Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas time... In the Philippines...

It's 38 days before Christmas and it's still counting. I will be celebrating my Christmas with my family after 3 years because of my work. I'll be home for the holidays and New Year, Wooohooo!! But I'm worried because of this financial crisis in the US, I am affected at my work. I'm hoping that my Christmas will be merry and my new year happy. Yes, there are a lot of work I can find out there, but I can't afford to lose my job at this time. I need to support my family. I'm hoping and praying.

Last week I got to stroll around the mall on my night off and saw christmas ornaments being on sale just outside the mall. Aside from the cool air, christmas tree, christmas carols being sang and christmas songs being heard on the radio, here in the Philippines, Parul is one of the symbols of christmas. The colorful Parul or Christmas lantern is one of the product of San Fernando, Pampanga aside from food. Pampanga is also known for it's giant paruls and the Christmas Capital of the Philippines. I can't wait for the Ligligan Parul or the giant lantern festival and I hope I can watch this time. Those giant paruls that I think about 8 to 15 feet in size with dancing lights controlled electronically. It is a competition between the cities and provinces of pampanga. I was not able to watch last year and I don't know who won. But I bet as I write this blog, the paruls that are included on the competition are now being made. Aside from the Giant Lantern Festival, I'm also excited to watch the Sinukwan Festival. Last December 2004, my students and I were given a chance to join the Mardi Gras contest and cultural night presentation contest of the said festival. Unfortunately, we did not won any of those contest but the experience we had is really over-whelming and we had fun. It's our first time to join the Sinukwan Festival. I hope I can watch this one too. Here are the paruls that I saw outside the mall on sale. They are made of capiz and cost around 1,300php to 1,500php depending on the size.


After going to the mall, I went home and along the way I saw people selling bibingka and puto bungbong, yummyyyy! These is what I call Christmas food. Because I only see these when Christmas time is approaching. Bibingka or rice cake similar to the Western pancake in appearance. It is made from galapong, baked in a special clay pot, lined with a piece of banana leaf, with live coals on top and underneath. It is topped with slices of kesong puti (white cheese) and itlog na maalat (salted duck eggs). The newly-cooked bibingka is spread with butter and sometimes sprinkled with sugar then served with niyog (grated coconut). Galapong is glutinous rice soaked in water then ground with the water to form either a batter or a dough, depending on what the cooked dish is supposed to be. This is the Bibingka I bought which cost 25php each.


This is how they cook the Bibingka. A traditional pot or clay pot over hot coals and on the clay pot they put banana leaves and pour in the Galapong.




While Puto bumbong is a dish made from purpled-colored ground rice cooked in bamboo tubes that are placed on a special steamer-cooker. Then, they are removed from the bamboo tubes, spread with butter and sprinkled with sugar and niyog (grated coconut). They are then wrapped in wilted banana leaves which will keep them warm and moist until ready to be eaten. I bought puto bumbong also which cost 15php 3 pieces.

Above is the steamer in which the puto bumbong is cooked. The bamboo tubes are half filled with the purple-colored rice in the huge bowl (right side of the photo). The bamboo tubes are usually wrapped in cloth to avoid burning the hands of the vendor when they are removed from the steamer when the puto bumbong is ready. Unfortunately, the batteries of my digicam went out and I was not able to capture how they were cooking the Bibingka and Puto bumbong. Maybe next time.

11 comments:

jules said...

OMG! i like bibingka! i'm sure u had a lot fun! :D

jules said...

u take care, my friend. missing u a lot. let's have a date sumtimes together with ur lovely wife ok? u take care mwah!

jules

salve said...

u take care, :)

dylan said...

sarap ng bibingka! pahinge!

Rio said...

saya naman na after 3 years ay makaksama mo na ang family mo para mag celebrate ng christmas at new year..wag mo munang intindihin ang problema sa pera..lahat namana ata ng pinoy ay yan ang problema..enjoy mo lang ang holidays with ur family.

wow ang mura ng parul dyan sa inyo..dito sa manila,2500 o mas mataas pa depende din sa size at design.

nagutom ako sa picturesmong puto bumbong at bibingka...masgusto ko ang puto bumbong keysa sa bibingka..mas malasa kasi ito,gawa siguro ng niyog at mantikilya..=}

M A Y A said...

gosh... miss ko na ang Christmas sa Pinas.

Saadia said...

Do you teach?

JoShMaRie said...

uy sayang nalobat ang digicam :)

Justkyut said...

@Saadia yes I do but not at this time. I cannot access your blog it seems that it is on limit access. thanks for dropping at my blog

Saadia said...

Oh nice. What do you teach?

My page isn't set on limited viewing. Probably some glitch in blogspot.

Justkyut said...

I teach physical education and dancing. Better report your blog to the administration of blogspot so that they can fix it.

 

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