We finally managed to catch the widely acclaimed film Heneral Luna. Brilliant film, and quite timely too: We Filipinos need a massive dose of patriotism.
As I thought about the movie and about what I normally do with the blog, I realized… Apart from occasional mentions of San Miguel Beer, I have barely written about interesting local stuff.
I need to make up for this.
Incidentally, I found a local product worth writing about: Zambalino.
Zambalino has a line of alcoholic beverages fermented from local Zambales (a region in Central Luzon) produce:
- Duhat – A sweet but slightly sour and acidic fruit (eating too much of this will temporarily turn the tongue purple). Cultural trivia: Duhat is hailed by Hindus as the “fruit of the gods”, because Rama was said to live on it for 14 years during his exile from Ayodha
- Seaweed – Zambalino uses a seaweed commonly referred to as “seabird’s nest”… The drink tastes like gin
- Rosella (or Roselle in English) – Zambalino has cleverly found a way to turn this plant (which promises to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and liver damage) into a fermented beverage.
I want to highlight the Mango variant because if there’s one thing we Pinoys can do right, it’s the mango. Our mangoes are succulent and saccharine, so much so that most foreigners who try it love it (and swear they couldn’t find the same ones anywhere else in the world).
Zambalino Mango smells rough, earthy, and a touch pungent. The taste is like having a sweet, ripe mango while inhaling the tropical sand. It reminded me of drinking lambanog (yet another hardcore Pinoy drink) by the seashore, while eating ripe mangoes in a beachfront cabana in one of Zambales’ beaches (the beaches of Zambales don’t require a plane ride from Metro Manila, BTW).
Zambales loves their mangoes so much that they have a yearly Mango festival in their municipality of Iba. It is a six-day celebration during March or April that traditionally allowed the people of Zambales to give thanks for a good harvest.
I am challenging myself to do research on more local beverages (alcoholic or otherwise), because hey… We have got to stop being our own enemies and love our own. As #HeneralLuna once said, “Kalaban ng kalaban. Kalaban ng kakampi. Nakakapagod (Enemy of the enemy. Enemy of allies. It’s tiring)*.”
I’d love for my readers to participate too. Let me know of local drinks you want to be featured. It’s about time we become proud of our own. Tagay!
For orders of Zambalino, please contact Cerana Farms at +63917-8882873/+63919-9992873/+63917-5603080
*please note that this was a loose translation and should no way be taken as the absolutely accurate “Tagalized” version