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Food Odyssey

Savoring the Oysters of Tambak Dec 21-22, 2016

Savoring the Oysters of Tambak

GPS waypoint: 11°40'03.4"N 122°25'04.12"E
Location: Tambak (barangay), New Washington (municipality), Aklan (province), Philippines

Lighthouse Oyster Bar
While in Kalibo, I was already savoring the oysters - cheap at P30 in a bar with live music! When I noticed a new oyster place opening up along the main road - Lighthouse Talabahan, I stopped by to check it out. They were serving oysers at P20 raw, opened up and ready to eat. If cooked, it was P30/kilo. I opted for raw oysters with beer (beer helps the digestion of raw oysters). It was fantastic, I came back everyday for my 2-kilo fix.

Savoring the Oysters of Tambak
in Tambak, the water is just across the oyster bars

Tambak, New Washington
I became friends with the staff - Carlo and Neomy, who told me the oysters were good because they came from Tambak, New Washington. Tambak? Never heard of that one before. They explained that Tambak is the new go-to place because it's now the oyster capital of Kalibo. Later talks with other locals corroborate the story. I would have gone to Roxas City already, but Tambak seemed like a destination I should check out.

Coastal Town
I took a tricycle all the way to Tambak at P15. I left my heavy luggage at a hotel resort and walked about, checking out what's there. The oyster places are lined-up along the street. On the opposite side is the sea. There is no beach to bathe - just waves hammering against the sea wall. But the sea wall has a wide walkway stretching the entire length of the oyster eateries....about one kilometer.

Oyster Story
Tambak was just another obscure town. But due to a red tide incident, oysters were not allowed to be sold or consumed. The oyster were then left to grow and fatten. Hidden from the coastal road of Tambak is a massive fishpond area where the oysters are grown. It's called Tinagong Dagat (hidden ocean) where an inlet allows the sea water to blend with river water for brackish water. We are talking a lot of oyster farming here. When the red tide was no longer a threat, the oysters were slowly sold again. Small vendors by the roadside sold oysters at P10/kilo with a serving of rice. But this time, the oysters were large, meaty and with a special taste. This caught on. More people started going to Tambak. Soon, bigger restaurants and establishments put up shop. People from Kalibo got wind of it and started coming over. Now, the place is burgeoning with bigger players establishing themselves. This popularity started happening just 3 months ago.

Tito Bert's
While exploring the area, I got into a conversation with the owners of Tito Bert's, one of the newest trendy players in the area. With fresh oysters, sprawns and chicken coming from their own farm, they could price it competitively at par with the spartan roadside sellers. I was even invited to join them for dinner at the upper level of the restaurant where fresh sea breeze complimented our food. We were joined by the other family members and friends. It was a lavish treat. Many thanks to the Tito Bert's family!

Roof over my Head
I continued walking around after dinner. The oyster places were full with mostly younger people having a good time out. It was about 10pm when I realized I still had no place to stay. I asked around for lodging, and somehow, a guy fanning the barbeque said I could sleep in this room together with his sons. He would accept P150. He used to be a prison guard. We talked a bit. Luckily, while continuing my walk, I found rooms for P300/night. I took it instead. First thing in the morning, Tambak was empty and quiet with stalls making preparation for the day.

Ending Thoughts
I thought Tambak was a place I could stay at for a couple of days while I devour the oysters. But it's really just an eating place for oysters and that's it. Even though it's a beach environment, you couldn't bathe in it. Aside from the oyster bars, there's not much more. I could imagine Tambak will continue to grow and be popular. I'm just glad I had a chance to check it out before heading out to Roxas City. With Roxas City being another oyster capital of the region, I will definitely continue my 2-kilo raw oyster fix a day.

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Roxas City

Lighthouse Talabahan (oyster house) in Kalibo where I got wind of Tambak's oysters with my 2-kilo a day oyster fix with staff of Lighthouse - Neomy, Carlo and ??? en route to Tambak on a tricycle
the oyster places are lined-up along the coastal area exploring Tambak on foot with the Amihan wind, the water splashes up to the walk way a high-end resort in Tambak
outdoor deco on a resort hotel Tito Bert's...one of the emergent eateries in Tambak serving great food at affordable prices meeting the owners and friends of Tito Bert's and being invited to join them for dinner ready to eat oyster at P25/kilo
take out raw oyster at P13/kilo the oyster eateries light up at night 10pm with no where yet to sleep spent the night at Johnpol at P300/night/room
bright and early, oysters are lined-up on the street side early morning and you smell garbage being  burned kids on a basketball court eye candy flags
the streets are still empty Coca-Cola scored a coup by providing a banner menu where the softdrink is part of the order - brilliant! too early for oysters so I settle for hot fish soup for breakfast and river shrimp before heading out to Roxas City  

How to Get to Tambak, New Washington from Kalibo

  • take a tricycle to the New Washington terminal, P10/pax. At the tricycle terminal, take another tricycle together with the locals all the way to Tambak. Tell the driver to drop you off at the "Talabahan" (oyster place), P15/pax

Tambak, New Washington Cost Index

  • P300/room/night - lodging places starting at this price
  • P13/kilo - raw oysters sold take out
  • P25/kilo - cooked oysters, served ready to eat

Suggested itinerary on the WEST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Pandan - Malumpati Spring
  5. Libertad - Maanghit Cave, Ati Cave and Bungan-Bungan Spring
  6. Sebaste - Igpasungaw Waterfall
  7. Culasi - Malalison Island
  8. Tibiao - hot kawa-bath, white water river rafting, Bugtong Bato Waterfall, rice terraces, Tibiao Bakery, pottery, fish spa
  9. Anini-y - Nogas Island, scuba diving

Suggested itinerary on the EAST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Kalibo - Bakhawan Eco-Park, Tigayon Hill
  5. Tambak - oysters
  6. Capiz - Roxas City
  7. Carles | Estancia - Gigantes Island Boat Tour, Lighthouse of Gigantes Island and Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island
  8. Iloilo - Batchoy Indulgence
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Reader Comments:

Tony AnchetaTony Ancheta
(Dec 28, 2016) Goes best with sinamak

Dulce CapadociaDulce Capadocia
(Dec 28, 2016) What a life!!!!!

Dec 21-22, 2016


»» next story: Revisiting Roxas City
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