I am not sure about you but I love eating with my bare hands when I eat fried fish with rice! There's nothing like feeling the rice in my hands and taking out those tiny bones of the fried fish!
Up in the mountains of Irosin Sorsogon, I was offered to eat a bowl of rice (their bowls are made of coconut shell) and fried fish. There was also the leaves of the cassava sauteed in coconut milk and seasoned with hot pepper.
Irosin's major crops include copra (coconut), Manila hemp and rice. Just travelling around the Bicol region, you will see coconuts everywhere. So make sure that you experience drinking the "buko" juice and eating the coconut meat!
Twenty years ago, my habit was to climb to the top of the hill close to the church and watched and listened to the hush and bash of this sleepy town. During my last visit, I was surprised that the hill has changed!
To my surprise, the people of Irosin put a grotto on it. I am not sure if I like it or not.
Before it was just a hill where you can sit down and contemplate at the end of the day. It was nice before because it was just plain hill overlooking the town.
Going to Sorsogon from Legazpi City? Just take a mini-bus or a bus from the Central Bus Station and head to Sorsorgon. You can also take the bus going to Matnog. Either ways, it will stop at the junction of the town of Irosin, Sorsogon.
Copra is a major crop of the Philippines. It is exported abroad to be made into soap and shampoos.
During my last visit, I took some pictures of how the farmers gather the mature coconuts and turn them into copra so they can sell them. It is a very tedious process.
First, the farmers have to climb the tall coconut trees and gather the mature coconuts.
Second, they husk the coconut.
Third, the split the coconut and remove the water in them.
Fourth, the take out the meat of the coconut.
Fifth, they smoke the coconut meat on a make shift barn. until the coconut meat is dried and shrank one-third of its size.
Sixth, they gather the dried coconut meat and stock them in sacks.
Seventh, they carry the sacks of coconuts (now copra) from the mountains to the the town for sell.
Jackfruit is one of the biggest fruit found in Southeast Asia. It is found in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and in the Philippines. It can grow as big as a rice sack (80 kilos) and can feed 20 people.
In Irosin, the young jackfruit is cooked with coconut milk and seasoned with salt and hot pepper. Sometimes, the cook add some dried fish on it to make it tastier.
When the jackfruit is ripe, it has this sweet smell on it and eaten by taking out its large seed. The seed is also edible. The seed is dried and boiled and eaten as it is.
The jackfruit has a thorny covering and it is related to the Durian fruit.