Mandaue City, Philippines - After about a century, the famous bibingka of Mandaue City still stand out as the delicacy that residents can truly call their own.
The rice pastry started in the late 1800s during the Spanish colonial era where the Mayol Family was asked to cook the bibingka for those who went to the annual plaza carnival, said Cristina Mayol-Cortes, 58, one of the nine siblings who were known for cooking the bibingka in Mandaue City.
Cristina now runs the business after her brother Zosimo passed away last year. She said it was her brother who continued the legacy brought by their ancestors.
She said their bibingka recipe was handed down from their great grandfather Pablo to his son Maximo, who also passed the recipe to his son Lorenzo, the father of the late Zosimo and Cristina.
Now it?s Cristina?s turn to continue the legacy of their great grandfather. She said the family has hardly been able to meet the orders of clients especially retailers in other cities across the country.
She said the bibingka her family makes is recognized by the Department of Tourism and was promoted internationally by the government agency.
Cristina gets help from Zosimo?s son, Lorenzo, 16. Lorenzo, who is named after his grandfather, is a fifth generation of the Mayol clan.
The young Lorenzo showed his expertise in making bibingka at the booth set up at the Mandaue City Plaza for the last week's Translacion. He said that he was proud of the legacy that his father had left him. He was the one who personally baked the bibingka ordered by several customers at the stall.
?Okay lang, malipayon kaayo (It's okay. I'm happy),? was how Lorenzo described his becoming an expert in baking bibingka. He also said that he was also proud that his father had taught him the recipe.
Lorenzo won first prize every time his school holds a bibingka cooking contest in time for the Charter day celebrations of Mandaue. On Friday, he was cooking at the City Plaza.
The classic way of making bibingka, said Cristina, has been kept a secret by the family. She said no cooking student could learn it overnight.
Instead of ground rice, the Mayol family used manually pounded rice or ?linubok.? Sometimes, the family uses tuba or coconut wine in place of yeast that increases the size of the rice cake.
Now, the Mayols produce at least five varieties or toppings for their bibingka.
These include Bibingka with Buko, Bibingka Kabog, Bibingka Tinungay, and Bibingka with Cheese.
Cristina also said that the family experimented with bibingka with humba, but added that they have not tried selling it but only offered it for personal consumption in the family.
The basic ingredients for the original rice cake of Mandaue are pounded rice, coconut milk, white or brown sugar and yeast or tuba. The taste, however, varies from one maker to another, depending on how they measure and mix the ingredients.
The Mayols make and sell their bibingka in their home in barangay Cambaro, Mandaue City.