Relocating Pinikpikan in Baguio City


From the traditional native chicken soup of the Igorots, pinikpikan has evolved into something exotic that must be tasted for one to experience ‘authentic’ Cordillera food. Once considered both ritual and everyday fare by Cordillerans, it has become a fixture in Baguio City restaurant menus. The squeamishness with which ‘outsiders’ used to approach the dish has been replaced with a tourist curiosity to try what is ‘real’ and that which reflects local culture. As restaurants and eateries have appropriated the soup to promote local culture, so have poultry sellers introduced shortcut methods in preparing the dish. These reflect the ‘citification’ and commodification of pinikpikan. In partaking of the dish, one takes pleasure in tasting the ‘real’ and imagines the nostalgia that surrounds the experience, which is actually a simulated reality. This article explores the cultural logic behind the phenomenon.