Enjoying farm life with pako salad

Pako salad, anyone? | Doris C. Bongcac

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – When looking for a place that offers more than the ordinary, you can go visit an eco-resort that is located on the mountains of Cebu City.

The Lava Mountain River Farm located in the mountain barangay of Bonbon has nipa huts for guests to occupy and a nearby river with crystal clear waters.

Most of all, this place is known for its pako salad.

Farm staff Annabelle Alcantara said their pako salad is a bestseller among guests.

“Kada meal naay ingon ani nga salad,” she said.

(Every meal has this kind of salad.)

This kind of a salad makes use of pako or fiddlehead fern for its main ingredient.

Pako is mixed with olive oil, red cane vinegar, black pepper, salt, sugar and slices of tomatoes and cucumbers among others to make it tasty.

Nacua said they harvest pako from the farm’s vegetable garden.

Aside from using pako for salad, this can also used for tinolang manok.

Nacua said pako grows year round in their farm.

“Basta naa lay tubig dali ra gyud na siya motubo,” she added.

(As long as there is water, it grows easily.)

Fiddlehead ferns grown at the farm in Barangay Bonbon. | Doris C. Bongcac

Mercy Nacua, another farm employee, said pako had been popular among the Warays and Tagalogs.  But they prefer this served with gata (coconut milk).

Cebuanos, preferred their pako fresh and mixed with other vegetables for a side dish, she said.

Nacua said they also picked most of the ingredients for the other meals that they served to guests at their farm.  They also grow okra (ladies’ fingers), sili (chili pepper), kangkong (water spinach) and sitaw (string beans) among others.

Mango trees also grow at the eco-resort. | Doris C. Bongcac

For guests, who are craving for native delicacies, they also serve puto and sikwate (rice cake and hot chocolate), banana turon (deep fried banana wrapped in spring roll wrapper), palitaw (sweet flat rice cake), kamote cue (deep fried caramelized sweet potato), balanghoy with gata (cassava in coconut milk), which they source from the local community.

Kalami gyud sa kinabuhi sa bukid!

(Life in the mountains is really great!)


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TAGS: Barangay Bonbon, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, fiddlehead fern, Lava Mountain River Farm, pako salad
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