The palagsing is a local delicacy made in Banza, Butuan City. The popularity of making palagsing in Banza is attributed to the abundance of Lumbiya (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) where unaw or lumbiya starch is harvested from the palm tree. Another popular ingredient is young coconut meat taken from coconut trees. The mixture of unaw, young coconut and brown sugar make palagsing moist, chewy. It is wrapped with banana leaves.
Every 2nd day of August, the Butuanons celebrate Palagsing Festival. It is celebrated in conjunction with Adlaw Hong Butuan or Butuan’s Charter day. During the festival, a competition for the longest and the best tasting palagsing is held. When the contest ends, the palagsing entries are given away for free much to the delight of the contest spectators.
Aga Mulach, a famous Actor and TV host in the Philippines featured the Butuanon delicacy in his own show “Pinoy Explorer” on TV 5. When Aga tasted the palagsing, he noted: “It is one of the best, delicious kakanin in the Philippines“. As a Butuanon, I am very proud of our very own palagsing.
Palagsing is a delight that you shouldn’t miss when you visit Butuan City. This delicacy is sold by vendors in Langihan market for only P10 (less than a dollar) a bundle (one bundle has 4 pieces). It is also available in Gaisano Mall Butuan’s pasalubong center.
Text by Mari Gold Elmido