Still hung-over from the overwhelming beauty of Caramoan, we made our way to Naga. Despite missing the last van straight for Naga from Sabang port, we made it a point to have a stopover at the Pilgrim City of Bicol; not for the Penafrancia, but for Kinalas.
Suggestions by a former supervisor of mine played a role in the formulation of our Bicol trip itinerary. She mentioned that we definitely have to try Naga’s Kinalas. Even provided the name of the street where the best Kinalas can be found, Dayangdang St.
So what the heck is Kinalas? Roughly translated, Kinalas means “taken apart”. I had no idea what a Kinalas is. All I know is, it must be really good to earn special mention as one of the must-try dishes in Naga.
Since we don’t have the exact address of the Kinalas place my former boss was referring to, we warranted the help of a tricycle driver. Mind you, Kinalas is a big deal in Naga. Much like that of Bulalo in Batangas or Sisig in Pampanga.
The tricycle driver dropped us off at Cordova’s Kinalasan in Dayangdang St. I’m not sure if this is the right place, but it did fit the description I was given: two-floor home with the garage converted into a makeshift diner.
Kinalas is a noodle soup with pieces of meat, some gelatinous substance, bits of innards, topped off with a sprinkling of spring onion. It’s not the prettiest soup dish I’ve been served, but it certainly is one of the best tasting! The number of diners that came and went during the short time we were there is evidence of how good Cordova’s Kinalas is.
Cordova’s Kinalasan’s very short menu consists only of regular and jumbo versions of Kinalas. Price is dirt cheap. We only paid Php 92 for two orders of Kinalas (regular and jumbo), two orders of Baduya (fried bananas) and two small sodas. Cordova’s Kinalasan only serves Beef Kinalas.
We made the best of our Naga stopover by visiting the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. The cathedral complex is walking distance from Dayangdang St., however, we still opted to hire a tricycle to take us there. We usually use GPS to guide us when exploring new places, but we were saving our gadgets’ little remaining battery life for taking photos. Our camera stopped working during our last day in Gota Village.
The oldest cathedral in the whole of southern Luzon was closed during our visit. Other things of interest around Naga cathedral are the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary (the oldest seminary in the Bicol region) and Porta Mariae (a monument built to commemorate 300 years of devotion to the Our Lady of Penafrancia). There’s also a stunning stained glass mosaic on the dome of the gazebo in front of the cathedral.
Seeing some of the oldest structures in the Bicol region is a real treat. And yes, Kinalas is definitely something you MUST try when in Naga. I’ve been craving for a bowl of Kinalas since our Naga stopover. Anybody know of a kinalasan in Manila?