Gi Bogbog ko sa Kabog!!!


Oh my goodness. You just never know when a post will stir a bit of controversy. And as usual, it seems to crop up in the most seemingly innocuous topics. First it was yemas. Then it was a fishpan. Now it seems I have inadvertently ruffled feathers over my previous post on budbud kabog. First, let me say that I have always liked Maribel Van Hoven’s budbud kabog sold at the Salcedo Market on Saturdays. I even featured her products last year in this post and have mentioned her wonderful budbuds repeatedly. But little did I know that an email which has apparently disappeared into cyberspace and another comment in the previous post would upset Ms. Van Hoven. Let me recap the whole episode in an effort to try and understand what could have smacked the proverbial overcooked kabog against an electric fan set on high…

On September 3rd, I received a comment from Ms. Van Hoven from which a quote a relevant portion here (full comment is on my post on Cebuano Bam-i):

Maribel writes:

……I have only been selling the rice suman but I have many demands for the millet suman (budbud kabog) I would like to know if you know or heard about any place in Cebu where I can find and buy the millet grain? I have checked the market in Cebu and they say there is none. I was thinking of checking Bohol too but I am not sure if there is. I know that Budbud Kabog is sold in Cebu so they must have the millet grain there …I just can’t find where to buy. (Millet grain for the birds is easy to find but its the ground millet specially for cooking the budbud is what I need)I read here that you travel a lot ( read your article on Cebu Pacific and yes I heard some scarey stories on Cebu Pacific as my family travels from Negros to Manila often) I was just wondering if you could help me with this dilemma.Thank you in advance.

I happened to be in Cebu a few days later and answered Maribel’s email with the following email which I reprint in full (emphasis is new):

Marketman writes:

I am in Cebu at the moment. I have sent people to scour the Carbon market and after several hours visiting nearly all of the stores, they have located one store that sells kabog. I am guessing it is the right one. But it is a whopping PHP170 a kilo!!! The vendor only had 3 kilos of stock and I had my guy buy all of it. It doesn’t look like much frankly.He cannot guarantee supply, I asked him if he could get it by the sack… Perhaps my next visit I will have them try other markets.I have never made a budbud kabog and I wonder if you could give me some tips…I realize your recipe is a family heirloom so I wouldn’t ask for that. Just the general method. Do I soak the kabog overnight first? Then cook with coconut milk before wrapping and steaming? Or do I just go straight to cooking it with coconut milk then steam it?If you are at the Salcedo market this weekend I can hopefully drop by and show you the raw millet that I got in Cebu to find out if it is the right one. If I find more volume, I will let you know.

When Marketman got back to Manila, I did go to the Salcedo Market and I did show the kabog to Maribel who did confirm that it was the right millet indeed. I told her I would get back to her after my next trip to Cebu and if I could find more supply. I did not give her the name of the supplier because I didn’t know it. My staff from the Cebu office are the ones who went to the Carbon market. But I am sure they could escort Maribel to the source if necessary or desired.

Since I did not receive a reply to the email above, I decided to test recipes as I narrated in my previous post on budbud kabog. At any rate, in the comments to the previous post on Budbud Kabog, I never mentioned in the main post that I had not received a recipe from Maribel. It is only in the comments section that the following comment from Mila was received:

Mila wrote:

MM, in case this question hasn’t been answered, would the Salcedo market lady have a recipe you can try? Perhaps it would have eased your pain to get her to teach you how to make it first. Does seem sad to think that millet is fast disappearing from our natural habitat. I hope you find a local supply soon.

To which, I answered with this reply:

Marketman wrote:

Mila, I actually asked, but didn’t get a reply…so I gather the family recipe is not one to be shared. Which I totally understand. Even if I promised not to sell it commercially. But now that I am figuring out the recipe on my own, maybe I should sell it to make up for all the “development” costs – a large tank of gas, kilos of millet, lots of coconuts, sugar, sweat, etc. Since I figure the budbud kabog costs just PHP4-5 each to make, my staff could make a mint these holidays if they sold say 2-3,000 pieces by special order… hmmm, there go my social action ideas again… heehee…

Please note that up until this point, I never once mentioned Ms. van Hoven’s name in an effort to keep her out of the issue totally. Several comments down, however, Ms. Van Hoven wrote this comment…

Maribel Van Hoven wrote:

Hi Marketman,
I think I made a mistake in asking for your help. Now I will have another competitor!
Anyway, I did reply to your letter where you mentioned that you were in Cebu and able to find Kabog but I did not get a reply to that letter of mine.
In that letter I enclosed a recipe that was close to how I did the kabog so its not fair for you to say I did no share any information on how to make budbud kabog.
Also I wrote you a letter to help me find kabog but you never told me how and where I can get it. Yes you said you can find it in Cebu market(and I knew this already) but no details. And here in your article you said it costs P150 but in my letter you said it was a whopping P170! So which is right? I also offered to compensate for your trouble and friendly gesture to help me out but I guess I was wrong to think that you could help and I think that you could even hurt my business as you have written an article on how to make it. Am sad….

As I mentioned above, I never received the email from Ms. Van Hoven with the recipe. If I did, I would never have told Mila that I had not. And I would never have had to try five separate attempts and waste 3 kilos of kabog. There would be no reason to do so. As for having a competitor, not to worry, I have no intention of going into business selling budbud kabog commercially. If you have read this blog from the start, you would know that I have NEVER withheld a recipe and I have shared all of my recipes as I use them. I think good recipes are best served when they are known to more people so that more people can eat well. I have posted disasters and I have posted triumphs. I have NEVER EVER made any money out of this site and have spent several hundred thousand pesos on it thus far. In fact, most of the times that I mention a vendor on this site, their sales have risen significantly in the weeks following the post. Several vendors at the Salcedo market have told me that sales in some cases rose 30-60% the weekend after I featured them so if there is anyone who has gained from a mention on this site, it is the vendor itself, not Marketman. As I said in my email earlier and at the market, I would wait until getting back to Cebu to find out if there was more supply or any other sources. I have not yet gone back to Cebu, but because of the controversy, for your benefit and that of all the thousands of readers of Market Manila, I just called my office in Cebu and had the same guy take a cab to the Carbon market to find out the following information so that everyone can benefit. The supplier in the market is:
Ms. Tessie Tariman
Narda’s Store, Carbon Market 09067767284 and landline 032-2563301

The store quoted PHP170 a kilo when first asked, and yielded to PHP150 a kilo for a bulk purchase. That in response to your odd suggestion that I intentionally gave you the wrong price.

Also in the interest of Market Manila’s readers, I sent the same scout to several other Cebu markets and at the Mandaue Market he seems to have located additional sources of kabog which he will let me know first thing tomorrow morning and I will post it here when I have the information. I do not consider anyone who is making a local dish or delicacy to have a patent on that dish and I regret that you feel I am doing harm to your business by trying to post a recipe of budbud kabog. When I posted a recipe on an heirloom ensaimada did it kill off Cunanan’s? Mary Grace’s? Or Marc Medina’s at the Salcedo Market? When I posted a recipe on pan de sal, did Pan de Manila shudder and shutter its branches? Of course not. I have posted several hundred recipes on Filipino food before and I have NOT censored myself because I thought it would reduce the sales of any one vendor of a product. In fact, all of this attention is likely to increase the consumer interest in a product that is heretofore less well known. As you can see from the many other comments in the previous post, readers are just as curious about locating and reading about a recipe that works. Most of my readers have been extremely generous with their recipes and it is never an issue as to whether trade secrets are being divulged. Even in my email above, I deliberately avoided asking Ms. Van Hoven for the entire recipe so that I would have to figure the details out myself. Much of the confusion would have been avoided perhaps if I had received Ms. Van Hoven’s email with her instructions. However, I did not. I absolutely do not begrudge anyone who chooses to keep their recipes private. But neither should folks think they have a monopoly on any one dish, especially one that goes back several centuries. Not to worry, Ms. Van Hoven, folks will continue to pay PHP20 a budbud as they have neither the time nor the desire to make their own for PHP5 each if from scratch. And now that I have graciously given you the source of kabog in Cebu with one more option to come hopefully, (where your own efforts I might add, by your own admission, to locate kabog in Cebu were fruitless), you shall continue to make money with your budbuds. Stay tuned for more information regarding other sources of millet and my final recipe when I get my next batch of kabog… Oh, and by the way, the photo up top is of an overcooked batch of kabog…now imagine a handfull of it flung directly at my industrial electric fan at full speed… :)


54 Responses

  1. Oh wow, that would be one sticky mess marketman! I hope this big misundertsanding gets sorted out the soonest. To Mrs. Van Hoven, I don’t think you have to worry about Marketman becoming a competitor! Hmm, just the thought of that happening… it’s just so ridiculous. =)

  2. I just find this “controversy” sad in a weird way. Giving out recipes and techniques encourages people to cook or bake or learn about the food they’re eating. That’s what food is all about.

    There was an article recently about cookbook publishers “dummy-fying” their recipes because modern people (who are more familiar with eating out) don’t know the meaning of “blanch” or even “saute,” which I find quite sad.

    I’m nitpicking here, but one last comment (to the controversial comment): if a recipe did not reach the intended recipient, I think the “recipient” can claim that he did not receive the recipe because he in fact did not receive it. Diba?

  3. For those who may still think that MM is trying to make money out of this site, just look very closely and you do not see any advertisement or any link to any site that would generate income for MM. This is one of the very few sites that do NOT carry any of those irritating Ads by Google links so I know and have seen for the longest time that MM does not use his food blog to generate any income. So this is purely his passion.

  4. Counted on the Budbud Kabog narrative heading to something but not into this. Marketman reinventing the wheel when Pirelli’s already on a roll? Tsk, she’s so so unfunny.

  5. You mean Ms. Van Hoven’s recipe disappeared into an email black hole? Too bad, I thought she was selling a pretty good one at Salcedo Market and I have over 50 years of eating bud-bud kabog. Don’t think we want to compete in that category. I’m sure it’s just all a misunderstanding that can be straightened out. Marketman, you have two months before I get there and expect a homemade bub-bud kabog…

  6. MM, I had read your entire narrative before noticing the title you gave it. Gi bogbog sounds like an apt description of how you must feel after going through all of those frustrating attempts not just to source the millet but also to make kabog, and then to be chided for being a POTENTIAL competitor ! Intawn sad nimo uy… I hope this was just a misunderstanding due to “missing” email. I for one think that it’s sad that our native kakanins are difficult to find and hope that all these “family heirloom” recipes will be documented for posterity on the net, where they will be accessible to anyone who’s interested.

  7. MM, you can now add SMALL AND PETTY to your fishpan icon. Another competitor? She hasn’t been reading your blog if she thinks that. Harrumph.

  8. Im one of ur ‘lurkers’ here and i really appreciate this site so much. im really grateful for blogs like this. I sometimes would spend hours just going through this blog’s categories section and it would always leave me amazed that there is this one pinoy who would share his triumphs as well as his disasters on what he loves most to do as well as his general rants and raves from which i learn so much. I dont know marketman personally but by following his posts here i could say here is someone who has given so much. Posts and comments like the that of ms. MVH is just so irritating. I feel the same as Elisha on the previous post. i can only IMAGINE to cook BK myself. Ms. MVH, this blog is good advertisement enough and IT’s FREE. I was looking forward to visiting Makati sunday market to get a taste of this BK that marketman was raving about on his first BK post, but now I am looking forward to see who makes the BK in Makati Sunday market, who missed the whole point of this blog. It’s always so irritating when a vendor only sees the peso sign on their buyer’s forehead. oftentimes such behavior overshadows their products and lures away potential customers. Haay. anyway, business is business nga daw. Oh, well maybe she was having a bad hair day when she posted that half-thought rant.

    By the way, MM i tried your ham bone soup, but i was too lazy to make the chicken balls that i tossed in crab balls, mushroom balls and squid balls from china town. grabe! soup pa lang yummy na. My sister thought i was gonna feed them just ham bones…hehehehe, but when they tried the finished product, superstar na ako ulit!!!!! c”)thanks so much marketman!

  9. Geez, it got totally blown out of proportion I guess? Just like Sister said, I hope this thing will be resolved. I dont think MM will ever consider making money out of making budbod kabog. And I have to say, I admire him for not having any advertisers in his site and to think his quest for budbod kabog making turned out to be a disaster and all his queries of how to make such in his last post-plainly and conclusively shows that he doesnt know how to really make one. He is into a sort of adventure, trying to discover a local delicacy.
    I hope such issues wouldnt stop the MM from trying to discover “food thingies” and to continue to share it with other food enthusiasts. :)

    Btw, with regards to recipe accumulation,if MM still remember, he was looking for an interesting Caldereta recipe about a month or so ago and I offered him a recipe,which is a family heirloom but the mail I tried to send a couple of times couldnt pass through.MM didnt receive it,his site was having some technical errors at that time. I informed MM thru a comment post that I cant seem to send it and he checked his inbox, he got nothing to think I tried to send it about a dozen times and I always get a technical error remark blah blah blah.So I offered him to just email me instead thru probably with another email account that he has(other than the “Contact” link in this site)so I can send it to him if ever he decides to make it one of these days since he has to inform the web host/webmaster of the technical error before I can successfully send a mail here.
    Probably,the same case- some technical problems.

  10. Sorry to hear about this skirmish. I think it’s pretty petty though and the lady misses the point about food blogging entirely.

    Food blogging is about sharing resources, recipes and secrets even – as you mentioned. Information is empowering, especially to us, the consumers. If someone is threatened by that, sorry na lang. Sometimes your best intentions are often the most misunderstood.

    Besides, anyone who understands cooking can de-construct a recipe with trial and error…there’s no law against it.

  11. Hi All, please visit this link provided by CWID in the previous post. It is a reprint of an article by Pia Lim-Castillo in Food Magazine, August 2003 issue that is an excellent description of budbud kabog and a recipe. Actually, I saw that recipe elsewhere on the net (could it have been lifted in toto?) and used elements of it in my last attempt but I must have overdone the coconut milk… at any rate, this is a good read and MANY THANKS to CWID for pointing it out!

  12. Your daily articles are one of the few things i look forward to everyday. Very informative and with occasional controversies, just like life in itself. Having a busy medical practice. I would sometimes logged on to the web in between patients just to see what you are cooking. If you can generate this much heat regarding a virtually unknown kakanin, means you have found your niche. keep up the wonderful job marketman!

  13. Hi MM,

    Just chock it up to the price of fame. With fame, controversy is never far behind.

    I don’t want to sound like I’m wagging fingers, but to MVH, this is a good learning experience. One should not assume. Seek clarification first before making a conclusion. Many of us make this error, too but there are those who learn and those who stubbornly don’t.

    I have never tried kabog and did not know it existed till this post from MM. So, I am grateful to blogs like this that are intended to share the best of Filipino cuisine. MM’s blog and others like his, are much appreciated by expatriates like me who can savor excellent filipino cooking only through his photos.Unfortunately.

  14. I would just like to say thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to post food articles in your blog. It is a godsend for us who live overseas and get homesick for the foods we ate at home. Many of which would have been lost to me since I often lack the recipes or the technique. Your postings on markets and other interesting food places are on my wish list for my next visit home…soon I hope. Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  15. hi MM! I had a long comment to this last night, but somehow, whenever i tried to submit it, the whole site would hang. today’s post explains that, i guess. on second thought, i realize now that had it gone through, i might be banned from salcedo market forever. ;-> let’s just say that this incident makes me moooore patient and mooore excited to watch and wait for your successful budbud recipe, my rancid kabog notwithstanding. and congratulations for the patience and perseverance,MM..we’re behind you all the way, and waiting for our budbud kabog!

  16. p.s. and i thought from the title that this post was going to be a gas! but i still think that title is super-funny! that’s right, keep your humor, MM.

  17. Holy chocnut! Sorry for digging a hole of sorts for you MM. Although the Salcedo vendor should really be less concerned about competition, and consider encouraging the growth of millet farming. You know, a la Alice Waters and find local farmers who can grow the grain just for budbud kabog fanciers.

  18. Thanks for the link, MM.

    for Maribel Van Hoven,
    will you please have plenty of Budbud Kabog on the 10th of November. I will be visiting the country and I would like to experience the craziness brought about by your BK.

    I don’t think I have all the patience to cook them, (BK) myself. Maybe when I retire.

  19. I don’t understand Visayan dialect but from what I understand from the title of this entry, it means “nabugbog ako sa kabog” (hehehe).

    Well, I don’t want to comment about MVH’s reaction but I will always support you MM. I appreciate your generosity.

  20. Hi Marketman, I think that it is better not to have a monopoly for budbud or any food whatsoever. Monopolizing just tends to make the producer content or complacent and not strive for something better or different. With competition, consumers can choose better products and producers will have no choice but to raise their standards to a higher level or find ways to stay in competition. As Emeril says, “Kick it up a notch”! Ms. Van Hoven should realize (or should have anticipated) that this is the nature of business. It’s a harsh fact but it’s reality.

  21. Wow. This is my role model for a real blog. Very Informative, addicting, accidentally controversial, and with a comment feature that is as exciting as the posts, clean ad free layout unlike most of the blogs out there (including my attempt at blogging).
    Do you agree with me that this is not just a blog but a phenomenon? Can you feel the passion of MarketMan and his loyal invisible comment soldiers? Apicio, Mila, Millet, Juls, Wilson Cariaga, Connie, fried-neurons. Let us have a name for our “club” of commentatorismists:
    1. MarketMan’s Fish Pans (a pun on fans as pans)
    2. The Wild Millets Association of Friendship, Love and Peace: Budbub Kabog Chapter 8
    3. Brigada Sawsawan
    4. The Food Loop Binding Society (scary….)

  22. ayayay!! been reading MM’s posts and i can really say that it isn’t a money-earning blog.. it’s sooo informative and it satisfies my longing for foodies that i haven’t eaten for quite sometime.. i never imagined MM doing these to hurt other’s livelihood.. ahahay!! a little misunderstanding and a technical problem must be the main cause of these chaos.. i still feel that Ms Maribel shouldn’t think MM as a future competitor.. hehehe! that was really funny.. apology is needed.. MM you still rock!! hehehe! love your recipes..

  23. hi guys..
    Just to clear the air..Here is supposedly the letter I sent Marketman which he says he never received but I did see it under my “sent” so I retrieved it and am sending it again.
    I also want to add that nybody can cook budbud kabog. It is not a family recipe. It is cooked and sold all over Dumaguete!!!!! It is a business of many. My point is Marketman sent me a private letter.and I replied but I did not get a reply and the next thing I knew was the article…I would not have triggered Marketman’s interest in Kabog if I did not write the letter.
    Marketman I hope you can see my side. I made an innocent request to help find the grain and the next thing I know..the article plus no word from you. I even wished your kabog would come out delicious.
    I definitely know that I can’t be the only one selling this stuff!!!!! Yes Johnny no monopoly plans whatsoever !
    I don’t like the feeling of being misunderstood. Besides you can find the recipe on the net!!!! Maybe to use the word competitor was not the right word. I would not have given you the recipe if I thought you could be a competitor.,.I think what got me was your silence …
    Also, I was able to get the grain at 180 a kilo and I approved it thinking that Marketmans price was P170..If I knew that it was actually brought down to P150 I would have tried to work on a discount even if it was all long distance. So Naz, do pass by the store anytime now to get Budbud Kabog as I got the grain already and even if the grain priced increased I am still keeping at P25. As for Len who wants to boycott us at Salcedo..all I say is we both loose…:)
    Marketman, I also had to throw away lots of money and lots of time wasted trying to perfect the kabog. Lots of relatives were forced to eat and taste my disastrous kabog ..too soft ..too creamy..too sweet…just not to throw them away. I worked for months ( I think it was 6 months) to come out with the consistency and even till now..depending on the freshness of the grain I still have to make adjustments so after lots of practice you will get the hang of it.
    Here is my letter:

    Hi Marketman,

    I was very happy to see you at Salcedo Market (finally I met you) and I was glad you were able to find the kabog grain in Cebu Carbon market !!
    The grain you showed me looked like the real one and it also looked fresh as sometimes you can get moldy ones.

    I don’t know if you’re willing to tell me where in Carbon Market you got the grain but if not, then how can I compensate you for helping me out with this problem? Could you tell me what stall I can find it? I do need to buy even just a few kilos just to satisfy some of my health conscious buyers who don’t stop asking me when I will cook kabog again.

    As for you asking me if you need to soak the grain, well, there were some grains I needed to soak but some not..I don’t understand why this was so..maybe it had something to do with its freshness.

    I found a website where the recipe is accurate and the steps complete so I am sending it to you. I cook in kilos and this recipe uses cups so it should suit you.

    Thank you for your interest and may your kabog come out delicious. I hope to hear from you really really soon….


    Budbud Kabog Recipe
    Recipe #181352
    A different way to make budbud. You can eat it during breakfast or afternoon snacks
    by Chef #261327
    Requires Premium Membership
    My Notes
    ONLY YOU see your private notes, and they print with the recipe.
    servings click to change U.S./Metric measurement system or number of servings
    time to make 3 hours 2 hours prep
    Change to: servings US Metric
    3 mature fresh coconut, grated

    warm water, for extracting

    water, for washing mllet and for steaming
    2 cups millet

    banana leaves, for wrapping
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    Not the one? See other Budbud Kabog Recipe Recipes

    * For Large Groups Breakfast

    * Filipino Breakfast

    * Grains Breakfast

    * Low Cholesterol Breakfast

    1. Preparation stage:.
    2. Grate tow of the mature coconuts to get the meat and add 2 cups of warm water to the meat. Extract the mild manually and pass through a piece of cheesecloth. After the first extraction, add another 2 cups of warm water to the grated coconut meat and extract again.
    3. Repeat the process untill you have 6 cups or more of coconut milk. You can mix the first and second pressings together but set the third pressings aside in case you’ll need it in the latter part of the cooking.
    4. Wash the millet in two changes of water. Drain and set aside. If using fresh banana leaves, cut off the mid ribs and run each half of the leaf over fire to wilt the leaves and make them pliable for wrapping. Tear leaves into 6 inches in width until you have about 100 pieces. Do not use leaves which have tears in the center. Set these aside and cut them into tiny strips to use for tying up the budbud in pairs.
    5. Using coconut meat from where you extracted the milk, wipe each piece of banana leaf so that the leaf wrapper is clean and oiled from the residue of he coconut meat.
    6. Cooking stage:.
    7. Add salt to 6 cups of the coconut milk and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. This process will thicken the milk. Once it starts to slow boil, add the washed millet. Stir constantly until the millet starts to cook, making sure that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan to form a crust. It has come to boil when you see bubbles of steam coming out from the mixture like a slowly erupting volcano.
    8. Add sugar and salt and mix well. The color will become a darker yellow. Continue stirring constantly until cooked, about 30 more minutes. The suman is already cooked and can be eaten. Set aside for wrapping.
    9. Wrapping and final cooking stage:.
    10. Put a heaping tablespoon of the cooked millet onto the center of a cut piece of wilted banana leaf. Gently form the millet into a 5-inch log with a diameter of 1 inch. You can do this by rolling the mixture in the banana leaf without having to touch the millet mixture. Once you have the rolled mixture into shape, tighten the roll and fold one end and then the other. Do this until you have finished all the millet.
    11. Put two pieces of suman together with the flaps facing each other. Tie both ends with the cut-up leaf string. Repeat with remaining pieces.
    12. Place all the paired suman in a steamer with enough water to steam the suman for an hour. The suman should be steamed from the very start when you put the water in the steamer. The suman is ready when the color of the leaf changes from light green to dark green. Minimum time is one hour of steaming. The traditional way of eating this suman is with mango and hot chocolate.

  24. PS..
    A wrote nybody can cook budbud kaboy….it should be ANYBODY can cook budbud kabog

    Also,.I got my new supply from Dumaguete in case you’re wondering…

  25. sister was right. It was all just a misunderstanding.

    Being from Manila, BK is very new to me. Haven’t even seen or tasted one. I have seen the birdseed but not the edible one. Being a suman-sa-lihiya expert at home(ahem), I was indeed curious about this. Tried looking for it in Market Market but can’t seem to find one.

    Maybe we need to have a Budbud Kabog EB, dontchuthink?

  26. Maribel,

    Thank you for your comment above. It is unfortunate that cyberspace has apparently swallowed up an email causing the above misunderstanding. While your original comment seeking help finding the kabog did indeed pique my interest, I had already lined up kakanins for this upcoming holiday season and had several kinds of sumans on my list of items to post. Budbud Kabog was among them, along with a regular white suman and a purple one.

    The kabog vendor whose name I listed in the post above turns out to be the main supplier in Cebu. My scout that went to the Mandaue market and located a vendor of cooked kabog confirmed this afternoon that she only sells the cooked version and that her source of raw kabog is the one listed in the post above. If you buy in bulk, you should be able to get it at PHP150 a kilo, as stated.

    As far as the recipe you have sent is concerned, thanks for forwarding it. It is a recipe that I have also located previously and in fact used as my basis for the fifth attempt last week. It doesn’t work for me exactly as written but it is close. Oddly, that recipe, though it lists an author as a numbered person in a group of recipe givers, is nearly exactly the same as the recipe Pia Lim-Castillo wrote about in an article on budbud kabog in a 2003 issue of Food Magazine (forwarded by CWID and brilliant in that it has photos of the right consistency I should aim for) based on a recipe she got while watching folks in a Dumaguete kitchen cook the budbud. I raise this point because I wonder which came first, Chef 261327 (who only registered with Recipe Zaar in November 2005) or the Pia Lim article published in 2003. It is relevant because I think whoever came second should have noted the source of the recipe. Plagiarism, after all, is a topic Marketmanila has raised with concern on other occasions. Yes, I agree this recipe is closer to the one I will eventually end up with and I am sure that with time it will be perfected.

    As for the budbud kabog overall, since it is clearly a winner, I think it is in everyone’s interest that it be first preserved as a native delicacy, which is best done if more and more people are able to make it and enjoy it. As such, a blog of this sort helps to do that by helping those here (40%) and abroad (60% of readers) have open access to good and actually tested Filipino recipes. And better still, this is a recipe that many abroad can try if they want as long as they can get some mail order banana leaves and fresh coconut milk, since millet is a common ingredient in many western countries. It is also the reason why this blog was the one who very happily featured your budbud kabogs last year and has continued to mention them since. There is no reason why dozens more vendors shouldn’t be selling this kakanin so that the general public benefits.

    As for the perceived or actual shortage of wild millet, I am hoping that organically grown millet in the West might be a reasonable substitute. Not to worry, I will test the hypothesis first by having my sister bring some organic millet from the U.S. which retails I gather at roughly USD6-8 a kilo or PHP300-400. Ideally, of course, as Mila suggests, we should encourage locals to cultivate more “wild” millet so that they have livelihoods and incomes from such a sustainable and environmentally correct crop. It is a grass of sorts that as has been around for millenia.

    If enough awareness and interest is raised about budbud kabog as a delicacy, then you can imagine that tons and tons of millet will be required by the market eventually. If retailers sell the suman at PHP20-25 each, and the actual raw kabog content is less than PHP2 each, then buying even the most premium millet should not hurt one’s bottom line. In fact, I would posit that if local gatherers were paid PHP2-300 a kilo for the kabog (vs. the less than PHP100 they likely receive today, and I think there are over 500,000 seeds per kilo of kabog) perhaps we would find more and more of it on the market eventually…it is, after all driven by demand and ultimately, price.

    In the final analysis, now 8,000-10,000 readers of Marketmanila have overdosed on kabog, an ingredient 97% of them had never heard of before, and they now know where they can buy it (raw or) cooked if they can’t be bothered to make it and you can continue to sell just about everything you manufacture.



  27. Passion, passion for budbud kabog! Let’s just eat to this misunderstanding. Reminded me of the time I had a professional argument with an Italian! We were both passionate with our proposal. But after some pizza and red wine, it’s back to normal. Hope this gets sorted out soon. I don’t have patience to do such difficult cooking so I throw in the towel and let the experts do it and I just do the eating! Yum, yum!

  28. MM, MVH,

    If you can see the high-quality millet sold here in Korea BY THE SIDEWALK BY THE SACKFUL during the street market days, you’d be amazed. If only there was a way to send it to both of you without breaking my bank (account), I would ship it. I would usually include a handful of millet in my rice when I cook it and makes for interesting steamed rice accompaniment for viands and stews.


  29. I believe this budbud is what we call here in Leyte as ‘dawa’, though it’s not as exorbitantly priced. If you’re interested, MM, I can bring you a whole box of the stuff when I (hopefully) visit Manila first week of October. Just e-mail me a week beforehand so I can order them from my suki. Consider it a small payment for putting up and maintaining this fantastic gastronomic blog!

  30. Dodie, yes, you had mentioned the abundance of millet before and I am curious if it will work. I wonder if wild millet is more hardy than cultivated millet, in the same way that wild rice seem to be more substantial than paddy grown. Toping, that is VERY kind of you to offer, I am grateful. But it seems my staff in Cebu are doing their best to find a few more kilos for me so I can continue with the experiments. They tell me that the cooked budbud kabog in Mandaue sells for just 4 for PHP20 or PHP5 each! I haven’t seen them, tasted them nor know how big they are but that sounds like a great bargain to me!

  31. I think we get our budbud for around that amount (P5) too. US-bound relatives usually bring big batches (300+!) of the cooked stuff! We make sure to tell our suki where the product’s headed so she adds lots more coco milk than they usually would for the locally sold budbud to keep it from spoiling en route. Will ask her where she gets her millet.

    BTW, MM, I was referring to cooked budbud that I’d bring over. Will be bringing some for a friend, so a little more won’t be a bother. They’re absolutely delish! I almost regretted bringing some to Manila back in my student days; my landlady went gaga over it and not a term break went by when she wouldn’t ask me to bring more, more, more!

  32. lee, you are so funny! your proposed group’s proposed names are hilarious. my own takes on them:

    1.MarketMan’s Fish Pans- sounds like we all need a bath?
    2.The Wild Millets Association of Friendship, Love and Peace: Budbub Kabog Chapter 8 – wild? si millet? ako yon? hmmm…
    3. Brigada Sawsawan- parang banda ng musiko
    4. The Food Loop Binding Society- gives me visions of tight bras and pantyhose….

    yes, toping, the suman dawa of leyte, which is also excellent, by the way, is exactly the same as budbud kabog. in fact, since it is less famous than dumaguete’s budbud, leyte’s suman dawa may be “purer” and more authentic. as i mentioned in a previous post,the budbud my husband bought in dumaguete seemed to have been mixed with malagkit. this is the similar to the story of mazapan de pili. the mazapan makers in northern samar say theirs is made of pure pili, unlike the ones in bicol who dilute theirs with boiled langka seeds. i agree, you can taste the difference.

    by the way, MM, since you’re on a suman roll (terrible pun, i know!), have you tried suman maruecos (from bulacan), and the vrown and white suman called “moron”? both are super-delicious, relatively hard-to-find-the-good-ones suman.

  33. i was just toying about the idea of cooking budbud kabog, since i have a couple of kilos of budbud leftover from a korean pumpkin cereal porridge called “hobak juk” that was cooked a week ago. now, that there has been a lot of interest on budbud kabog i actually bought packets coconut milk powder and is on a search for frozen banana leaves. hopefully by the time you have perfected the recipe ive already got the leaves.
    it is simply amazing how one man’s quest no matter how trivial it maybe to some could stir so many others around the world. way to go marketman!

  34. Frankly I’ve never heard of, seen or tasted Budbud Kabog!!!! And yes, I will now have to go to Salcedo Market next time I’m in Manila to check it out and find out what all the fuss is about….
    I’m glad that’s resolved!

  35. All’s well that ends well. I am glad that this brouhaha will bring additional business to MVH, and hopefully, with kabog’s new popularity, millet will become more available. I, too, will ask my sister to bring me some budbud kabog from Salcedo when she comes for a visit.

    Can’t wait for the result of MM’s experimentation.

  36. Maribel,

    I assure you I will be back in Salcedo and buy lots of your bubdbud. Can’t wait to get my hands (and mouth) on it. Thank you Marketman for pursuing the long lost (it’s new to me) native kakanin.


  37. ms millet,

    your reference to the “moron” made my mouth water..i remembered my first taste in tacloban, from a ms.ana near mcdonalds…she sells hers with chocolate, nuts and cheese every tues and thurs….sarap….

    when i cam back to manila, i was so irritated at the airport because my baggage was taking so long…i did not know that the box containing about 200 pcs of “moron” (for pasalubong) was damaged and the ground crew were picking them from the conveyor…they put it a clean garbage bag and handed it to me….i was all smiles because i was so embarassed!…i think they tasted even better after that!…..;)

  38. Very glad to read that the kalabog from the kabog has been resolved amicably! Going home to Manila for only the 2nd time in over 20 years, and will head straight to Salcedo to find this suman! MM, I sent you an email the other day, via your CONTACTS link and I believe that email also went into a black hole. I know I entered my email address and all, but I got a message saying I did not, and that I should use my browser’s back button to go back and enter it, so I did, but the message and the page were gone. Might have been one of the technical difficulties of your site. Might explain how Maribel’s email got lost too.

  39. MM thanks for sharing with us family recipes of our favorite dishes. sometimes sharing it leaves room for creativity on the part of the one cooking. As my Chef friend says no 2 dishes are alike because the manner in which they were cooked or prepared will be different.

  40. wow! i was just thinking of asking MM if he can make “moron” since i am only able to taste it whenever my aunt’s mother from Samar would be here in manila. we’d ask her to make some since it’s soo delish.. it has nuts and lots of coconut milk in it but not too sweet.. it’s a suman with two colors, white and chocolate riddled with lots of ground peanuts.. yum!! hope MM can make some, I’d be willing to taste it for him.. hehehe!!

  41. Hi MM,

    This may be off-topic but it’s related to the lost email issue. I remembered writing to you many many months ago about your Viking (or was it wolf?) range top (as it is in my christmas/birthday wishlist). I wondered and wondered if you would reply to a lurker like me. Anyway, 2 months later…while I was organizing my emails, I saw your response in the bulk mail folder (yahoo). I don’t know why it was sent to that folder instead of my inbox folder. I wanted to email a thanks but got dyahe since it was kinda late. Anyway, here’s my opportunity..thanks MM for your kind response :-)

  42. Candygirl, no worries re: your lack of responding email. Actually, I do make it a point to answer just about every single email or query that I receive (as opposed to comments on posts that I tend to respond to as appropriate). Even some of the really whacky ones. Sometimes I wait a few days before responding. I only delete those that are really weird and typically come from first time commenters. But as many readers will attest, I do respond to emails sent my way, even if on some days I get over 40-50 comments on the site and several private emails. However, I am sure there is lots of room in cyberspace to get misrouted, misfiled, anti-spammed, missent, undelivered, etc… so it’s best not to totally assume that one has sent their message or that the recipient has received it… funny you should raise this email now, I just took photos of my stove yesterday thinking I should post it since so many have asked about it…

  43. Hi everyone,

    I am originally from Placer, Surigao del Norte, moved to Tago,
    Surigao del Sur in 1943. I tasted the best “budbud dawa” in
    Placer and they were dark not yellow. Since then I have never
    eaten it until I was at Cebu International Airport last year
    where I gobbled up a dozen. Luckily, no diarrhea nor bellyache. The budbud dawa or kabug in Cebu was a dark green
    or almost black with a tinge of green and yellow. My wife who
    was with me tasted it for the first time and liked it.

    Yesterday afternoon while at a Korean grocery in St. Louis,
    Missouri, USA I got so excited to see two kinds of Dawa or
    Millet seeds, the dark green or almost black was called
    glutinous millet and the yellow one non-glutinous. That is
    is similar to the sweet rice or malagkit (glutinous) and the
    plain rice for cooking (non-glutinous).

    Now that I have an unlimited source of millet sides of two
    kinds, I want my wife to try and make budbud kabug or budbud

    To anyone out there who has a good recipe, please send it to
    me ASAP. This will be for purely personal consumption by the
    Maminta clan of 25 people. I shall forever be indebted to you. Thank you very much.

  44. Nap, I have an excellent recipe in the archives. Or type “budbud kabog recipe marketmanila” on Google and you will be directed to it. As for using western millet, it will be interesting to see if it works…there are many kinds of millet fit for human consumption. As for the kabog being dark, that may have een due to the use of dark brown sugar. The tinge of green is usually due to the banana leaves. I have not made it with green seed.

  45. Hi MM.

    I’ve been delinquent from reading your posts then heard what was happening on this blog so I was intrigued. A good friend of ours, who enjoys food, came over for dinner and gave us a basket of budbud kabog (with sauce and all) and they were so delicious!!! Exquisite!!! They were from his trip to Cebu. Wow! This is one Filipino kakanin we should re-live because it is more refined than suman and the stuff just arouses the palette and it’s the perfect way to start the day.

    Glad to be back.

  46. again, a somewhat belated post. the grain is also called “dawa” in aklan and, if i remember my ilongo, it goes by the same name. the suman, which fits the description of budbod kabog to a T, is also simply called “dawa.” my mom would have been puzzled by mm’s frantic and at times desperate search for the recipe (she and most of our neighbors turn out this delicacy effortlessly; had i come across this site earlier, i could have asked her for what appeared to be a recipe in the public domain – in our place at least). the bad news is when she visited us here in the city a couple of weeks ago she said she could not find “dawa” anymore in our place.seems the people living in the upland (foothills of Madyaas mountain range) are not planting “dawa” anymore, probably because of the measly income for the effort involved. there goes one more traditional delicacy slowly receding into the mists of memory.



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