PINAKBET is a quintessential Ilokano dish. Made from a variety of vegetables mixed with bagoong (fish paste), this food aptly symbolizes Ilokanos, says poet Roy Aragon.
Aragon has been writing poetry since he was a child. He says that his love of books naturally led him to write verse.
The daniw, or Ilokano poem, remains alive and well, thanks to many young Ilokanos who continue to write in their native language, Aragon adds. He is a regular contributor to Bannawag, the Ilokano version of Liwayway magazine.
Both Ilokano poets and Filipino poets write about the same things, says Aragon. Pinakbet, for example, is no longer exclusive to Ilokanos. It has become a Filipino dish, with variants containing bagoong alamang or even squash.
It is through poetry, says Aragon, that simple objects such as pinakbet become extraordinary. These podcasts are multimedia supplements of i-Report’s current Literature and Literacy issue.