PRIZED DELICACY. Tuguegarao City residents participate in the pancit batil-patong cooking and eating contests on Sunday (Aug. 14, 2022). The events were held during the pancit festival as part of the 15-day Pavvurulun Afi Festival in the city. (Photo by Villamor Visaya Jr.)

TUGUEGARAO CITY – Villagers’ favorite local noodle dish, pancit batil-patong, got a boost anew in this city as the pancit eating and cooking competition took center stage in a festival held in front of the city government-owned Mall of the Valley as part of the Pavvurulun Afi Festival on Sunday.

The local dish of noodles topped with poached eggs, sautéd meat, and vegetables was popularized here and is now also being known in other parts of the country.

“Thankful for the unsolicited promotions on all platforms and word-of-mouth,” Tuguegarao City Mayor Maila Ting-Que told the Philippine News Agency.

The noodle dish comes with a cracked egg mixed with the simmering beef stock that is poured into a bowl along with a special sauce and a tablespoon-full of chopped onions and vinegar dip.

In the eating contest, Salvador Narag finished a plateful of pancit batil-patong with chili in almost just one minute, edging nine other men in the category.

“It is delicious even if it is spicy,” he said.

For women who ate the noodle with chili, Eleanor Badire took barely 50 seconds, winning against nine other bets.

For non-spicy noodle eaters, Rolly Tumanguil and Rellie Narag won in the men's and women's categories.

First placers received PHP3,000 while the second and third got PHP2,000 and PHP1,000, respectively. PHP500 was also given as a consolation prize to each of the non-winners.

Residents and even tourists love pancit batil-patong due to its “unique taste, brought about by the use of the flavorful carabeef as its main ingredient coupled with a poached egg drop soup on the side and an egg on its top,” Ting-Que said.

The mayor said she has planned to have organized coordination with panciteria owners, along with hotel operators for more livelihood opportunities and income from serving the delicacy.

The city has about 200 panciterias offering pancit batil-patong. There are also small eateries serving the dish right in their yards.

Evangeline Calubaquib, Pavvurulun Afi Festival co-chair, said they ensured that the health protocols including safe physical distancing would be followed during the event. (PNA)