Monday, October 03, 2005

Sisters act

Night trip back again to Manila and I was sleepwalking to The Sisters outlet when our bus made a stopover at Bantay, Ilocos Sur for the quintessential Ilocano pasalubong, Royal Bibingka. The Sisters, if there is ever a provincial equivalent, is Ilocos' Superbrand, alongside Vigan-based Mom's. Don't mistake it for a religious order though, like I did a few years back. They once offered Royal Bibingka as one big pie which made for a herculean feat just to slice through its gooey diameters. Unlike the bibingka we Tagalog imperialists came to know, Royal Bibingka is made of bellaay, a glutinous rice powder sourced farther north in Cagayan and Abra. A box of 16 small cakes (they look like Portuguese doces) cost 90 pesos. I had to restrain my low EQ from opening the warm boxes on my lap. Its cheesy aroma pierced through the stale air and tamed the harsh, tobacco landscape we have passed for hours. The rice cake is so sticky, you could use it to hold the universe together. Enough of the histrionics. I ate four.


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