Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Killer Bagnet

To an uninstructed tongue like mine, a delicacy even those from the heartland of Cabalens will leave an exotic flavor on my taste buds. Being a Manila Boy for life - with no recent memory of embarking on a journey away from the city - denies me the chance to try local cuisines others have already savored and enjoyed. If a dish from lands as close as Pampanga has evaded my tummy, what more if the cuisine hails from far-flung realms of Ilocandia and Bicolandia? My entry is about gustatory initiation. It's about my first bite of Bagnet and how such sinful food could kill a person with one huge serving.

The department I belong loves food. I swear people there don't just worship things that are edible, they gorge anything that is oily and fatty. Even the desktop picture of an analyst reeks of cholesterol. Imagine the first thing we see in the morning is a blown-up image of a double-patty Cheeseburger. This alone would give the reason behind everyone's girth expanding every quarter.

Going back to the wicked Bagnet, my friend Ternie tried to sign-up my soul for a one way trip to perdition. He described the dish as the same as Pork Chicharon with tender bits of meat clinging to the crispy skin. His descriptions were mouth watering, specially when thoughts of Kare-Kare came into the picture. I could not contain my stomach's grumbling and my diet was inching towards getting betrayed. Telling myself - of the goal to get fit - was the reason for able to hold my mouth against the Bagnet's allure. Realizing I couldn't get swayed, Ternie backs off but promised to return with more forms of temptation under his sleeve.

The next day, a colleague announced that his wife came back from a trip to Pangasinan. To support his claims, this colleague took out a rounded plastic container from inside his bag. Pulling the lid to open, its contents reveal several big chunks of meat. I thought it was Lechon Kawali at first, but when he said it was Bagnet, the chat conversation with Ternie played inside my head.

Will I take it?

Will I?

Will I?

I was in the middle of a very important debate when the container landed in front of me. The colleague urged I take the last piece. Hesitation comes into play - specially when I learned at the gym I bounced back to 170 again. This time, curiosity prevailed. I took the last chunk, still dripping with oil from the meat. The oil stained my fingers but feeling how tender the chunk of meat was, I couldn't help but get mesmerized by the prospect of committing a nasty deed. I dropped the meat inside my mouth and without thinking twice, began to chew through the crispy skin.

Minutes after swallowing the piece, I was holding back my tears for I have found love.

Hours later, the analysts from my department discussed among themselves their out of this world experience with Bagnet. We were seated on a bench - me and the three stooges - while waiting for our task to resume. One compared devouring a chunk of Bagnet to tapping the bone marrow in Bulalo. Both offer savage delight to one's appetite, but the two contend in being the deadliest to one's already maligned artery. The conversation went on - like they were in an inuman - only without the beer. They cited all the embolism and myocardial infarction inducing pulutan beginning with Crispy Pata and ending with Aligue. As they went on thinking of ways to die by eating, one of the analysts came up with a morbid idea.

"Why not serve Bagnet wrapped in bacon strips deep fried in Aligue?" He suggested "Then the sawsawan would come from bone marrow and ox brain made into gravy?"

"Pare kelangan mo ng doktor kapag inupakan mo yun!" Chuckled another.

"Yung dessert, Brazo De Mercedes tapos Leche Flan na gawa sa egg yolk yung nasa loob."

They were laughing their assess off until our fifteen minute break was over. As for me who they thought was part of the crew, my thoughts were already stolen by some fleeting scenes of a market somewhere up north.


.. expecting

my arrival.



Eternal Wanderer... said...


but the best bagnet is from ilocos *tulo laway*

blagadag said...

another coincidence? just two hours ago, i raided my flatmate's chicharon box because of its bagnet flavor. dios mio. sabi naman kasi ng dr ko four hours ago during my monthly medical check-up, ok daw yung blood pressure ko. sarap. punta tayo ilocos, nak.

anteros' dominion said...


sa ilocos sur, matatagpuan ang masasarap na bagnet, hindi sa palengke, kundi sa hanay ng mga tahanan a few block away from the famed crisologo street..madali mong malalaman na nagbebenta ng bagnet ang isang pamilya kapag may nakita kang hanay ng mga longganisang iloko na pinatutuyo sa araw...

according to a chef friend, ilang pamilya na lang talaga sa ilocos sur ang sumusunod sa paraan ng tradisyunal na paggawa ng bagnet..kaya wag sa palengke bibili...

namiss ko tuloy bigla ang ilocos sur at ang malalaking simbahan dun

Anonymous said...

when i went to ilocos last november it was one of the things i tried, the other two are vigan longganiza and pakbet iloko. sarap!

it was worth the 10 hour travel.

Galen said...


Haha! nakakainggit naman. :) I will try that too.


I will keep that in mind. Sabi kasi sa akin sa palengke makakabili noon. Saan pala ang crisologo street? Laoag o Vigan?

Galen said...


Sige ba punta tayo dun mommy. Sama mo si hubby mo ha para masaya. :)

Di pa ako nakakapuntang Ilocos.


Well, the next time I get to taste Bagnet, I'd grab a bite in Ilocos. Hahahaha.

domjullian said...

Yearly ako nagpupunta ng Ilocos dahil yung ibang relatives namin nandun(I'm 1/4 Ilocano). Every single market there sells bagnet but the best ones are in Vigan Public Market along with the equally sinful Vigan Longganisa. May free taste pa pag bibili ka.

Try as well the Ilocano pinakbet because they use bagnet instead of the regular pork.

Galen said...


That's what I'm talking about with my colleagues (the three stooges!) Sabi ko masarap yung bagnet sa bulanglang. Hahaha.

Thanks sa info. I'm off to Vigan then this summer.

engel said...

haven't tasted bagnet yet. maybe when i visit ilocos i'll try some.

gauxves said...

i love bagnet... with poqui-poqui... he he he... hay i miss vigan...

Galen said...


Kulitin mo si Ternie. He will let you taste his Bagnet. Ay... I mean. Sasamahan ka niya bumili ng Bagnet somewhere.


What's poqui-poqui

domjullian said...

dont forget vigan empanada and okoy too.

Galen said...


I will write an entry should my trip to Vigan pushes through. :) Thanks pare!

Dhon said...

you need cholesbloc.

anteros' dominion said...

poqui poqui is an egg (actually an omelet) na ang laman ay gulay...masarap din ang empanada, dun yun mabibili sa plaza malapit sa simbahan sa, makapagbabakasyon ka pala sa vigan..ang saya naman

Galen said...


Is that an over-the-counter drug?


Balak pa lang. Meron akong mga considerations bago pumunta dun aside sa budget.

Dhon said...

Its actually a herbal supplement..
Check it out: