CORDOVA, CEBU- Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy-Cho is not asking an apology from film director Erik Matti.
Instead, she wants Matti to visit their town and appreciate what it can best offer for food, “bakasi (reef eel).”
“No, I don’t demand but I hope he will do. I hope magka-amigo mi. Muari siya ug Cordova and he will see what we can offer here in Cordova. I can tour him around Cordova and taste the different kinds of cooking our Bakasi,” Cho told reporters in a press conference in Gabi Resort and Spa here.
Cho said Cordovanhons take pride of their bakasi as those who tasted it really love it, locals and tourists alike.
“They said that our Bakasi here really is different. It tastes good.”
Cho admitted that somehow they were hurt when Matti criticized the choice of bakasi as featured food for the Street Food Asia over Netflix but nonetheless she wanted instead the film director to visit their place.
As a town of more than 50,000 population (source: www.cordova.gov.ph), having exposure to cable television around the world is something else.
“I think offensive ra gyud to sa amoang part. I am asking for support, small support lang for Cordova. As a Filipino, we are all Filipinos. I hope he will realize nga sa amo nga part dako na kaayo tu nga bahin. I mean it’s really big for us, we, ang pag feature sa Netflix murag nindot na kaayo tu para namo, unya sad to say, there is one Filipino murag ni-oppose,” Cho said.
The Mayor went in telling that aside from bakasi, their town has a lot to offer, among them, their tourist spot called, ” “10,000 Roses.”
Known for its abundant marine resources, the town is holding their yearly “Dinagat Festival” every August where there is a cooking contest among its 13 barangays on “bakasi.”
In the Netflix show, local cook Florencio “Entoy” Escabas, (see Bakasi Man Soars) incidentally, a cousin of Mayor Cho’s father, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office (PLLO) Secretary Adelino Sitoy, was featured on how to cook, “Nilarang na Bakasi (stewed sour and spicy reef eel).”
Escabas owns the popular seaside eatery, ” Entoy’s Bakasihan” in Barangay Buagsong here.
In his social media page but has already been deleted however Matti commented, “The #Cebu episode of #StreetFood at @netflixph borders on poverty porn. The dishes except for lechon are food that are not really of Filipinos. All the other Asian countries had their classic world-renowned Street food while we had… bizarre. Bad research. There are hundreds of original street food and they choose to show an esoteric eel dish and a goddam Chinese fried vegetable lumpia! Whada#P@ck!.”
Photos by Allan Defensor