craving for the neoteric, though it’s been there every Sunday morning for so long now. I got to photograph the master kawar-maker (in photo above). I asked if there’s a special name for the chain or cow accessory and he answered, “It’s plain kawar.” “Not adorno?” I asked back. He smiled.
Dayo is the Ilocano word for visit.
The local imapasar made with carabeef and papaitan by Luzminda’s is the specialty at the dayo eatery. I got to like it when we went to their main carinderia in Sinait last month. Impasar is also called sinanglao or paksiw depending on where you eat it.
I was actually hanging out with the FoodPrints production staff and host Chef Sandy Daza, and the dayo is one of the features of the Ilocos Norte episodes. Better check it out on the Lifestyle Network this Sept 7, 8:30 PM, if food adventure is your thing. They looove food and they’re fun to be with!