25 May 2011
Traveling north from Manila up to the northernmost tip of Ilocandia (back and forth) one will not miss to see tupig hawkers. A native delicacy made of glutinous rice, brown sugar and grated coconuts wrapped in wilted banana leaves and cooked over live coals, tupig making has become one of the sources of livelihood in the northern provinces such as Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union, the Ilocos and Cagayan.
After we successfully completed the conduct of a health caravan for the indigents of four municipalities of Pangasinan, we traveled back to Manila. Our bus driver, Mang Domeng, led us to his favorite tupig maker along the national highway just before entering Tarlac. We stopped by and saw how all the ingredients were manually mixed in a pot before a few spoonfuls were transferred, rolled and then flattened in banana leaves before putting over live coals. Such an interesting spectacle of the process of producing a simple yet very tasty culinary delight. We bought a few dozens freshly cooked and wrapped in old newspapers.