browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

In Search Of Bibingka

Posted by on 26 April 2010

Every time I go back to the Philippines, I always have a list of must-eat foods, i.e. all the Filipino foods that I’ve been missing the whole time I was away from the land of my birth. During my short stay in the Philippines, I hunted down those foods every time I had the chance, knowing that I may not be able to enjoy those delicacies again for some time.

One of the items in my list when I went to the Philippines early this month was the humble bibingka. The bibingka that I had in mind is the type of rice cake that’s made from — you guessed it! — rice flour, coconut milk, sugar and a leavening agent. The mixture is scooped into moulds that have been lined with banana leaves, then baked in a charcoal contraption that allows the bibingka to have the red-hot embers both below it and above it. It’s simple food really but I’ve always liked it. It brings back memories of going to the public market with my mother when I was just a little girl.

So there we were in a small city called Ozamiz. The MPV was maneuvering its way through the narrow street when I suddenly spotted a man walking at the side of the road, balancing a tray on his head. I craned my neck as we passed him then gave a little shriek when I caught a glimpse of what lay hidden under the coconut leaves that covered the tray — bibingka! We actually turned the MPV around just to track Bibingka Guy and buy a few pieces from him. Because yes, I was that desperate to have some bibingka and I didn’t want to risk missing my chance to tick it off my must-eat list.

It turns out that he was delivering his goods to a small sari-sari store (sundry shop) on the other side of the street.

sari-sari store

See what I mean about the bibingka peeking from the banana leaves that covered them?

tray of bibingka

I took the above shot from behind the heavily tinted window of the MPV. Not quite happy with the quality of the photograph, I rolled down the window to get a clearer shot, making  Bibingka Guy break out into a huge grin. He was absolutely tickled that I wanted to take a photo of him with his wares. He must have thought me nuts, but obliged all the same, seeing how I had a huge, “professional” camera.

tray of bibingka

Even the shopkeeper was very much amused. Too bad she looked away right at the moment when I pressed the shutter. And yes, those are bags of bread — sold by piece — hanging on top of her and pots of viands on the counter in front of her available for retail sale (read: based on the amount that one can afford to buy).

tray of bibingka

My verdict on the bibingka? Although it was nice, it wasn’t quite the taste that I was looking for. I wanted something less sweet and just a tad bit more spongey (i.e. having risen just a bit more). It was only a few days later in Davao City that I managed to sink my teeth into the bibingka that I specifically had in mind. But our roadside encounter with Bibingka Guy is something that I won’t be forgetting for a long time to come.

10 Responses to In Search Of Bibingka

  1. kg

    i love bibingka. in fact, this is one food na napaglihiian ko when i was pregnant. gusto ko yung may salted egg. there is one store in los banos na favorite ko bibingka nila. yummiee!

  2. witsandnuts

    I love the bibingka from the provinces. Like KG, I want the ones with salted egg. I also like the other variation of bibingka which is “binamban”.

  3. avril

    Oh, I did not realize there are many versions of bibingka. The bibingka I am used to is the bibingka in this post:-) Nevertheless, all of them are still bibingka of the Philippines!

  4. sheng

    Bibingka with salted eggs is just LOVE. Sana pag nagawi ka ulit sa Pinas, we can have that…

  5. farrah_x

    Pics are great. Maybe you can post on Bibingka recipe next time for us to taste :D

  6. theresa c. villaruz

    there’s got a lot of bibingka makers on the way to davao , that is in digos . but there is one particular who is making puto and bibingka which is so delicious, her place is just before reaching digos town.

  7. Mimi

    @theresa: YES! the bibingka that i love is the one from digos :D

  8. pedro

    i had an experienced eating delicious bibingka at la tondena restaurant along avenida many years ago, hope to find a branch of it.

  9. joy

    kalami ani ui bibingka super like..wala ba ani kopya unsaon pgluto ? please

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>