My beloved maternal grandmother, Engracia (RIP) was well-known to be the carinderia-owner beside the church patio in Poblacion. In this carienderia, she served goto (beef-tripe noodle), puto-bibingka(rice cakes) and halo-halo (a sweet concoction of shaved ice and fruits). My Lola Gracia (as we fondly called her) was not just the owner but she was also the cook, server, dishwasher, maintenance and whatever else was needed to keep the carinderia running smoothly. Talking about multi-tasking, huh!
But, hey, the job didn’t even start there. The preparation was way ahead before the carinderia opens at 6am. She had to go to the market for ingredients, place order for ice and sodas, cook ingredients for halo-halo and make galapong (rice paste). Does anyone still remember how they used to make this? After soaking rice in water overnight, it is grinded in a gilingang bato.
Oh, boy… I’m glad there’s Seafood City and Island Pacific to buy ready-made ingredients to make bibingka. Or if you’re still too lazy to do that, just go to Goldilocks for cooked bibingkas. But still… nothing really compares to a hot bibingka made from scratch.