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Titadel's Fiesta Cuisine - Home of Indigenous Pagsangjan Cuisine

When on a golf trip to Caliraya Springs Golf Club, one must take time to explore the surrounding area. It's not often that you'll find yourself in the area so make the most of it. 

There's much to do - discovering the hand-crafted textiles of Lumban or enjoying the ride on the rapids of Pagsanjan are tourist staples in the area, but my proclivities are more gastronomic these days and it was on my last trip that we discovered Titadel's Fiesta Cuisine.


Founded by Wilbur Villanueva, the restaurant was named after his mother, Adelaida "Dely" Kamatoy Villanueva who taught him his way around a kitchen and instilled in him a passion for food and the culinary arts. Titadel's has made a mission of preserving traditional Pagsangjan cuisine, which interestingly, has taken a development path quite different to the cuisine of neighboring muncipalities in the province of Laguna.

Pocherong Pagsangjan

We tried balaw-balaw (burong hipon in Rizal and other provinces, but Titadel's version is crunchy and semi-sweet), pocherong Pagsanjan (which has the vegetables tied in bunches and is less sweet than other local iterations of the dish), inihaw na tilapia with ginataang puso ng saging (rendered slightly sweet with the addition of pineapple to the gata), pipian na manok (stewed chicken in a peanut sauce without vegetables), the traditional Pagsanjan halo-halo which has less condiments but suffers little for it and minukmok, a traditional dessert of boiled saging na saba with other ingredients. 

Inihaw na tilapia with ginataang puso ng saging

Interestingly, there's also a smattering of Ilonggo dishes on the menu, owing to the fact that Che Villanueva (Wilbur's wife) hails from Iloilo. I would have loved to try some of them but we had already ordered more food than we could finish.


Titadel's also serves as the lone retail outlet of Nina Perez Velasco's Kalamansi with Nata, a delectable marriage of two ubiquitous Filipino ingredients. Making this delicacy is a tedious process that takes a minimum of six days and multiple steps of completely manual labor to achieve perfection. The result is divine. The candied rind is pleasingly sweet with a distinctive texture. The nata exudes a light sourness resulting from the infusion of the kalamansi rind. Use it as a topping for leche flan, a halo-halo or even a fruitcake (as we did) and you'll never see the humble kalamansi in the same light ever again.

Fruitcake, kalamansi with nata

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Titadel's Fiesta Cuisine. Ideally, we'd go in a larger group so we could try more dishes, but as it is, we're looking forward to our next trip back to Pagsangjan to explore Titadel's menu more comprehensively.