BACOLOD FOOD GUIDE | BIBINGKA | QUAN DELICACIES
A fellow blogger visited Bacolod recently. Being a travel blogger myself, I knew for a fact that she wanted to discover what Bacolod has to offer. One of the places I brought her for our afternoon tour was the Quan Delicacies.
Quan Delicacies apart from their dishes, cakes and pastries is known first and foremost as Bacolod’s best when it comes to native delicacies.
The moment we enter their store at San Juan, Bacolod, I immediately introduce to her the various delicacies beautifully displayed at the showcase of the store.
We both ordered the bibingka. She really enjoyed the food, made of galapong and with a nice slice of salted eggs inside.
As we savor every bite of the bibingka, I can’t help but remember my beautiful memory about this famous Filipino delicacy.
My Bibingka Memories
I remember fondly the time when my grandmother surprised me as she took my hand and dragged me towards the vendor right outside the cathedral. I was pretty young then, not yet in preschool – and I was the apple of her eye, being the youngest apo and the most precocious among the many grandsons of her brood. She said she had a treat for me.
It’s quite surreal, recalling all the details – the cold morning of the Misa de Gallo, my gray sweater engulfed in her delicate hands – hands that did a lot of work in the house and in the farms – a strong hand, yet delicate – a woman’s hand. I remember her voice as if she’s going to tell me a secret – a secret that only the two of us would share. A secret that we did share over a piece of bibingka – a delicacy I would savor for years and years to come – but none as memorable as the one with her in that cold morning. It was a bond that connected us, it was a bond that we shared – a promise that we both cherished – over bites of steaming hot bibingka chased with stringent ginger ale.
Now every time I see a vendor plying the delicacy outside of the church, I cannot help but shed a tear – because I remember her. I remember her telling me how the bibingka is a labor of love – how long it took to get the materials together, how long it took for the process to get completed – how long it took to get the consistency right – to get the fire burning properly – to get the finished product right. It was a laborious process – it was a process filled with love.
I remember her showing me how she would do it – how she would choose the best grains and grind them so that they become fine and would be better to use. I remember how she mixed the ingredients to make her personal batter. And how she stoked the fire and the coals to just the right temperature. I remember her blowing the coals to make it hot. I remember her putting on the margarine over the banana leaf before she poured the batter, I remember everything, the smells, the taste, everything brings back good memories.
But more than the process, I remember the love that goes with every bibingka that she made for me. I would arrive from school and spend a weekend in their house and she would always make me bibingka – it was her specialty and she knew it was my favorite. And I remember the thing that made it the best – my Aunt doing the cooking beside her, all the while both of them fussing over me, asking me how I did in school, how my days went. I saw the love that was reflected in my Lola’s eyes – how much she loved me – how much she loved doting upon her apo.
I never knew then as much as I know now that she doted on me because they saw how I loved eating everything she put on the table, whether it was perfect or not – I would eat it because I know she made it for me.
It’s quite funny how you remember things – how things take you back and how it makes you feel nostalgic for the people who have cared for you and who have shown that they loved you. It’s quite funny that way – how something as simple as a bibingka could take you back to your younger days.
It’s quite funny because every time I buy a bibingka, I see my grandmother across me, smiling our secret smile, handing me a piece of her love, telling me how much she loves me and I cannot help but shed a tear because I miss her so much. That my friend, is the reason why, every bibingka has a special place in my heart.
For travelers, Quan Delicacies has the following outlets:
MC Metroplex – Northdrive – (34) 433-9987
La Salle Avenue (034) 707-1982
Gaisano City (034) 707-8440
Phoenix Gas Station, San Sebastian
Robinsons Supermarket (034) 476-1518
SM Food Court – 213-9149
San Juan – (034) 704-1253
Super Metro, The District North Point (034) 702-3466
1797 Dian St, Palanan. Makati (02) 833-5843