HAVE you ever wished you could shove biko (sweet rice cake), sikwate (native chocolate drink) and ripe mango into your mouth in just one move?
In Aloguinsan, which is 73 kilometers away from Cebu City, a place called “The Farmhouse in Aloguinsan” offers Bico Aloguinsan, a new delicacy which is an answer to your wish.
The treat is basically sweet rice cake cut into squares, topped with ripe mango slices and laced with native chocolate syrup.
“It’s my idea,” said Aloguinsan Vice Mayor Cynthia Moreno of the delicacy. She heads the town’s tourism council, which recently launched the Farmhouse.
It stands on a half-a-hectare property where high value fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown to be used for the restaurant that serves local cuisine.
One can also enjoy pan Bisaya, which is cooked in corn oil and tuba (coconut wine); camote cake, which has nuts, raisins and muscovado sugar; camote doughnut, squash cookie, wild cucumber salad, manok Bisaya and of course—kinsan, a fish that can only be found in Aloguinsan-- cooked tinola-style.
The vice mayor takes pride in the menu, which is composed of recipes contributed by the locals.
The Farmhouse is now open to walk-in clients, who will walk through a pathway lined with passion fruits and flowers.
All the ingredients of their dishes are locally sourced, which contributes to lesser carbon footprints since the town is advocating environmental protection, the vice mayor explained.
Her husband, Mayor Augustus Moreno, said in line with their efforts in promoting natural farming, the Farmhouse has its own vermi-composting site.
It will soon have a pig pen, where they will use a technology to ensure it will not smell.
The pigs will also be fed with organic products so their meat will not be oily, the mayor said.
Apart from promoting natural farming in the town, the Farmhouse is helping 24 families under the Cultural Heritage for Aloguinsan Tourism. The Provincial Government is funding its projects.
The locals who work in the Farmhouse are trained in housekeeping and culinary art.
They also get training for livelihood projects, like mat and hablon weaving and pastry cooking, the vice mayor said.
“These will eventually change the lifestyle of the town people,” she said of the things they are teaching locals at the Farmhouse.
After visiting the restaurant, one could go bird-watching in the town’s famous Bojo River. The area is visited by 71 bird species, 10 of which are migratory.