PBA Bubble players request for ‘sisig’

PAMPANGA’S CULINARY TREASURE. Sisig, which is a popular dish among Filipinos, is one of the culinary treasures of Pampanga. This authentic Kapampangan food is usually made from parts of pig head and chicken liver, usually seasoned with calamansi, onions, and chili peppers. (Photo by Borj Meneses – CDC)

PLAYERS from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) inside the PBA Bubble now staying at the Quest Hotel inside Clark Freeport want a taste of the famous Kapampangan dish, sisig.

Clark Development Corporation President-Chief Executive Officer Noel Manankil said the players have requested the hotel to include sizzling sisig in the meals that are delivered to their rooms.

“Quest (hotel) management has received request from players that sisig be also included in their meals,” Manankil said.

The request was made known during a recent videoconference meeting among Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), PLDT and TV5 executives.

Among those present were PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, PBA Board of Governor Chairman Ricky Vargas, SMART Communications President Al Panlilio, BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon, BCDA Vice President Arrey Perez, Siena Olaso and Patrick Paez of TV5/One News, other BCDA and CDC officials.

A treasured recipe and part of Kapampangan culture, sisig has been called the greatest pork dish on earth by New York Times columnist Ligaya Mishan in 2014.

The late celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain, in an interview with CNN Philippines in 2017, also praised the dish, saying it “is perfectly positioned to win the hearts and minds of the world as a whole."

This culinary delight is said to be a creation of Lucita “Lucing” Cunanan of Barangay Claro M. Recto in Angeles City. Her trademark started with a burnt pork ear in the mid-70s that she hesitated to throw away. Aling Lucing recooked and spiced the pork ears with some fresh pork face, and served the dish to American servicemen stationed at the former Clark Air Base.

One of the local chefs who could give a new take on this culinary treasure is Kapampangan Chef Vince Garcia. Talks are now being made with Quest Hotel-Clark to tap Garcia to specifically prepare this homegrown dish.

The participation of other local chefs is also being planned so that the best local culinary delights could be served to PBA teams. These include authentic dishes that Pampanga is known like arobo, or adobong Kapampangan (meat stewed in vinegar and garlic), bulanglang (Guava sour soup), buro (fermented rice) and betute (stuffed frog). Desserts include the Tibuk-tibok (maja blanca), Turrones De Casoy (cashew fritters) and the putong San Nicolas (cookies). All these, subject to approval of PBA in view of dietary and nutritional requirements of players.

Players in the bubble have been so delighted with food prepared by the staff of Quest Hotel, as seen in their various vlogs and personal social media posts.

With the inclusion of other local chefs, players, coaches and other staff may request for the country’s culinary delights while staying in Clark.

In the videoconference, Pangilinan, who has been active in championing Filipino sports particularly basketball, has expressed thanks to BCDA and CDC for their partnership and support to the PBA Bubble tournament in Clark.


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