Lucban, Quezon Province is a small municipality that prides itself for their delicious food. On any given occasion—whether it’s the town’s Pahiyas Festival, a birthday celebration, or something as simple as breakfast, lunch, merienda, or dinner, Lucbanins love to eat Pancit Habhab.
It’s easy to understand why locals and tourists love this noodle dish. When you’re on a food trip around Lucban, you can walk from one block to the other and easily spot a place that sells Pancit Habhab. One of the Pancit Habhab food stalls Lucbanins keep coming back to is Jrose Pancitan.
Jrose Pancitan, is owned by a pancit-loving family. Jrose Pancitan is a combination of the owner’s name, Joel and Rosaline Palines, while their children, Jefferson, Jefferlyn, and Jamaica help them run the place. They have been peddling their own take on Pancit Habhab since 2011.
Pancit Habhab commonly uses dried miki noodles, which are dried rice flour noodles which you may find in Lucban, Quezon Province. Jrose Pancitan’s version of Pancit Habhab has carrots, cabbage, and onions sautéed in a mix of different sauces and kaldo, a broth made by boiling pig bones. What makes their saucy Pancit Habhab special is that it’s topped with chicharong bulaklak that adds a crunch to each bite.
The word “habhab” means to eat using your mouth. When Lucbanins eat Pancit Habhab, they don’t use forks, chopsticks, or any other utensils. This is why Jrose Pancitan and other food stalls typically offer this on a piece of banana leaf, and underneath it, folded Manila paper. The banana leaf serves as your plate and utensils, while the Manila paper serves as padding when the Pancit Habhab is too hot—plus, the Manila paper can also be used as a napkin to wipe your hands and mouth with after eating the Pancit Habhab!
The way to eat Pancit Habhab like a Lucbanin is to eat it like a burger or a pizza: you have to bring the whole serving of food to your mouth and grab a bite from it. We have to admit that it’s not exactly the easiest way to eat any kind of noodles, but the process is simple enough that anyone will eventually get the hang of it.
Lucbnanins usually drizzle a bit of sukang Lucban (Lucban’s vinegar) on top of the Pancit Habhab to complement its salty flavor and oily sauce. Locals who dine in Jrose Pancitan often look for a more filling experience. They pair the Pancit Habhab with kanin (preferably a combination of hot Pancit Habhab and cold rice), or kakanin. Jrose offers different kakanin, like sinukmani (biko), maja blanca, pilipit, buchi, pizza roll, putocheese, leche puto, and putong bigas.