Luz Ocampo: Wrap Artist Par Excellence

pabalat ng pastilyas

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word Bulacan is pastillas de leche, those sugar-dusted pillows of carabao’s milk casually wrapped in white. As a child of the North, I routinely, quietly wished for them each time my mom and dad were out traveling.

Exploring Bulacan with the FoodPrints food travelogue show was more than a wish come true. Once there, it was the seemingly dying Filipino traditions that I wanted more to digest. One of them is the art of pabalat ng pastillas de leche, the endangered art of wrapping milk candies with billowy colorful paper cut outs.

Luz Ocampo

We met Nanay Luz Ocampo, an octegenarian who has made a mark in pastillas paper wrapper design and cutting. Hers are done in elaborate Filipino motifs, handcrafted laser cut-like patterns from the mind, inspired by her environs in San Miguel. Her artistry that started as a hobby when she was 12 years old was recognized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in books and in art and culture exhibits such as the University of Santo Tomas Likhang Bayan.

Pabalat ng Pastilyas

Skilfully cut tails in a kaleidoscope of colors add to a more festive spirit, making a conversation-worthy material. If they seem familiar, the elongated paper artworks have an uncanny resemblance to Chinese tomb decorations.

Daughter Naty tries to follow her footsteps. She traces her mother’s stencils on layers of papel de Hapon ((Japanese paper) and uses a pair of sharp point tip scissors to cut out holes. To sustain the fading craftsmanship, occasionally, they put to use the mastery to lecture in Bulacan and in other parts of the country.

Among Nanay Luz’s prized possessions are photographs of her art by prominent artist Jaime Zobel (top frame in photo below).

Luz Ocampo ResidenceThe Ocampo ArtCarved Dayap

Another story of mother Luz’s meticulous artistry is fruit carving she developed as a teen during WWII. In the same vein as she snips out shapes in paper, making intricate designs on fruits such as dayap or suha requires a profusion of love and serenity.

Fruit Carving

Mrs. Luz Ocampo 83 Inang Wika St., Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines (044) 791 5657

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

FoodPrints with Sandy Daza Across Bulacan in 5 Days


What’s Sandy Daza up to these days? He’s just added a new dimension to his love of food. The credible and respected chef and food columnist explores the country’s nooks and crannies for gastronomic experiences worth sharing via the food travelogue series FoodPrints about to air on the Lifestyle Network on Sept. 21, 8:30 PM.

Chef Sandy Daza

In the Bulacan episodes, be prepared to get fired up with the Bulakeño way of preparing exotic oysters straight from the Pamarawan oyster farms. What’s more? The best of the province’s carinderia fare and pasalubong stores, pork  like no other else and  heritage dishes threatened by time. Chef Sandy will also take you to the indigenous kakanin makers. And surely, Bulacan is not the same without the sweets. There’s more to the local cuisine than meets the eye.

FoodPrints, Sept. 7, 2013, 8:30 PM, the start of the 1st season on the Lifestyle Network

Enjoy and drool over the pics:)

FoodPrints Pamarawan BTSPicture 373Oysters AdoboGoto with TalabaDulce LecheLuz  OcampoSapin-SapinLeche Flan at JuiceTsokolateMorconMargaux Salcedo and Sandy DazaPancit AlanganinSinusoGoto TalksSandy Daza sa GotohanHalo-HaloPancit PalabokHamon BulakenyaEmpanada de Kaliskis

Bulacan’s distinct empanada de kaliskis.

FoodPrints Bulacan BTSSandy Daza with Tita DotieSinigang sa Bayabas at Buro at MustasaBulacan ChicharonHalo-Halo TuronMorconFoodPrints at Kulinarya ng Bahay na TisaBangus with Shitake MushroomsFoodPrints Barkada
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013