Our Very Own Palagsing

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

Travels and Dessert

One of the good things about taking trips is getting to taste different kinds of dessert. Sometimes, the taste of a native dessert in one place could be very different from what you are used to, at times it could be very similar. And then you have the chance to add up something new to your food or dessert list 🙂

The puto and bingka or bibingka are two of my favorite desserts in the Philippines. The puto is a kind of steamed rice cake. It can be eaten with butter, some Filipinos also eat it with a native dish called dinuguan (pork blood stew). I enjoy eating puto as it is, sometimes I also eat it with cheese 🙂  The bingka or bibingka is a type of rice cake made from ground rice. Its other ingredients include coconut milk, sugar and yeast. I also love eating this with some butter on it, at times. Sometimes I just eat it as it is.

If you ever travel to the Pearl of the Orient Seas, ask for some puto or bibingka to try. You might just like them 🙂

On the left is the bingka or bibingka. On the right, 4 pieces of puto.
On the left is the bingka or bibingka. On the right, 4 pieces of puto.