So part of my decision to stay in Roxas City is the abundance of the freshest sea foods available all-year round. Think crabs, lobsters, prawns, deep-sea fishes, oysters and DIWAL… Oftentimes I need not buy them from the wet market. Grateful patients gift me with these.
Thank God I am not like my good friend, Alvin C. who has allergies to sea foods! If I had allergies to sea foods, I may not have lasted this long in Capiz!
Diwal, or angel wings, is a shellfish endemic to Western Visayas, particularly Capiz and Negros Occidental. Some say it taste “heavenly” – more succulent and satisfying than oysters. It is best eaten “sugba” or grilled – with it’s own juices providing the only flavors to the dish. But our guests prefer them baked – smothered with cheese and white wine with fresh dill …
Shrimps and prawns used to be a major export product of Capiz in the 1980′s until the late 1990′s. But production has since declined because of pollution and climate change as well. My mother, when she was alive, used to ask me to bring home prawns whenever I had the chance to go home to Manila. In December 1992, I actually brought home 20 kilos of prawns for her – which she gladly gave away as christmas gifts to our neighbors! Good thing, it was just P80/kilo then.
For our class meeting this Saturday, I ordered these prawns from my “suki” for P250/kilo. I don’t know if they are cheap by Manila standards, but I am assured of good quality. I hope it will make our balikbayan classmate, Aity, happy!
Although I promised my classmates that I will bring some diwal for the meeting, there were (unusually) none available this morning. So I just bought some half-shelled scallops, just in case I won’t find any diwal by Saturday morning!
BTW, did I mention that majority of Manila’s supply of FRESH oysters come from Capiz? A small “palanggana” or basin of grilled and schucked oysters costs P35.00 only in the seaside sea food stalls in Baybay. Now, if that is not reason enough for one to visit Roxas City …
Then maybe, lobsters at P300/kilo will convince you to visit us?