How Much Do You Love Your Adobo?

We love adobo. We love it so much that at home, we have it on a regular basis and we try to create different versions of it.

Our love for adobo has opened the way to a movement.

There is an ongoing movement to bring your favorite adobo up a notch – and that is to get it recognized as the Philippines’ “Pambansang Ulam”.

The push to have adobo as Pambansang Ulam was originally launched in 2015 and it was part of the Datu Puti Adobo Movement. This year, the movement was again made active and this time, greater participation to have adobo recognized was expected.

Adobo has long been part of our food culture and heritage. Almost every home has its own adobo recipe. It can be an experimental recipe that people at home want to try or it can be a hand-me-down recipe that has already been passed from generation to generation to keep the love for adobo alive. Whatever it may be, for us Filipinos, adobo just hits home. It identifies us and boosts us as a nation.

The push for adobo has reached much acclaim and has even been echoed by efforts in Congress. In fact, Bohol First District Representative Rene Relampagos filed House Bill 3926 in 2014, which sought to formally declare it as the national dish. The Datu Puti Adobo Movement has drawn support for the bill through a petition since the launching of the advocacy in June 2015.

Datu Puti Adobo Movement (1)

The Datu Puti Adobo Movement feast was graced by the “Adobo Queen” Nancy Lumen with Tonipet Gaba as host.

Datu Puti Adobo Movement Food Festival at Mercato Centrale

The Datu Puti Adobo Movement Food Festival at Mercato Centrale, BGC was jampacked with food lovers

On Saturday, the Datu Puti Adobo Movement had an Adobo Challenge held at Mercato Centrale. Different adobo dishes were presented by participating Mercato vendors. The participants prepared adobo dishes using any type of meat and vegetable, and were marinated in or cooked with at least two of the three main Datu Puti products: vinegar, soy sauce, and patis (fish sauce).

The top 14 entries were selected based on various criteria, including: creativity of concept, which looks at the story behind the dish as well as originality, branding and cooking technique; innovation, noting the use of unique special ingredients and Datu Puti products; and Philippine culinary heritage, including how it adopts and represents regional cooking styles.

Datu Puti Adobo Movement (4)

Chef Bab’s Sisig’s Adobo ala Cabiao

Datu Puti Adobo Movement (5)

Cuisiner’s Crispy Beef Adobo

Datu Puti Adobo Movement (6)

Dadding’s Kitchenette’s Adobong Ensalada

Datu Puti Adobo Movement (2)

House of Crispy’s Adobo sa Puti

We were able to try the different adobo dishes and we were given the power to vote for the best adobo dishes in the challenge.

Towards the end of the event, the top 3 among the entries were revealed. The criteria that took into account were taste, presentation, story, and heart. Based on the on-the-spot voting by the Mercato foodies, one more was hailed as the People’s Choice.

The winners are:

People’s Choice Award: Lariza’s

Datu Puti - Seafood Adobo Datu Puti Adobo Challenge - People's Choice

Lariza’s Seafood Adobo, Winner of the People Choice Award in Datu Puti Adobo Challenge with Gretchen King, Datu Puti Sr. Brand Manager

DISH NAME: Seafood Adobo

DESCRIPTION: A mix of crab, shrimp and mussels cooked adobo style and topped with cheese.

Lariza’s, another well-known food vendor in Mercato Centrale shares their expertise in creating a unique dish for the Adobo Challenge 2016.  Their very own “Seafood Adobo” is a mixture of mussels, prawns and crabs stirred in a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce, garlic, onion, pepper and finished off with cheese on top to add a creamy, tangy taste. Tess Gonzales, the proud owner of Lariza’s knew that her opponents would stick to the usual pork or chicken adobo, so she decided to come up with something edgy. With her “Seafood Adobo”, she hopes to motivate Filipinos to be more daring and “adobofy” fresh catch from the sea as an alternative to the usual adobo recipes.

Third place: Bakmi Nyonya

Datu Puti - Bakmi NyonyaDatu Puti Adobo Challenge - 3rd Place

Datu Puti Adobo Challenge 3rd placer, Lucy of Bakmi Nyonya with Gretchen King, Datu Puti Sr. Brand Manager

DISH NAME: Babi Kekap Adobo Nyonya

DESCRIPTION: Classic Filipino adobo infused with Indonesian spices. Served with Sambal.

Lucy of Bakmi Nyonya, one of the well-known food vendors in Mercato Centrale, reinvents the Pinoy classic adobo and incorporates her Indonesian-style of cooking to come up with a unique entry to the Adobo Challenge 2016.  This delicate pork adobo treat is mixed with secret Indonesian spices, cooked in soy sauce and vinegar and served with the classic sambal.

Second place: Dayrit’s

Datu Puti - Pork Adobong Laing PinangatDatu Puti Adobo Challenge - 2nd Place

Adobo Challenge 2nd placer, Miguel Dayrit Octaviano of Dayrit’s with Gretchen King, Datu Puti Sr. Brand Manager

DISH NAME: Pork Adobong Laing Pinangat

DESCRIPTION: Two Filipino favorites, Adobo and Laing, in one unique and flavorful dish.

Pork Adobong Laing Pinangat – that’s two of the famous Filipino favorites, adobo and laing, combined in one extraordinary dish. Dayrit’s 40 years of experience in creating sumptuous heritage home-cooked meals is very evident with their entry for The Adobo Challenge 2016.  According to Chef Miguel Dayrit, their version of the classic adobo recipe is different from the rest because it combines the strong flavors of two Pinoy viands to create an outstanding dish. This Bicolandia inspired concoction is a fusion of the creamy, hot and spicy and the sour and salty trademarks of laing and adobo respectively.

First place: The Oinkery

Datu Puti - Oinkery’s Pugon Smoked Pork Adobo Datu Puti Adobo Challenge - 1st Place

The Oinkery’s representative receives the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge grand prize from Gretchen King, Datu Puti Sr. Brand Manager

DISH NAME: Pugon-smoked Pork Adobo

DESCRIPTION: Pork shoulder pugon-smoked for 8 hours, glazed with a rich Cebu-style adobo sauce and garnished with fresh manggang hilaw

Inspired by Cebu’s method of cooking lechon, The Oinkery roasts their pork meat inside a traditional pugon giving it that distinct smoky taste.  Matthew combines the finished product with his sister’s Cebu-style adobo sauce and garnishes it with fresh green mangoes on the side. Having been slow-cooked for a total of eight hours, the meat is guaranteed to be soft and juicy with every bite.

All winners were awarded with start-up funds in cash, so they could include their winning dishes in the regular Mercato menu.

The People’s Choice winner received P3,000 worth of Datu Puti goods.

Of course, what’s the best way to enjoy adobo? With music from Ebe Dancel and Up Dharma Down who were also present at the Datu Puti Adobo Movement to serenade the Mercato crowd.

Datu Puti - Up Dharma Down Datu Puti - Ebe Dancel

With these latest initiatives and the warm response of urban foodies, the Datu Puti Adobo Movement has definitely made strides in rallying more people behind the nation’s “ulam” of choice.


Express your LOVE for ADOBO and JOIN THE MOVEMENT!!!

Sign petitions on the links below!




Do you love adobo too? Come and join the movement to recognize ADOBO as our Pambansang Ulam!

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