I never like to skip breakfast. When we were kids, my mom always insisted that my siblings and I eat our breakfast even when we were rushing to school. Fried fish and rice. Tocino (sweetened, cured pork) and rice. Daing (dried, salted fish) and rice. Corned beef and rice. Homemade longganisa (local pork sausage) and rice. My mom was big believer of a heavy breakfast. Kailangan may kanin. (There has to be rice.) I wasn’t a big fan of it when I was in elementary school. All I wanted was a bowl of cereal or a taste of a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich like what the kids in Sesame Street were having. But by the time I reached college, those big Filipino breakfasts had won me over. (Either a consequence of living away from home for awhile or fuel to write those Philosophy papers by junior and senior years, I suspect.)
When I lived away from home and couldn’t make the time to cook rice in the morning, I would at least have time to cook some bacon (how can you not have time for bacon?) and toast some bread. Or I would stop by the small donut shop in front of the university and have a BLT and tea. When I started working, I was amazed at people who only had coffee in the morning and would eat their first meal by lunchtime. I knew my tummy wouldn’t let me hear the end of it–all the grumbling–if I did the same thing.
Whenever I travel, I also make sure I never skip the first meal of the day. On the recent trip to Cebu, I have to admit that I looked forward to seeing the beaches of Bantayan as much as having dangsilog (fried danggit + sinangag or fried rice + itlog or egg) for breakfast where danggit or dried, salted rabbitfish is a local favorite. Below are two danggit breakfast sets from D’Jungle and Blue Ice Bar & Restaurant, located just next to each other in Santa Fe in Bantayan Island:
Another Filipino breakfast favorite is the beef tapa (cured beef). In Don Merto’s Restaurant in Cebu City, their version of beef tapa is cured and dried and when fried, almost has the same texture as crispy bacon. Just as tasty too.
Since I’m finishing a lot of writing for work this month, I think I’ll just be posting favorite breakfast photos in the next few days. Maybe some of the local rice cakes like bibingka and puto bumbong, popular early morning fare around this time of the year?