With my pancit batil patong craving satiated the previous day at Akel’s Panciteria, it was time to hunt for the next best thing, pancit cabagan. The said noodle dish, famous in the town of Cabagan, Isabela, took more than two hours to find.
From Quirino’s capital,Cabarroguis, we boarded a jeepney to the town of Nagtipunan. And our first stop before rocking the Siitan River? MJ Snack and Pancit Cabagan Restaurant. It cannot be more perfect.
|MJ SNACK AND PANCIT CABAGAN RESTAURANT|
The humble panciteria is located at a roadside somewhere in Barangay Ponggo in Nagtipunan. It seats about fifteen people and serves nothing but pancit cabagan; well aside from stray orders of inasal na manok and liempo.
|MAKING PANCIT CABAGAN MIKI|
Unlike most panciterias serving pancit cabagan who usually import their miki or noodles all the way from Isabela, the ones at MJ’s are made by the owner himself. Jerovie Macapia, who hails from Isabela, has a full-blown hardcore heavy metal machine at the back of his eatery and he was even kind enough to have us peek as he made a batch from scratch! With Nagtipunan’s remote location, I guess it’s more economical that way.
|PANCIT CABAGAN, NAGTIPUNAN-STYLE|
Pancit cabagan is a stir-fried noodle concoction of veggies, marinated pork, lechon kawali bits and hard boiled quail eggs. It usually swims on a thick soy sauce-based broth and is paired with a cane vinegar dip with peppers.
A plate of pancit cabagan at MJ’s costs Php35.00 for their Special, Php45.00 for Super and Php55.00 for their VIP. Actually, there’s really no difference between these except for the serving size.
|EXCELLENT TOPPINGS AT MJ’S|
Compared to the original ones I’ve tried in the town of Cabagan, the noodles being served at MJ’s has a bit less sauce. It has more veggies than usual and uses hard boiled chicken eggs instead of quail eggs. But like its northern counterpart, it’s also topped by crunchy lechon kawali, only this time it’s shredded.
As for the condiments, I also noticed that instead of the typical cane vinegar, they have calamansi and chili powder to compliment the dish.
|ENJOYING A PLATE OF PANCIT CABAGAN AT NAGTIPUNAN|
The taste? Well, everyone in the group gave a two thumbs up! It was quite close to the original even with the minor difference in ingredients and presentation. And it was so good, that we decided to have another round of their pancit cabagan for our early dinner!
MJ Snack and Pancit Cabagan Restaurant
Address: Purok 3, Barangay Ponggo,
Contact Number: (0949) 342-2150
GPS Coordinates Map: 16°13'13.5"N 121°36'21.8"E