In Search of... Jamon de Punda

I got quizzical or smiling looks from hotel personnel and taxi drivers as I inquired whether they knew where I can get hold of my dad's request: "jamon de punda." That's raw leg of ham, wrapped in cloth. As I stayed in Bukidnon from Wednesday to Friday, not a day passed by (I think) that I did not ask someone about Jamon de Punda.

The situation was such that on our last day, my boss uttered words to the effect: "Don't worry, Angel. I will attest to your dad that you exerted effort in finding Jamon de Punda."

Unable to find it, I just bought Oro Ham, a brand I was familiar with from a previous visit to Cagayan de Oro. And lo and behold, at Oro Ham, I found...someone who knew what Jamon de Punda was! Finally, it was such a relief to find someone who knew what I was talking about. The bad news though was that it wasn't available yet. The traditional type and salty kind of ham (that's what Jamon de Punda is) is usually available at Gaisano but only starting end of November. At least I had something to tell my dad.

There are other ham brands to choose from in Cagayan de Oro from Pine to SLERS to Oro. Maybe, if I get the chance to return, I'll try all, including Jamon de Punda. When I returned, by the way, my Dad told me Jamon de Punda is available at the Del Monte cooperative store. The Plantantion though is about one hour and a half from where we were in Bukidnon so it wasn't really meant.

What other things can you buy from Cagayan de Oro? Durian bars. Cheese sticks (my kids liked these). Pastel from Camiguin. Lansones for only P30 a kilo (versus Manila prices of P60) - very sweet, from Camiguin. The ones which are still attached to the branches sell for P40 a kilo but they last longer. Those which are no longer attached to the branches turn black or bad in two to three days. Mangosteen sells for P60 versus Manila's P90 so I suppose you can guess I bought fruits!

Related Link: Malaybalay, Bukidnon Travelogue

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, November 25, 2003]

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