3rd stop of our Ilocos Norte adventure is Batac!
According to my research, Batac or the “Home of Great Leaders”, is the hometown of the founder of Aglipayan Church – Gregorio Aglipay, “Father of the Philippine Army” – Gen. Ricarte and of course the late President Ferdinand Marcos to name a few.
It used to be that the first that comes to mind are the Marcoses whenever I used to hear of this place. But that changed immediately when we visited Batac for the first time – perhaps because of their famous (and delicious) Empanada. I came, I saw, I
conquered devoured! Been hearing about how good it is so, I didn’t let the opportunity pass!
I enjoy love eating empanada. From empanada of Bulacan to your regular bakeshop empanada, it’s my all-in-one-meal!
Batac Riverside Empanadaan houses a number of empanada stalls.
I was in empanada paradise!
These empanadas are pre-cooked already. When you buy them, they will deep fry (instead of bake) these goodies for you again, serving the empanadas piping hot and crrrrunchy!
This particular version has longganisa, egg, grated green papaya and mung beans in a crispy rice flour shell. Instead of eating it using my hands, I opted to slice it and use spoon and fork. The locals dip it in Sukang Iloko. The great mixture of flavors is what sets it apart from other empanadas. You’ve got your carbs, protein and fiber stuffed inside this orange-half-moon shaped treat! Don’t forget to order your favorite cold drink! Note: I ate 2 of these and 5 pieces of their longganisa, too! (Php35.00 each) *burp!*
Freshly cooked longganisa! (Php15.00)
Batac Riverside Empanadaan is just across Batac Parish Church
SEE and DO:
After our tummy-bulging activity, we went straight to the Mausoleum of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
The late dictator’s mausoleum is where his “preserved” remains can be viewed enclosed in a glass crypt. It’s a small air-conditioned dimly-lit room filled with an aisle lined with artificial flowers going around the crypt. Upon entering, you will hear pipe-in music that is quite Gregorian chant-ish – it adds to the ambiance giving it that somber yet solemn feel. It actually gave me goosebumps! The lessons I have learned in Philippine history back in school suddenly played back in my mind. I actually had mixed feelings seeing Mr. Marcos there – weird, creepy and saddening.
I didn’t know that taking pictures were not allowed inside. I don’t get it since it is open to the public. I was sorely tempted to bring out my camera phone, pretend to be in a phone call and quickly take a few snapshots, but my better judgement prevailed. 😉
It was also part of our itinerary to see the Marcos Museum or the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center. BUT, it was closed for renovation! Darn!
Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center
Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center façade
Our tour guide said that Batac has the best tasting empanada. I’ve also tried the empanada in Laoag and I have to say, I totally agree with her!
Toured this part of Batac for only 2 hours. Simple and quick but worth remembering…
4th stop: BANGUI!
To read my Paoay post, click here.