Category Archives: Things (Bagay)

Pondo ng Pinoy

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This photo is taken at Arzobispado de Manila – the home of the Archbishop of Manila located at Calle Arzobispo, Intramuros, Manila.  The subject of the photo is the statue representing the “Pondo ng Pinoy” program.

“Anumang magaling kahit maliit, basta’t malimit ay patungong langit”

by: the Archbishop of Manila, Most Rev. Gaudencio B. Rosales

Small ordinary acts, not necessarily extraordinary feats – or a few centavos, not necessarily huge amounts of money – can accomplish great things if done or given by many, frequently and consistently, and pooled together for a common vision. This, essentially, is the idea behind the concept of Pondo ng Pinoy.


Read more about Pondo ng Pinoy here.




Bayong is a “a coarse sack of woven strips of pandanus or palm leaves used especially. in the Philippines”.  The traditional bayong is woven from “buri” leaves in the Visayas and “pandan” in Luzon.

Bayong is being used as a shopping bag back in the old days before plastic bags and the so called eco-bags took over the scene.  Today there are very few users of bayong for shopping purposes.  If there are some, they are are mostly old people who are going to the wet market.  Good thing that environmentalists and the bayong makers are campaigning for people to use the traditional bayong.

The photo of bayong above is a sample of the traditional (simplest) kind of Bayong.  I got this from a from a running event with a Spanish era concept.  They used bayong as a loot bag instead of the ordinary common bags.  It is totally something different from the loot bags from the other running events which usually are made from common bag materials.

Bayong makers are now injecting some modern design twist in the Bayong look like these ones in the photos below.  These kind of Bayongs are mostly being exported, used as a fashionable accent or displays in exhibits.  100_7758


Puto Bumbong


Puto bumbong derives from the words “puto” (steamed glutinous rice) and “bumbong” (bamboo canon or cylinder).

Puto Bumbong like Bibingka is a traditional Christmas food usually being sold outside of churches during the Christmas season after Simbang Gabi. (Misa de Gallo / Dawn Mass) and Pinoys  habitually eat these two rice cakes together.

Puto Bumbong looks quite unique than the other Philippine Rice cakes because of its purple color and its thin long shape.  The shape is the result from the process of cooking it from the bamboo tube where it is named after, while the color comes from the violet rice called “pirurutong”.  It is served with margarine, sugar and grated coconut and like bibingka, it is served hot.


The lansungan or a specially made steamer is constructed with two protruding tubes on a kettle like shaped steamer. The tubes are for holding the bamboo tubes filled with the puto bumbong mixture in order for the steam to pass through


It takes only seconds for the puto bumbong to cook and the speed at which it is done is almost as fascinating as the taste.

Here’s one “How to Make Puto Bumbong” that I got from a Filipino Recipe page from the web.


  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 2 tsp purple food color (ube)
  • 2 cups water
  • panutsa (sugar cane sweet) or mascuvado (raw sugar)


  • knife
  • muslin cloth
  • sifter or strainer
  • 2 pcs bamboo tube (bumbong)
  • steamer for making puto
Puto Bumbong Cooking Instructions:
  • Soak glutinous rice in water overnight.

  • Grind the soaked rice.

  • Mix food color while the glutinous rice is being ground.

  • Wrap the ground glutinous rice on a piece of muslin cloth and place it in a strainer to drain excess liquid. Another technique in draining excess liquid is by pressing a heavy object that has been placed over the muslin cloth.

  • Once the ground rice has slightly dried, rub it against the screen of a strainer to produce coarse grained rice flour.

  • The rice flour for making puto bumbong is now ready to cook.

  • Fill each bamboo tube (bumbong) with just enough glutinous rice and put them into the steamer. See to it that the steamer contains boiling water.

  • Steam rice flour in the bamboo tubes for 10 minutes.

  • Once cooked, shake out the contents of each bamboo tube or remove the cooked glutinous rice from the bumbong with the help of a knife.

  • Spread butter on the puto bumbong and place a small piece of panutsa (sugar cane sweets) or 1 tbsp. of mascuvado (raw Sugar)

  • Add a small amount of grated coconut before serving.

Charcoal Stove for Cooking Bibingka


This is the “charcoal stove” being used to cook the “Bibingka” or the Filipino Traditional Christmas Rice Cake.  They are are handmade from either clay or cement.

The preparation of Bibingka is very time consuming.

  • A specially made clay pan is lined with banana leaf then placed on top of this kind of stove with pre-heated charcoals.
  • When the clay pan is a bit heated, the Bibingka mixture will be poured into it, then another piece of banana leaf will be placed on top of the mixture to cover it.
  • Another “pan” of pre-heated coal is placed on top of the clay pan of bibingka mixture. The “pan” of coal is usually made from scraps of galvanized iron.
  • The heat from the burning coals should be balanced and just enough to “bake” the bibingka gradually to the desired sponge-like texture. A slightly charred Bibingka is acceptable and is sometimes preferred by buyers.

This charcoal stove is very popular back in the days when the LPG gas stove is not yet available.  People prefer to cook food using charcoal instead of firewood because it does not produce smoke as much as the burning firewood.  Smoke from firewood sometimes affect the food taste and also cause coal stains on the pots.  In spite of the popularity of the LPG gas stove, most household still have this charcoal stove especially in the province, because it can be used anytime that you run out of LPG.  It is also being used for broiling.

Parol (The Filipino Christmas Lantern)

This photo is taken from the grounds of an orphanage for gravely sick children. The group of miniature set of Parol hanging in this tree is one among the most ordinary kind of Parol.100_8429

This is taken from a churchyard wherein the Parol is planted in the soil through a stick instead of hanging it.  The Parol in this photo is a bit modern.  It has a built-in bulb that illuminates the star-shaped figure.


Christmas in the Philippines would not be complete without the traditional Filipino Lantern or “Parol”.  “Parol” for Filipinos symbolizes the star that guided the Three Wise Men in search of Baby Jesus.

In the early days, Parol is traditionally made together by family members (not bought).  It is usually made from a thin bamboo frames created into star shape, then covered with Japanese Paper or “Papel de Japon”.  Two tails is also added that symbolizes the rays of the star.  Sometimes the Parol is being made from recycled materials such as foils from cigarette packs or chocolate wrappers, used plastic materials, soft drinks straws, disposable plastic cups and the likes.  They are also made in different shapes but the star-shaped Parol has always been the popular one. .

In the modern times Parol making has evolved and there are different materials being used.  A ready-made Parol became a common merchandise during the Christmas season, thus Filipinos just buy them instead of making them at home.  You can find all kinds of Parol anywhere made from low cost materials to the more expensive ones like Capiz.  Parol that are made from Capiz are usually being exported and the Philippines is well known for this.

During Christmas season in the Philippines, different kinds and sizes of multi-colored Parol can be seen everywhere.  From ordinary household, to business establishments, malls, buildings and even in passenger jeeps.  You can find streets and avenues ornate with a long stretch of Parol.

Truly, Parol represents the Filipinos passion for the Christmas tradition.  It has been the most recognizable Christmas decoration for Filipinos.  My brother who lives in Canada once told me that, when you see that there’s a hanging Parol in a house in Canada, there is no doubt that a Filipino is living in that house.

25 Centavo Coin



This photo is taken on December 1, 2011 in front of the Quirino Grandstand, Manila Philippines during the second day of the event titled “Barya ng mga Bayani : The Power of Small Change” An event organized by The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Officers’ Club and Employees Association and the Kabayanihan Foundation.  Filipinos from all walks of life donated 25 centavo coins and volunteered to string the coins by themselves.  It is also known as the Philippine’s World Record Breaking Attempt for the Longest Line of Coins.   

The stringed 25 centavo coin is photographed here drenched in rain water because it rained the night before. The volunteers came in the early morning of the second day of the event to fix the rain-damaged parts and to continue with the chain. By the end of the day, the Philippines believes it has broken the Guinness World Record for having laid out the longest line of coins in the same denomination, when it completed a 73.02-kilometer line of 25-centavo coins.  It is still awaiting the nod from the Guinness World Record.

Here’s a trivia on the development of the 25 centavo coin


Diameter 23.5
Composition Nickel Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse Lady Liberty Striking an anvil with a hammer and Mt. Mayon, year of Minting
Reverse Bank title and coat or arms
Issue Date 1958
Withdrawal Date 1967


Diameter 21.0mm
Composition Nickel Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse Juan Luna
Reverse State title, coat of arms, year of minting
First Minting 1967
Withdrawal Date 1974


Diameter 21.0mm
Composition Nickel Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse State Title, Juan Luna, value
Reverse “ANG BAGONG LIPUNAN” BSP logo, year of minting           
First Minting 1975
Withdrawal Date 1983


Diameter 21.0
Composition Brass
Edge Reeded
Obverse State title, Juan Luna, year of minting
Reverse Value, Graphium idaeoides   
First Minting 1983
Withdrawal Date 1990


Diameter 16.0mm
Composition Brass
Edge Plain
Obverse State title, Juan Luna, year of minting
Reverse Value, Graphium idaeoides   
First Minting 1991
Withdrawal Date 1994


Diameter 20.0mm
Weight/Composition/First Minted Yr. 3.8 g / Brass / 1995
Weight/Composition/First Minted Yr. 3.6 g / Brass plated steel /2004
Edge Plain
Obverse “Republika ng Pilipinas”, value, year of minting
Reverse Logo of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas   

Belen (Nativity Scene) at the Home of Joy


This photo was taken at the grounds of the Missionaries of Charity Home of Joy for the Sick Children.  The simplicity of the nativity scene and all the other plain decorations surrounding the place reflects the purpose of what this place is for.  Here are some details about the Home of Joy.

    • The Missionaries of Charity is the order of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, located at 1030 Tayuman Street, Tondo, Manila, telephone number (+632) 255-0832 and contact person is Sister Anselm.

    • It is an orphanage for gravely sick children, those with Down’s syndrome, hydrocephalous, and the likes.

    • They also take care of sick but not abandoned children from vey poor families who bring their sick children to the nuns so the nuns can take care of them and provide them food and medicines.

    • They need donations for their mission.

Taking of photos of the sick children and their ward facility is strictly prohibited but it is allowed around the grounds only.  My husband took this photo during the simple Christmas program of the lost and abandoned old people who are housed just across the street from the Home of Joy.  It was the first time we visited the Home of Joy.

Coin Bank from Dried Coconut Fruit

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These coin banks are made from coconut fruit usually from the rejected class or the ones that are fallen down from the tree.  They are naturally dried and hand curved into different (usually fun looking) figures.  The lot in this photo is patterned with the different faces of monkeys.  The coconut husk is designed as the hair and the coconut shell is the actual coin bank.  I took this photo from a souvenir shop in a house museum in Cavite City, Philippines  where they are being sold at PhP 30.00 – PhP50.00 per piece (US$0.71 – US$1.19). The white pieces of paper on top of the head of the figures are hand written price tags.  They can also be found from other souvenir shops in Manila but the price is more expensive.