Sisig has always been one of the Filipinos’ favorite dish. It may with rice, bread, or even with bottles of beer. It has a very distinct and unique taste that appeals to every Pinoy’s tongue. But what really makes it unique is the history behind that sizzling plate.
Recently, the highly-urbanized City of Angeles, Pampanga, declared “Sizzling Sisig” as its “Intangible Cultural Heritage.”
Headed by Vice-Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno, the 17th Sangguniang Panlungsod of Angeles City, unanimously approved, in its final reading, Ordinance No. 405, Series of 2017, stating “Sisig Babi as an Intangible Heritage of Angeles.”
Councilor Amos Rivera, authored the ordinance and it contains programs and policies that will safeguard the original recipe and preparation the historical dish.
The passing of the ordinance was highlighted in the recent Sisig Festival held at center of culinary in the Philippines–Angeles City, Pampanga.
According to the ordinance, the word “sisig” was part of Kapampangan vocabulary as early as 1732, based on Fray Diego Bergano’s Vocabulario de la Lengua Pampanga.
The local government has also taken the initiative in taking the steps for the world-famous dish be declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an intangible cultural heritage.
The passing of the ordinance is a great move for us to finally claim, not only by word-of-mouth but on document that ‘Sizzling Sisig’ originated in our city.
Edgardo Pamintuan, Mayor, Angeles City, Pampanga
A Sisig Banquet was prepared to showcase the different Sisig recipes that that been created through the years.
Street dance parade, and motorcade were also held as part of the program.
The first Sisig Cooking contest was also launched and will part of the yearly event.
One of the major event sponsors, Fresh Options, a local meat shop delivering fresh meat to the Filipinos, coincidentally originated in Angeles, Pampanga.
Just like the historical dish, Fresh Options is already known across different regions for its fresh meat that is made available to the public. Aside from fresh meat, Fresh Options also offers frozen goods such as embotido, relyeno, and of course sisig.
Although it is believed that sisig originated in Angeles, Pampanga and was supposed to be served as “pulutan”, history say a different story.
Sisig was originally prepared as salad of fruits and vegetables dressed in vinegar, and garnished with salt, pepper, and garlic.
The historical meaning of sisig is “to munch on something sour”, and is originally being prepared for pregnant women.
It was just through the years that sisig has evolved in using pig’s ear as a major ingredient instead of fruits.
It was Aling Lucing (Lucia Lagman Cunanan), who re-invented this dish in a small restaurant near the old train station in Angeles City.
Today, sisig is well-known not only in the Philippines but also to different countries. Who would know that this simple dish prepared in a humble stall near the train station would become one of the world’s favorite.