Rice cakes aplenty in Mandaue’s Bibingka Fest

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Friday, August 29, 2014

SELECTED high school students in Mandaue City showed their cooking skills during yesterday’s Bibingkahan and Masareal Festival.

Participants made bibingka or rice cake and masareal (ground peanuts mixed with sugar) in a contest at the Parkmall and offered these to guests and judges.

City Tourism Officer Louella Cabañero said the festival, an annual activity in Mandaue, aims to promote and preserve the city’s delicacies.


Mandaue is known for bibingka, masareal and tagaktak (a crispy delicacy made of ground sticky rice mixed with coconut milk and sugar).

Although other parts of the country have their own bibingka, Cabañero said Mandaue’s bibingka is more popular.

“Our bibingka evolves. Before we have plain bibingka, but now we have bibingka with buko and other special bibingka,” she said.

Yesterday, students cooked three varieties of bibingka: bibingka with egg, bibingka with buko or coconut, and bibingka kabog. (Kabog is a variety of sticky rice).

Culinary students of the Don Gerardo LL Ouano National High School won in bibingka kabog category, while students of the Cabancalan Night High School won in bibingka with buko category. Studenta of Paknaan National High School won in the bibingka with egg category, while students of Casili Night High School won in masareal-making.

The City Tourism Office held the activity in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) Mandaue City Division and Parkmall, as part of the City’s 45th Charter Day celebration.

Apart from being part of the city’s heritage, Cabañero said the delicacies have helped many residents of Mandaue earn a living.

“Our bibingka and masareal makers have paid for their children’s college education by making and selling the delicacies,” she said.

She added that many businesses selling the city’s delicacies are flourishing, with a few masareal makers already exporting their products to other countries.

With the original makers of the city’s delicacies already old, Cabañero said the knowledge should be passed on to the younger generation.

Schools, she said, play a big role in ensuring that the tradition of making delicacies continues in Mandaue.

To help local delicacy makers promote and market their products, the City established the Garbo sa Mandaue Pasalubong Center in 2012.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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