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Go On A Roadtrip to Cavite And Taste 400 Years Of History In One Day

In the lull between holiday festivities, when your brain isn’t quite ready to go back to work, what you really want is to spend quality time with family and friends. Why not go on a road trip? The perfect easy getaway, road trips do not require plane tickets or extensive planning, and can be fun and meaningful. One of our favorite curated trips is this food and heritage tour of Cavite, guaranteed to take you through 400 years of history in just one day.

1. Have a traditional Caviteño breakfast

Malen’s Restaurant in Noveleta is a great first stop, so you can order the Magdiwang Breakfast. This traditional Caviteño meal will let you sample some of the most iconic local delicacies like Imus longanisa, tinapa from Salinas, tamales and quesillo. Don’t miss the tortang talong which comes with sidings of ensaladang kamatis and sibuyas, and burong mustasa. Malen’s is owned by a descendant of Pascual Alvarez, a brigadier general under Emilio Aguinaldo and a member of the Magdiwang faction of the Katipunan (hence the name of the breakfast). It’s a great introduction to the flavors of Cavite.

Facebook: malensrestaurant or Instagram: @malens.ph

 

2. Visit some local food hotspots

The Mercado del Ciudad de Cavite (a.k.a. Cavite City’s wet market) is a great repository of culture and culinary tradition. Witness the bagsakan (delivery of fish fresh from the boats) and bulungan (silent auction), which is still practiced today. Watch the making of bibingka Samala, a delicious kakanin made aromatic with coconut oil, panocha and charred banana leaves. Get some hand-kneaded Ensaymada de Cavite from Baloy’s, which comes in classic butter, cheese, dulce de leche, ube and macapuno flavors. Shop for tinapang Salinas, quesillo and bibingkoy for pasalubong.

 

3. Discover historic landmarks and hear the stories behind them

The town of Maragondon was established by the Jesuits in the 16th century. From its forests came wood used to make the galleon ships. In 1618, Our Lady of the Assumption Church was built by the Jesuits and later taken over by the Augustinians. The magnificent old door still has a bas-relief of the galleons, acanthus and the garita (garrisons) that show the town’s relationship with the galleon trade.

 

 

4. Follow in the footsteps of Andres Bonifacio

A few doors down from the church is the house where Andres Bonifacio was court-martialed after the Tejeros Convention. Days later, he was secretly carried to nearby Mount Buntis where he was executed. The trial house was restored in 1996 and is now a full-fledged museum under the National Historic Commission of the Philippines.

5.  Lunch on heirloom dishes at Calle Real

Have a late lunch at Calle Real, a 19th-century house that belongs to a mercantile family, now converted into a restaurant. The menu is full of Cavite’s culinary specialties, made the old-fashioned way using locally-sourced ingredients. Sit down over a spread of paella negra, calandracas, sopas Tanza, pork binagoongang, and dried pusit salad with a tamarind vinaigrette. Move to the second floor for churros and kaibigan biscuits with coffee.

Facebook: callerealrestaurant

 

6. Aguinaldo Shrine, Kawit

The final stop is also the most intriguing. The Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit is the old home of Emilio Aguinaldo. It is a beautiful mansion that hides many interesting secrets. After you’ve explored its hidden nooks and crannies, refresh yourself with a light merienda cena of Cavite’s specialties: pancit choko en su tinta and halo-halo from Asiong’s, and bibingkang balinghoy from Aling Baby Clemente. It’s the perfect way to end a food tour.

 

Photos and text by Troy Barrios

Photos of the traditional breakfast and kakanin by Alexis Deocaris of ForkSpoonManila

The Cavite: From Galleon Trade Heritage to Philippine Independence Tour was designed by food writer and Cavite culinary historian Ige Ramos. For more information, please visit Food Holidays at www.foodholidays.ph  or email eatyourhistory@foodholidays.ph