NYC goes "fishy" with bulad

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau

August 9, 2013

NEW YORK CITY –When it comes to promoting Filipino food and culture, it literally smells fishy at Payag restaurant in Queens, New York.

Once a year, Payag, the restaurant with a Visayan flair celebrates the “Bulad Festival.”

Bulad means sun-dried. It’s funky smelling but delicious dried seafood that brings the scent of home to most Filipinos.

“That’s my main purpose na hindi natin kalimutan ang whatever we have back home, part of our concept here in the restaurant is being Filipino, so being Filipino isa yan sa hindi natin makakalimutan ang bulad o daing,” Payag co-Owner, Rena Avendula said.

They serve piniritong danggit or rabbit fish, piniritong pusit, tocino fish and their most popular bulad – the chicharon fish skin.

Just add garlic rice and vinegar dip — breakfast is served.

“It’s really good para bang binabalik mo yung kinalakihan mong mga pagkain,” Cebu native Jun Quijote said.

“Nakaka-miss yung lasa ng pagkaing Pinoy, so it’s good that they bring it in New York and it’s a celebration,” said Forest Hills, NY resident Anna Clemente.

“Bringing our culture here in New York, is really an awesome thing,” Concon Castro said.

For kababayans in the Visayas, bulad is a popular comfort food for breakast. Payag’s chef de cuisine Feiljun Alipar said there’s not much magic in making bulad — all you need is salt and the sun.

“Us being Filipinos we’re very resourceful, even though we don’t have much,” Alipar said, “We have salt, we have sea water, and we have fish then you sun dry it — it’s like blessing from the sea.”

Organizers of the Bulad Festival say their annual trek to Cebu is a labor of love just to bring the “freshest” or perhaps the smelliest bulad for kababayans in New York to feast on.

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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  • kikayPang0
    10 August 2013 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Payag and Bayag …. what’s the difference ? Both have terrible smell … cook or not cook … do you agree with me Ms.Gel ?