The first thing that popped into my mind as the Tigerair plane I was boarding skidded into the tarmac of Iloilo International Airport was batchoy; that sinful noodle concoction native to the City of Love. The slightly sweet salty taste of its soup I once tasted right at this very airport triggered my mouth to salivate; making me forget about the pain in my ear, usually brought upon by riding airplanes.
Less than an hour later and we were passing through the darkened maze of La Paz Public Market, the place where batchoy originated from. That dish isn’t actually called La Paz Batchoy for nothing.
But we were not looking for just any batchoy, we were looking for a particular eatery claiming to be one of the original makers of that distinctive Iloilo noodle soup, Netong’s Original Special Batchoy.