Misa de Gallo Delicacies

Just a few hours till the first misa de gallo (mass of the rooster)…treats2YIKES, am I behind schedule this year or what? I am normally very put together around the holiday season and by this time I am concentrating on cooking and dinner parties. Instead, I haven’t done an ounce of Christmas shopping for my own family (I think I have finished everyone else) and all of my heightened business related activity down South in the past 6 weeks has really screwed up my holiday schedule. By now I am usually thrilled to get up early to attend misa de gallo to be followed by 2-3 hours of undisturbed decorating of my annual gingerbread house or baking ensaimada or cookies. The ovens have been fired only once this week…to bake a batch of Christmas cookies for my daughter’s last day of school tomorrow. Worse, I have photos for maybe 20-30 Christmas related posts for this website but I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write.

But I did promise to bring you some of the holiday favorites and this post treats1is about all those native kakanins that one indulges in during the holiday season. In many ways I prefer the rice based delicacies because they seem less cholesterol laden, less sweet and more natural… at least that’s my perception though the reality could be far removed. At early morning mass, a cup of hot salabat or ginger tea is the perfect way to sooth the throat and ward off the slight chill that develops in the dawn hours. I have never done a real provincial misa de gallo but my romanticized version does include several small vendors in nipa structures selling their delicacies to those emerging from the churches. I would start off with some puto bumbong, rice rolls made in specialized bamboo sections made out of pirurutong or purple sticky rice or with the addition of ube as a color and flavor enhancer. This steamed delicacy is served with butter or margarine, sugar and grate coconut. A little goes a long way but it has a unique taste that personally screams Christmas is around the corner!!!

Bibingka is also high on my list. treats3I prefer it without the salted egg, however… not sure why but since childhood I have liked it that way. There are few things as memorable as a hot bibingka with butter and sugar and grated coconut… steaming and fragrant from the banana leaves they were cooked in. I actually bought a bibingka cooker this year but have yet to attempt using it. I don’t typically see it in the morning but I do really adore sapin-sapin, that highly colorful confection of rice, squash, ube and other ingredients that is sticky, gooey, coconutty and absolutely delicious. It is really rare that you find a sapin-sapin made the old-fashioned way, with separate segments made from the finest ingredients then put all-together. Today, many folks take shortcuts and just color the segments made out of the same base materials. My favorite parts of the sapin-sapin? The yellow and purple segments…

Cuchinta is a long-time favorite. Lihiya seems to be the added ingredient that gives this dessert this unique consistency that is springy, spongy and solidified slime-likeness in nature. As a kid, I used to wait for the little bilaos filled with cuchinta and eat them like kids eat M&M’s these days. I also adore puto (rice cakes)and I can eat dozens of these in one treats5sitting…there is something comforting about popping a small puto in your mouth… then chewing on something that is soft, chewy, airy, moist and substantial all in the same mouthful. Many commercial putos sold today are bland and tasteless, but well made versions are fresh and their flavor distinct. I include several photos of puto here to bring you a bit of home if you happen to be viewing this from elsewhere in the world… I must get some shut-eye now if I am to make the first mass…




50 Responses

  1. Oh i wish i can have puto bumbong here in the states. Please marketman where can if find the ingredients to make this in the north east. I will drive hundreds of miles from Pittsburgh just to get them. I’ve searched everywhere here in western PA. No luck.

    Puto BB is my favorite holiday treat. It reminds me of my childhood. A neighboor down the street from my childhood home used to sell it around christmas time and I used to eat it at least once a day. I havent had this in about 13 years eventhough i visit Manila every year because I usually go in the summer. My mouth is watering just by looking at your pictures.

  2. i love puto bumbong. if i buy it near my boyfriend’s house, i get it for free or only Php10. but if u order from via mare, last year it was Php 65!!! nowadays, with bibingka costing Php at VM, i don’t even want to think how much the PBB is! i love love love PBB with lots of butter and coconut. delish!! i’m going out to look for one tomorrow!

  3. the best sapin-sapin is from malabon (rosie’s ba yon?)- with each segment a different kind (not just colored and falvored differently). there’s kalamay na ube, different kinds of cuchinta, biko, maja blanca,etc. my favorite is the red cuchinta with the soft, gooey top and chewy-soft bottom. sadly, we don’t have rosie’s here in davao….
    off to simbang gabi we go…

  4. Hello to all marketman fanatics.Where can i buy the best tasting cuchinta here in manila? Ive been buying mine along Balete drive in Quezon City but the quality is not the same as before. It became too commercialized already.

  5. Ok so I’m from Malabon so I know. It’s Dolor’s Kakanin. Rosie’s is the Pancit Malabon. Dolor’s is the best.

    I like Puto Bumbong too, in LA, they sell them in Manila Sunset. I havent been back in a while so I don’t know if they are even in business. They were very popular years ago. Their bibingka is also very delish.

    MM, I can see that you have pictures of Putong Pulo. The stuff you get along McArthur Highway before you get to Guiguinto. THey also serve great dinuguan.

  6. Hi Marketman, I really enjoy your blog. I live in Hawaii and I’m not Filipino, but I am married to one. I grew up with many Filipino friends so I learned to love Filipino foods, especially desserts! Your post reminded me of a time before we were married. My husband brought me what he thought was an ‘exotic’ dessert at a party. I looked at it and said, ‘Oh, they have sapin-sapin?’ I’m not saying it influenced his decision to marry me, but he was duly impressed! I wish the sapin-sapin here was as good as the one in your picture, but I’m sure it’s not.

  7. Have you ever done Simbang Gabi at some of Manila’s older, historical churches? I was just wondering if the romanticized notions that I too have in my head actually happen at the likes of San Augustin, Manila Cathedral, Sta. Ana Church etc.?

    I recently did a Visita Iglesia all over the metropolis for a History of Architecture class I am taking. I was wondering if it would be worth it to wake up at 3:00 am to attend Simbang Gabi at these churches? Of course the full experience would have to include breakfast outside the church with all the delicacies you mentioned!

  8. Alicia, I must admit, I haven’t been to one of the older churches for simbang gabi, just too lazy. I was intending to do it in Las Pinas for this blog but I am just near exhaustion and have come down with a cough. Maybe next year…hence the decision to go live with all these kakanin photos!

  9. Cant resist, just have to give my two cents on kutsinta because i am from cavite and the best comes from Tuklong, Imus, Cavite… Might be biased though… But you be the judge, will bring some at the next EB if there is one… Nothing commercialized about it and cheap too, about P60 for 25 pieces (about 2and half inches in diameter) and comes with grated coconut pa…

  10. Oh, I love them especially puto bumbong and bibingka – the kind of food that I associate with simbang gabi while growing up. Every time am back in Manila I always make sure I get to eat these goodies even when it’s not christmas time. Nowhere to find them in London so am a bit homesick after reading your post.

  11. I totally agree with “booey” about the best cuchinta available in this planet. I was raised and grew up in Cavite, and the cuchinta from Imus, is out of this world. It is very important that these “cuchinta people” are still keeping the artisan way of making this kind of native delicacies. I remember buying and picking up the cuchinta myself and see their “antique” rice grinder around.As far as I know, they still do everything manually. This is one of the things that I miss most about the Philippines. The last time I got to eat those was in 1998 and I will definitely trade anything that I get to eat here in school at the CIA for just a taste of those yummy morsels! Who needs Gateau St. Honore or Creme Brulee that the B & P students bring out for dinner when I’d rather have the most delicious cuchinta, and bibingka from the Philippines?

  12. Since we’re in the topic of kakanin, I also want to bring up PICHI-PICHI. Amber’s has the best! I pop those things in my mouth like peanuts! Ah! What joy!

  13. I also love pichi-pichi… any idea where I could get some? Can I get them from Salcedo Market too… like the yemas? This is one kakanin that has to be eaten on the same day because refrigirating it destroys the texture which is what I love about it… hate day old pichi-pichi.
    Wish I could go home now… your pix are sooo good to eat… hahaha

  14. Marisa and Gigi, I must admit, I have never had pichi-pichi, I don’t think…hmmm. Edee, what? No bibingka in your neck of the woods? I jest, of course. Cathyv and booey, I haven’t tried your source. All I know is that for as long as I can remember, I liked cuchinta! Fran, glad enjoy your visits to marketmanila!

  15. You really have to travel a bit to get the best. Dolor’s for sapin-sapin (they have a branch in Parañaque already – West Service Rd, near Severina 18). Cuchinta, I agree with booey and Cathyv, you’ve got to taste the Cavite version. PBB -I like it with grated panocha not brown sugar. There’s this small stall in Las Piñas church that serves it like this but I still have to check if it’s still there this year. Puto – nothing beats those sold near Quiapo Church. I don’t know where to get the best tasting Bibingka, so I’ll stick to Ferrino’s until I find a really good one. Any tips where to get the best bibingka?

  16. i do have bibingka….bibingka mix nga lang :(….i bought from the pinoy store months ago….will try it this noche buena….but nothing beats the real one, especially puto bungbong!!!! …..

  17. Aw, man! I LOVE puto bungbong and bibingka. The vendors outside the chapel in Greenbelt sell those two things, and salabat. Reason enough to get up at dark o’clock even if one had no plans to attend misa de gallo.

    Here in Silicon Valley I can sometimes get puto bungbong at Goldilocks, but it’s not the same.


  18. Pete, puto bongbong and bibingka is always available at Via Mare, though a bit expensive, but the taste is good escially with muscovado sugar or they use grated panutsa and queso de bola… MM, have you tasted Putong pasig, its delicious, complete with salted egg and cheese, but you have to buy it at Pasig Market. Also another popular puto is the Puto Pangasinan (from Calasiao) that you can buy along the streets of Ortigas (Greenhills). How about the Putong Ube ? Have you tried it..

  19. tip: along kalayaan ave in Makati, just past the corner of Reposo/N Garcia there’s a vendor who sells good PBB and bibingka – something like 3pcs for Php100, the diameter is the same as Ferino’s…the good thing is – they are there every weekend : ) (for the St Andrew’s church crowd i guess)

    before we left manila, i tried to get my fill of freshly cooked bibingka complete with a cup of thick hot chocolate from la resurrecion….wonder if bibingka could be Fedexed? : )

  20. As a good catholic girl that i was, i used to wake up at around 3am to catch the bus with friends and go to church for ‘simbang gabi’. The reward would be the bibingka, puto bumbong, etc that you can buy outside the church after mass.

    Nowadays, i’d be lucky if i get up early enough to get ready for work. They don’t do this kind of thing here in UK or Jersey. Or maybe, i’m just so out of touch with the church thing. There’s also so many different types of religions here that i’m not sure if i’m going to the right churches.

    I love the photo marketman. I could almost taste it.

  21. I love love love puto bungbung!!! I like ’em plain with muscovado sugar. I love the one at this stall (in front of henlin) at SM Makati’ supermarket!

  22. It’s nice to know that I got ‘kababayans’ on this blog. Am also from Imus, Cavite and I go there almost every other week to visit my mother and my siblings (thanks for alternate routes that make it a lot easier to get there) and to do my marketing for the different kakanins (delicacies)especially when I have guests. I agree with Booey and Cathyv that the Toclong cutchinta is the best with freshly manually scraped juicy coconut. Yes, it is quite a site to see their rock grain grinder still perform. I also love our puto bumbong, which is a mixture of malagkit rice and ube (some uses only food color and its not that good), also the bibingka, the kalamay (made of malagkit rice or pinipig, with coconut milk and sugar and coconut thick syrup on top). I also love ‘kasilyo’ (kesong puti or cottage cheese), I like ours better than those coming from Laguna. Our tinapa from Salinas Cavite are also good. Cavite’s christmas ‘kakanins’ always include suman, which I believe was the usual christmas gifts from farmers’ wives beause Cavite’s source of livelihood used to be farming and fishing. This suman is made of malagkit rice wrapped in fresh banana leaves (without gata). This suman, together with freshly scraped coconut and ‘paldo’ (to us Cavitenos) or muscovado to others, is really good, I like it when the suman is warm and the scraped coconut is tender and juicy. Matamis na ube and leche flan from Imus are also loved by my friends and guests but I don’t buy the commerical ones, I have mine home made. Delicacies from Cavite, are always added treats to my home entertaining and when my guests appreciate the goodies, it makes me prouder to be a Caviteno. It pays to really find the best cavite kitchens that produce these goodies but even the commercial ones are good enough.

  23. Does anyone have any suggestion on how to make the Puto bombong? I have no clue as to what goes in in the first place. I remember it doesn’t have a smooth texture. Plus they use Star margarine, sugar and coconut as toppings. Pls, pls…. if anyone has some suggestions I would love to try!

  24. Looking at this site make my tummy rumble, I love puto bumbong so much, I will do anything just to taste one of this.
    christmas here in Australia is not complete with out one of does filipino dessert. I try to make one but its not good as you buy from ours. filo dessert are the bomb man I recommend to intoduce this to the world hehehehe. have a filo christmas everyone….

  25. Wow! Miss ko na Filipino delicacies. Wala kc rito sa Germany, natural!When I saw the photos of puto bumbong,bibingka,puto,cuchinta,&yung färbige kleb, ano na nga tawag,yung may red,violet,diff.colors na malagkit?Masarap nga iyon sa Malabon (my Dad’s Heimat).It’s not easy to cook them here because we don’t have complete ingredients.Yung puto&the like,pwede.I’m cooking mostly German food now.Nakaka-miss ang Pinas!
    I’ll cook tomorrow for Silvester(New Year’S Eve) palabok&puto.Philippine cuisine muna ako tomorrow he he.

  26. can i request for the procedure of cooking of puto bumbong, history of it and where does it generates. hope for your reply
    thank you and godbless

  27. fatrick and malandi, i have never made it but it is mixture of ground rice, sugar, and perhaps ube as color and flavoring then cooked steamed in a specialized contraption with margarine or butter… Mylene, sapin-sapin yung iniisip mo na may maraming kulay… Rico, I will eat an extra puto bumbong for you…

  28. If you want puto-bungbong or bibingka in the U.S.A., the place i know is in “Manila Sunset Restuarant” in Sunset Blvd. which is in Los Angeles, California. You can buy it from them frozen or hot. My kumpare always bring a lot to Seattle everytime he visit.

  29. I heard that Dolor’s has a store in West Covina, CA. Would you guys know exactly where it’s at? Their sapin-sapin is the best!

  30. I love all the Pilipino delicacies posted here. Nakakahomesick upon reading this post. My favorite is sapin sapin. I remember when we have to go to church and after the mass we used to buy sapin sapin in Mangaldan Market. Everytime I go home (annualy) I enjoyed walking round the market and order this delicacy. There is no better place than own country…Mabuhay ang mga Pilipino ….

  31. the first time i saw this site is wow!!! kkahomesick!!! even my sister were stuned at this pictures ksi maski meron ganyan delicassies dito sa states eh iba padin tlga yun gawang pilipino =) can you please send me a copy of this recipes like puto the small ones, cunchinta and some other pilipino delicassies because i tried some recipes and it didn’t turned out right just the way the it taste in our country. i really miss this foods. tnx!!!!

  32. Cecile, I do have recipes for cassava cake in the archives, I haven’t made puto bumbong myself and coming up in the weeks ahead will be palitao and pichi-pichi and maybe suman…

  33. Ngayon palang iM looking for a recipe about puto bumbong and other christmas recipe kaya napasilip ako sa website na ito.

  34. I miss all pilipino food i haven been home for 16 years I need to get all the good receipe for pilipino food.

  35. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    pagkalame ani oi…wala lang ko kaa_on
    untag makatilaw ko ani nga mga pagkaona.

  36. please send me ingredients of puto and puto cuchinta and sapin sapin i miss all this pilipino food so please . . .please send me the ingredients specially puot puti thanks………….

  37. I like puto bumbong better than bibingka. Thanks to Via Mare, I can buy puto bumbong even if its not yet the Xmas season :P

    for sapin-sapin, the best yung Dolor’s! 2 thumbs up! :D

  38. Wow! just looking at the pics makes my mouth water! can you send me recipes for the puto and sapin sapin? Thanks ever!

  39. i would really appreciate it if you could please send me the bibingka and the putong puti recipe….ive been looking for the authentic recipe but all in vain i failed ur my only hope…thanks and advance merry christmas..ps i badly need the recipe for noche buena and media noche..hehehe

  40. I just asked my cousin 2 weeks ago what to buy in Imus and he also told me that cuchinta in Toklong and the empanadas in the same place also. So you can be hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. ( Booey or Cathy, do you have the contact number of the person selling the cuchinta or the directions going to the place, which is nearer, from the Imus market or from Binakayan side? Thanks )

    The Samala ‘s Sapin-sapin and kalamay are also famous among Cavitenos and my auntie used to bring it as pasalubong in the US. The problem is that it is just abit heavy.

    I have also tried eating the sapin2 and kalamay from Ligas, Bacoor, Cavite and they are also good.

  41. If there are recipes on this, can you spare me some. i like it so much.



Subscribe To Updates

No spam, only notifications about new blog posts.