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Filipino dish Bicol Express is trending in the Twitterverse. It began when user @joshquising shared an image of a dish made from a local establishment, Cres Snack Inn, Legazpi in Albay, and made a claim to its legtimacy. It reads:

“Dear Manila, ito yung itsura ng legit na Bicol Express (courtesy of Cres Snack Inn, Legazpi). See how different it looks from your ginataang baboy masquerading as “Bicol Express”? HAHAHAHA”

The post started a hellfire of reactions, as spicy as the dish itself, with more than 773K views and 463 retweets. A good number of netizens agreed since it was also how they cook or enjoy the classic Filipino dish. Others, however, heavily weighed in on the matter. One user even replied with another photo of a Bicol Express claiming it to be authentic since it was cooked by his wife who was born and raised in another part of Albay.

“Ito ay itsura ng legit na Bicol Express (courtesy of my wife, born and raised in Oas, Albay). See how it looks different from the Bicol express you posted? I wont say yours is masquerading though. Katulad ng ibang ulam, magkakaiba tayo ng paraan ng pagluluto”.

Some people, most especially those with Bicolano roots, also chimed in to voice out the version they’re familiar with:

Some also raised the fact that the dish isn’t even authentic Bicolano since it was invented in Manila (during a cooking competition), which was even reported by the BiteSized team a few years ago:

With so much heat going on, people even raised other food-related issues debated since time in memorial.

One tweet though raised the most valid question:

In the end, this conversation can go on and on like the hundreds of thousands of ways to cook Bicol Express. All that matters is, it’s a dish we Filipinos have all come to defend and love.

How do you like your Bicol Express? Let us know! In the meantime, here are some of our creative Bicol Express recipes you’d want to try for yourself:

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