Bontoc, Mt. Province. April 2015.
The yearly Lang-ay Festival is a showcase of culture, life, trade, and commerce for Mountain Province. For 2015, the festival also included a literature and culture workshop conducted by members of the UPB-CAC and a cultural exposition held by elders and students from Natonin and Bontoc.
Aside from trade exhibits of crafts made from all over the province a food fair was also set-up. Among the items sold were Native fruit shakes, rice wine for 10 pesos a shot, and smoked and salted pork sold per-kilo. Amidst the ubiquitous smell of festival staples like shawarma and hamburger, harhalo and sadkik was also available. WEN, HAAN NGA WRONG SPELLING DAYTA! Harhalo and Sadkik happen to be two of the more popular snack treats in the mountain regions. So how do these differ from regular halohalo and pancakes? Are these based from regional based ingredients? Is harhalo made from shaved ice specifically drawn from the waters of Samoki river? Does it contain fruits also grown in the mountains like bugnay, masaflora, Cordillera dip-pig, and sprinkled with native roasted red rice or perhaps even sweetened with honey from loin-cloth wearing and spear-wielding bees that collect pollen from the flowers of Barlig and Sagada, of course after cutting-off the heads of other bees that is.
Is Sadkik made from native rice flour, pounded and pulverized to perfection by a half-naked mountain maiden, in the glory of her bak-get and gateng, imploring the aid of a large ipil pestle, amidst a backdrop of native huts and terraced payaos?
Well, the answer is plain and simple, that’s just how they want to spell it, as they would pronounce it. KET PAKIBYANG YU NGAY NGARUD, ISU NGARUD ITI KAYAT DA?
Harhalo and Sadkik are available in all bus stops and provincial eateries and markets all over the Cordilleras. Price starts at 20 pesos to 25 pesos for harhalo and 10-15 pesos for sadkik. So what are you waiting for? Grab one now okeh! (IO JULARBAL)