Miguel Niccolo Rallonza
(University of the Philippines)
Paper Short Abstract:
This paper is about the traditional method of fish drying --- locally known as 'pawpaw' --- practiced among the Ivatans of Batanes. It examines both the functional and symbolic aspects of this ethnic foodway and elucidates its continued significance to the everyday life of the community.
Paper long abstract:
Batanes is a small group of islands at the northern most point of the Philippines. Though the area is picturesque, the topography of the area is generally rolling with few large flat areas, the seas are for the most part of the year, treacherous and the islands are constantly at the mercy of tropical storms. Amidst these challenges, life continues to thrive in the islands.
A large majority of current inhabitants, as well as being traditionally recognized as the island's native occupants are the Ivatan, an indigenous group of fisher-farmers. As with most indigenous communities, so-called "modernity" and influences "from the outside" has changed the way of life of these people, yet the traditional knowledge and ways of doing continue to flourish and are utilized alongside.
One such example is their practice of preserving seafood, usually fish through salting and drying (known in their language as pawpaw) in the fishing period during the summer months. This paper looks at this traditional method of food preservation, from procurement to consumption in connection to their everyday lives. In doing so, one is able see that both the functional and symbolic facets of a foodway contribute in establishing its significance as well as continued occurrence within the context it appears.
Food culture and food business