Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Puto Bumbong at Bibingka

One of the things that a Filipino loves to do during December is to eat.  December 16 is the 1st Christmas Novena or "Simbang Gabi" of the Catholics in the country.  

Simbang Gabi is a typical Filipino way of preparing for the great feast of Christmas. The tradition was brought to us by Spanish evangelizers from Mexico. Originally, it popularly came to be known as Misa Aguinaldo. De Aguinaldo means gift, gift, which is peculiar to Christmas. That is why, the faithful wake up early morning for nine days before Christmas to join in the celebration of the dawn Mass. The faithful make this their “Aguinaldo” to God for the great gift of Jesus. The practice can also be understood as the preparation of the faithful to receive from God the great gift or “Aguinaldo” of Christmas, which is Jesus, the Savior of the world.  But for Filipino Catholics, Simbang Gabi is above all an expression of their filial devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. For nine consecutive days, they join and accompany her, so to speak, as she awaits the birth of her Son. For this reason, the Masses on these days are celebrated as solemn votive Masses in her honor. (Simbang Gabi)

As the 1st night of Simbang Gabi many vendors can be found outside the catholic chapels or churches'.  This is the time where bibingka (rice flour and egg-based cake, cooked using coal burners above and under); putò bumbóng (a purple, sticky rice delicacy steamed in bamboo tubes, with brown sugar and shredded dried coconut meat served as condiments); salabát (hot ginger tea); or tsokoláte (thick Spanish cocoa) can be found everywhere.  I really can say that Puto Bumbong and Bibingka are popular during Simbang Gabi Even if, now, some shops are selling these delicacies on the mall, it will never compare the delight of everyone having it after hearing the mass of Simbang Gabi.  

Well, I am not a Catholic but I love these delicacies.  I will drive in any nearest church just to have those delicacies.   In the photo posted here, I bought it outside the Catholic Church in Project 6, Quezon City.  If you can't wait for December, I suggest that you visit Ferino's Bibingka.  They have a small shop in SM North Edsa.  

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