If you’re craving for good but cheap food in Oroquieta City, head no further than the row of native huts, the halang-halangan, near the waterfront at the back of the new Novo building and across Rhovic’s Place.
It is carinderia or turo-turo style with cooked meals displayed inside a glass shelf or in pots and still have the option of having pork barbecue on the grill. These food stalls used to be at the city plaza but was transferred to its current place.
Feeling hungry for dinner, I headed out to this row of eateries and decided to sit at Susan’s Halang-Halang where the biggest number of people were eating. Except for a table inside, the rest of the tables and chairs are under the stars, al fresco.
I ordered pork barbecue and one cup of rice, the waitress then offered me halang-halang for just P20 ($0.50). Curious, I ordered one to go with my dinner. Halang-halang literally means spicy and this dish is actually bite sized pieces of beef simmered in broth until tender. To spice it up, chili peppers are added while being cooked.
I took a sip. Hot and just mildly spicy, way to my great liking! It was well seasoned: not too salty, nor bland. It would also have been a good eat during wet weather. And the beef? Bite size of tender meat, proof that it has been simmering for a long time. No wonder, people associate Oroquieta City for its halang-halang even if it can be found in many provinces.
As to the place? I like the ambiance. Fresh, cool air. You can hear the sound of the waves at the shore. Or people chatting and laughing, having a good time. You can gaze up and see stars on a clear night. Its a beautiful provincial experience that I can fondly recall experiences of my childhood in Cebu.
As for the other food? The barbecue is cheap, at just P4 ($0.10) per stick, and is well marinated. The puso, at P3 and even bigger than those found in Cebu which costs the same. One has also the option of having their barbecue like chicken, coagulated pig’s blood and other parts, as well as have pansit (noodles), fried meat and fish.