Missing Misamis

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I was browsing through my old files when I found about a hundred unpublished photos from my Mindanao trip last 2015. In an instant, nostalgia smacked me hard in the head. I wanted to fly straight to Mindanao, shut down for a few days and pretend it’s the 90’s again. But I’m a full-grown adult with a screaming load of responsibilities, so nah. There there, self. *pats back*
 Isa ko ka Bisayang dako. I was born and raised in the province of Misamis Occidental in Northern Mindanao.  It sits beside Zamboanga and across Lanao del Norte.  To get to the rest of the bunch like Bukidnon, CDO, Iligan City (these guys should ring a bell) you’d have to cross Panguil bay via barge.
DISCLAIMER: This post isn’t much of a tour around the province, it’s just me looking back at the things I sorely miss about being home. *sniff* I’ll have a separate post for the beaches I visited.
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Misamis Occidental is a D-shape.

Oroquieta City is the capital of our province, but Ozamis City is more developed with its malls, ports and airports. This is where you should go if you want to cross Panguil bay. Otherwise, you’d have to take the longer route via Pagadian City.

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Gaisano Mall in Ozamis City
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Go on foot or take a sikad-sikad around the city.
1. HOME
Of course, it’s where my heart is. We live in a haunted house an antique house that was built in the early 1930’s after my great grandparents acquired lands in Northern Mindanao. It was one of the oldest houses in our town that still stands. Although some portions were modified, the second floor, with it’s shiny wooden floor, huge capiz windows and nipa roof, has kept its old Filipino vibe.
Back in my elementary years, my classmates were scared to come in. No one wanted to stay too long to play with me ( and probably because I had a very strict and grumpy Lolo). I badly needed kids my age around because I was the only child in the family that time. One time, I tried to corner a classmate who was about to go home. I locked her in one of our rooms. Well, naturally she got so scared and started to bawl so I had to let her out. *smirks*
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The antique four-poster bed still stands!!

I used to escape afternoon naps. Now that I’m an adult, I wanted to escape all my responsibilities and take a peaceful nap under this bed. Trust me, you wouldn’t need an electric fan in your entire stay. Just let the windows wide open.

 

2. AFTERNOON SNACKS

I miss afternoon snacks after nap time. I miss being bribed and rewarded by food. I have quite the appetite even back in the day. And yes, we’re big on carbohydrates. Puto and saging are among my favorites!

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Nilusak nga saging

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Puto and puto balanghoy.

3. AFFORDABLE, UNLIMITED SEAFOOD

To us, literally sea is life.

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Isa ka lapad.

Sea urchins (suake, tuyom) sold in empty Tanduay bottles. Funny unit of measurement, right? “Tagpila ang isa ka lapad nga tuyom?” (How much is one bottle of urchin?) But wait there’s more! We also have “Isa ka Caltex”. Empty Caltex containers are being used to measure shells and other other seaweeds. “Isa ka-Caltex nga kinhason.” (One Caltex of shells)

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Probably the most known seaweed, lato.
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saypo  or peanut worm

These, my friends, are small unsegmented marine worms. When disturbed, they retract and resemble a peanut, hence the name. These have been cut and cleaned already. They’re not as gummy as balat  or b’at (sea cucumber).

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Lukot (lokot)

These are not so typical. They look like green sotanghon or pansit. These are actually sea hare poop. These are secretions of sea hares or donsol.  You’ll find these in clumps in between seaweeds. You can include in your salad or kinilaw,  or just wash it off with saltwater and eat them straight — I used to do that back in the day.  They’re quite salty and slimy (for some). If you’re a Potterhead, imagine a a gillyweed gliding down your throat. Ha!!

Q: Anong pinakamayaman sa dagat? (What is the richest creature in the sea?)

A: Edi Donsol! (It’s donsol!)

(GOT IT, HA? HA?? DON SOL?) I know, I know,  last ko na ‘to. Haha!

 

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B’at or balat (sea cucumber)

Say hi to my willing assistant!

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litub/litob
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Tadaaaa! You can taste the sea in a bowl.

4. ANG HUNASAN

Hunas: low tide

Hunasan: tidal flat

I spent most of my childhood days watching the sun set here. I remember having early dinner with my family, seated in one of these flats, eating whatever we harvested.

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Let’s offer a minute of silence for all the slippers that gave up in this battlefield.

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5. THE BEACHES

When I was a kid, I relied heavily on calendars; the blues and the reds meant a lot to me. I was always on the look for high tides. I’ve always wanted to go out and swim. But my free-spirited self didn’t sit well with my mother, so I mastered the art of sneaking out. My father, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. He always wanted me to try something new and be a little daredevil.

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The sea will always have a special spot in my heart. I grew up a mermaid by heart and I’ll forever be one. Hearing waves crash, taking in the sea breeze, feeling sand in my toes bring back a lot of wonderful memories. Living near the shoreline has its perks and they’re definitely hard to top.

SEA you soon, Mis Occ!

 

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