I guess it’s a common pitfall for travelers to go see the ends of the earth and almost neglect to visit the places close to their homes. I’ve been born and raised in Malabon City, but shameful it is to admit, the locales and delicacies in my town are almost uninteresting to me. I take them for granted; like say, the country-wide famous pancit lug-log or pancit malabon.
So it was, that one lazy Sunday afternoon, I decided to check out what’s cooking inside the Malabon Public Market together with a friend. My mom and dad, who usually do the market chores every Sunday morning always bring home okoy, kakanin and puto with the usual hotdogs, pork, fish and veggies from bayan. I decided to see where those goodies come from myself.
While milling with the Sunday market crowd, I remembered a panciteria that I’ve sworn to revisit some years back. It was shameful to note that I have no idea about this eatery until a group of photographers introduced me to the place. Some Malabon kid I really am.
To add more to my shame, I didn’t know that the place is actually located not in Malabon but in Navotas City; the small Estrella Bridge from the market being the demarcation line between the two flood-ridden cities of the metro.
Norma’s Special Pancit Lug-Log, a worn-down sign announced after a few minutes walk through the scorching afternoon. The panciteria is literally housed inside a home. The three-story structure must be the owner’s house before converting the ground floor into an eatery.
The interiors looked as homey as it once probably had been. Its wide double doors leading into a cozy living area. The walls, painted in yellows, complementing the wood finishing of its walls and ceilings. But where once lies couches and coffee tables, there now are plastic monoblock chairs and assorted dining tables.
We ordered what should everyone order when in Malabon—or Navotas in this case—pancit lug-log (Php80.00). Now there’s a bit of confusion in the difference between a pancit malabon and pancit lug-log. I’m from Malabon but I haven’t thought much about it until then.
It turns out that they are one and the same. The term lug-log came from the process of dipping the noodles in hot water before being topped by sliced hard boiled eggs, Chinese cabbages, chopped spring onions, crushed chicharon and tinapa, minced garlic, pork and seafood bits like shrimps, squids and mussels.
We partnered the pancit malabon with a pair of the softest and yummiest puto or rice cakes (Php12.00) that probably exist this side of the metro—note that I usually don’t dig puto.
It was a match made in Malabon’s heaven, or should I say, Navotas’ heaven. The lug-log is the best I’ve had to date; the mix of toppings is superbly balanced and taste just right on that line where a few more flavor would simply be too much. It might be priced a tad too high, but that small bowl of mixed heaven is worth every peso.
The combination of the two was so good we almost decided to bring home a bilao of the pancit and a box of puto. But alas, everything was already consigned to some of Norma’s Special Pancit Lug-Log lucky patron. But no matter, I just had a really good taste of what my hometown has to offer; I just can’t believe that the best Pancit Malabon is located not in Malabon, but in Navotas.
Norma’s Special Pancit Lug-Log
Address: 24 Yangco St., Navotas East, Navotas City
Contact Number: (02) 282-1280
Open Hours: 8:30AM – 9:30PM
Menu: Click Here
GPS Coordinates: 14° 39' 16.35", 120° 56' 57.63"
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here