Found something more interesting than a monstrous Narra butaka (armchair) in Butaka City, otherwise known as Ilagan City, in the province of Isabela. I heard a man say, “binanlay man.” I had to check what I heard ‘coz I’ve heard about binalay before. Anyways, the lady said it clear, “Binanlay.” I asked for one and she passed me a bundle. I opened one of the neatly folded banana wrappers and sampled the shiny white content. I thought it would taste like our very own tupig, but it was more like bilo-bilo. Maybe she read my confused reaction, so she handed over a tiny plastic bag with thick brown sauce.
She was right, the rice cake had to go with a dollop of panucha, like Ilocano inkalti.
According to my Ilagan insider, binanlay is an Ybanag specialty.
They also had patupat.
Photographed by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved
A friend dropped by to give a bagful of special patupat from Ballesteros, Cagayan. They even have a festival in honor of these native sticky rice cakes made of glutinous rice or diket, coconut milk, sugar, and, surprisingly, a good sprinkling of salt.
They are so good when eaten hot with ripe mangoes and fresh getta (coconut cream) — really makes me forget where’s east and west!
These patupat aka balisongsong are smaller than our own Ilocos patupat, but they taste just as great, or even better than what are being sold in the market of Laoag. The made to order patupat from Barangay Barit and the town of Sarrat are really especially wonderful, though.
Filipino suman differs from every region. In the Mountain Province, patupat is spelled as patopat and either banana or squash leaves are used as wrapping. In Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, it’s also spelled as patopat. Quite differently, they’re wrapped in woven coconut leaves, and instead of sugar, Pangasinenses use molasses, locally known as tagapulot, which charmingly oozes out through the wrappers’ tiny holes. Another festival in Pangasinan is named after this Ilocano delicacy.
I noticed Chinese machang looks like patupat. How interesting?
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED