Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour (Part4)

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 Bulakan and Guiguinto , Bulacan province-Philippines

 

Enriquez Ancestral House

This is the last ancestral house that the group had visited and it is getting dark . Our driver is getting moody .

lobby of the main house with Katipunan flags and props used in the theater play

Mr.Vicente “Bong ” S. Enriquez -one of the descendants of the clan – welcomed the group to their ancestral house. He is also a well -known director , entrepreneur, author, writer and artist.

Mr. Jeremy Lord Dancil of VSE Production

We were treated to an early evening cultural presentation by members of local arts guild. They are continuously teaching young artists of the town the art of Balagtasan and Pagpuputong .

bouquet of flowers and crown

Pagpuputong or Coronasyon is tradition in several towns of Bulacan , where poetry , theater art are combined. They pay homage to a beautiful maiden or important person . It is presented in such way that crown or bouquet of flowers that are in bloom are given . It is like a coronation night for beauty pageant.

 Ms. Rheeza Santiago- Hernandez

Ms Rheeza S. Hernandez or Reeza is one of the torch bearers of the famed culinary icon Mrs. Milagros S. Enriquez – She recalled that her aunt would always like to teach those interested in traditional cuisines and pastries of Bulacan , along with some nephews and grandchildren . Unlike other traditional and  family heirloom cuisines which died out . Almost all of their heirloom cuisines and those cuisines that are favorites by our national heroes were preserve by their Tita Mila.

They are carefully pass thru their culinary books, demonstrations and actively being taught to those people who are interested .

Ms. Rheeza S.Hernandez together with Ms. Samantha Enriquez ( grand daughter ) of Mrs. Milagros Enriquez

Ms. Rheeza Hernandez gave the group a demonstration sample of 2 important heirloom desserts . Gurgurya ( Bulakan style ) ,  In Malolos -they spelled it Gorgoria or Gorgorya while in other parts they called them Golloria . These are often snail-shaped and firm pieces of dough that is also deep fried and coated with sugar syrup or just dredged in sugar flavored with kalumata leaves extract.

The said dessert in one of the favorite foods of the revolutionary forces, katipuneros and even Dr. Jose P. Rizal.  Gurgurya can last up to a month without refrigeration.

According to Ms. Rheeza , Ms. Samantha and Mr. Vicente ” Bong ” Enriquez,  There are several different varieties of the famed desserts just like Adobo, The only difference is that there are some ingredients that are substituted maybe due to availability  or preference.

She also noted the spelling differences from place to place.

Gurgurya – Bulakan ( Enriquez version )

The recipe that they demonstrated is ideal for senior citizens , because it is not too sweet unlike the other varieties. Mr. Vicente Enriquez also told us that her mother thru her love and passion for traditional Bulacan cuisines have interviewed and done some research on traditional cuisines usually from old-folks from the province. However , there are still a lot of heirloom cuisines that were not shared by some.

Here are the Ingredients :

  • 2 cups flour / all purpose flour
  • 1 cup margarine ( ordinary margarine being sold in wet market )
  • 4 tsps milk
  • 1 egg,  beaten
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsps water
  • grated dayap rind (native lemon)
  •  8 to 10 leaves of Kalumata leaves (  flavoring )
  • 1 to 2 cup cooking oil ( vegetable oil )

Substitutions:  One may add vanilla extract , cinnamon powder or chocolate powder , depending on their preference.

Kalumata leaves which is not common in Metro Manila and urban areas.

Procedure :

1.)Mix all ingredients together except sugar, water , kalumata leaves and dayap. Mix evenly. Mold dough and cut into small pieces.

2.) Press each dough into a fork and roll to form a shell shape.

3.) on a separate deep pan , try to put 1 to 2 cup of vegetable oil then try to deep fry the gurgurya dough until golden-red. Set aside.

4.) Boil sugar and water until thick. Add in grated dayap rind .

5.) On a separate pot , Try to put 1 to 1/2 cup of water to a boiling point then upon boiling try to add 8 to 10 pieces Kalumata leaves to get the extract . Boil for few minutes until the water turned into greenish yellow.

6.) mix the  until fully coated.

 

finished Gurgurya

Note: Some of the participants have recorded the entire cooking demonstration and uploaded some videos in You Tube .

Nilasing na Mangga ( Fermented  Mangoes ) were popular among the revolutionary forces. They are fermented using cerveza (San Miguel beer – The company was founded in 1890) . According to Ms. Rheeza – They were an accidental discovery by the women of Bulacan.

Story:

When the Spaniards are chasing the revolutionary guerrillas from the towns. The women had to cover their traces by hiding all the foods and provisions.

Instead of throwing away the cerveza ( beers) what the women did was to pour them in  earthenware jars together with rock salt , sugar and mangoes . They hid the earthenware jars by covering them with banana leaves and buried them .

After 2 or 3 days when the revolutionary forces came back and tried to ask for the cervezas or beer . The women pointed to the earthenware jars with mangoes . The fermentation process made the mangoes delicious .

In elementary , One of our home-economic teacher ( who hails from Bulacan )  taught us on how to preserve foods and preserved mangoes  using almost the same technique minus the beer.

Ingredients :

1 kilo ( carabao variety  green ) but there are other varieties that can be used like piko and baklang mannga ( intermediate variety )

1/4 cup of rock salt ( they call it bastos )  1/2 cup of white sugar ( taste can vary ) for more sweetness (1 cup)

1 bottle San Miguel 375ml beer pale pilsen  for every kilo of mangoes

Procedure :

1.) Try to sliced the green mangoes into smaller size

2.) Mixed the ingredients in a bowl

3.) Put the ingredients inside the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days .

San Miguel Corporation : http://www.sanmiguelbrewery.com.ph/

Kalumata or Kalomata Tree

The leaves of this tree is very important in the flavoring of Gorgorya / Gurgurya / Golloria /  . It took a while before some local horticulturists, botanist before they were able to properly gave its scientific name.

Local horticulturists and botanists at first could not properly identify this tree species because of its similarities between  Curry Tree or Anise but since the tree is not easily propagated and will require moist soil conditions . The viability of its seeds is quite short.

It was narrowed down to just  Causena anismum -olens  or related species. But we are still not sure until properly examined. This was identified by my friend Ms. Regielene Soriano – Gonzales because we cannot rely on website alone.

It is called in a lot of local names mostly from the Tagalog and Kapampangan speaking areas.

Common Names: Kayumanis , Kalumata , Kalomata , Kamañgianis , Maisipaisi

Stuart Exchange : http://www.stuartxchange.com/Kayumanis.html

Sukang Bulacan -Pamana ni Ka Mila

There is a room at the ground floor where  vinegar is fermented and converted into a small selling area . The town is known for- Sukang Bulacan made from fermented nipa palm sap said to be of the highest quality and is organic .  The fermentation process is said to have been an heirloom family recipe from Mrs. Milagros S. Enriquez hence on the label – Pamana ni Ka Mila

Several participants again went on a buying spree for this unique organically fermented vinegar made from the sap of nipa palms. A 700ml bottle of the famed vinegar cost around Php 70 to Php 80 pesos ! It is quite Cheap considering the amount of time and quality of the ingredients that were used.

I bought 2 bottles 700ml of nipa palm vinegar  and some of their homemade products

For those interested in buying this products along with the Gurgurya and other pastries that the foundation sells. Due to the high demand and limited quantity of production . It is wise to pre-order in advance specially for bulk orders.

Address: Pamana ni Ka Mila Products -Molina Street , Barangay San Jose , Bulakan- Bulacan province.

Contact Information : 0922-4410520 / 0918-9031230

Nina Enriquez 0922 441 0520

The group was given another round of tour within the ancestral house and a sampling of the desserts and pan de bonete ( specialty of the town) Unfortunately , I did not took photos of the upper floors since my camera is getting low battery .

Pan de Bonete, Pambonete , Bonete

Pan de Bonete , Pambonete, Bonete – This is one of the specialties of the town . The pan de bonete looks different from what we are used to eat in Metro Manila.  But this is quite popular in the towns of Bulakan , Lolomboy , Bocaue, Pateros, Pasig ,  Paete in Laguna .

Bonete -They are call as such since bonete bread is tall shaped buns or shaped of baby’s  bonette .

Pambonete / Pan de Bonete was derived from the Spanish phrase “pan bonete”, “pan” which means bread and “bonete” which means cap.

Everyone is very full and some of the participants dubbed the tour ” Busog Liglig sa Sarap” .

It is past 7:00pm and We still have 2 more places to go. We decided to shoved-off the Guiguinto Plant Center tour since it is already dark by the time we left the Enriquez Ancestral House. It took us another 20 minutes to reach the next stop.

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Euro Bakery is another food institution of Bulacan. They are known for their different pastries like Inipit , Ensaymada and Rolls. The bakery’s tagline ” Old Fashioned Ensyamada of Malolos ” means that their ensaymada’s  are the ones that our grandparents and parents  enjoyed. Meaning that they have not changed the ingredients and style of baking  these ensaymadas.

The group were greeted by the proprietor of the bakery Ms. Bessy Ramos. Their most famous specialties are the inipit and ensaymadas.

Ms. Bessy Ramos together with Ms. Patricia Karol-Ong one of the participants of the culinary tour.

Inipit de Leche ( Pressed ) chiffon cake with sweet custard fillings in between then fold-up it up  . They are cut into small bite-size cubes then packed them in a box – Each box cost Php 250 while there is a much cheaper alternative , the excess ( tabas) is also being sold at a slightly cheaper price.

The custard used in the filling consists of  condense milk , sugar and butter.

inipit making demonstration
What makes it a little bit more interesting is that we met one of the proprietors of the bakery . I must say that this is one of my favorite pasalubong center whenever i go to Malolos .
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traditional cookies 

The bakery also sells other popular cookies and regional pastries among them are galletas , tortillas, uraro , pepsin , pilipit, San Nicolas biscuit among others.

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 slicing them into smaller portion
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putting grated cheese on top of the ensaymada
 Ensaymadang Malolos – It is a localized brioche pastry made of soft floppy bread topped with generous butter, sugar and cheese with salted duck eggs . They come in 2 sizes .

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ensaymadas being packed in plastic wrapper 
According to Mrs. Ramos , Their ensaymada is a family traditional recipe and they are happy that locals,  balikbayans , foreigners , celebrities and politicians would always come back and patronized their bakery .
They also allowed the group to taste their famous ensaymadas and inipit.  Almost all of the participants have bought their ensaymadas, inipit and cookies .
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participants enjoyed the inipit and ensaymada demonstration
Since everyone is busy in taking photos, interviewing our gracious host , video taping and buying their pastries . Time went by so fast that it was almost past 9:00pm when left the place.
I bought 1 box on inipit, 1 pack of inipt pinagtabasan , 1 large ensaymada and 6 small ensaymadas . Some of the participants also bought some ensaymadas and gave to our driver as pasalubong.
Architect Chieo Ongteco was fetch by a companion from the bakeshop , They are going to another town.  Mr. Dennis Dy Kho together with  3 participants left for Caloocan and  Our group rode the van going to Quezon City .
Note: I would like to ” Thank” all the participants , NHCP officers and staffs-Barasoain Church, Tita Mercy Antonio ,  Bulakan Tourism offers, Mr. Joey M. Rodrigo , Mr. Joey Munsayac , Mr. and Mrs. Rosalie Villanueva Lava , Rheeza Santiago Hernandez , Mr. Vicente Enriquez , Mrs. Bessy Ramos and NHCP Marcelo H. del Pilar shrine for the accommodation extended
Euro Bakery
369 McArthur Highway, Sta. Cruz, Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan. Tel: (044) 690-2588 / (0917) 533-8250.

 Other branches in Metro Manila:

  • Glorietta 4 – Food Choices, Glorietta 4, Ayala Ave. cor. Pasay Rd, Makati Ave. & EDSA Ayala Center, Makati. Tel: 816-1651.
  • Greenbelt 1 – Ground Floor, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St. Ayala Center, Makati
  • Greenhills Shopping Center – G/F Lifestyle Center, Greenhills, San Juan. Tel: 616-0537.
Please visit the other Links:

Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour Part3

4

 

Malolos City and  Bulakan town –  Bulacan province

After the sumptuous late lunch at the Bistro Maloleño . Our group then quickly rode the van and we went to the famed eatery / bakery that is known for their empanadas and other delicacies from Malolos. There is an old tin signage sponsored by Coca-Cola company with Bulakenya’s Eatery .

People would would still remember the place as Bulakenya ‘s Printing Press . The eatery at one time also serves some home cooked meals and is also selling soft drinks.

Bulakenya’s Eatery

A tarpaulin poster posted  “Mercy’s The Original Empanada de Kaliskis since 1820.” It was a quaint store, with a sprinkling of tables. The place can probably accommodate up to 20 people .

 

 tarpaulin poster

I have some friends and relatives who always go to Malolos and the empanadas were very popular pasalubong .  Since it is quite popular and production is limited – Those yummy empanadas can quickly ran out of stock.

 

Tita Mercy Antonio , Miss Tessie Luriaga with Chef Giney Villar

We were met by Aling Tessie Luriaga (Mercy’s cousin) and Tita Mercy Antonio ( as almost everyone called her ) . They gave us a quick demonstration to us on how they fried them, one by one, in a pan half-filled with oil. To keep the crust intact, she bathed the empanada continuously with spoons of hot oil from the frying pan, until the rippled layers of pastry turned golden. Each piece took three to five minutes to fry.

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Empanada de Kaliskis ( flaky or scaly empanada)

Our group which consists of around 20 people and We pre-ordered some empanadas few days before we went to the place . Some of the participants upon tasting the newly cooked empanadas have doubled and even tripled their orders . Unfortunately , They only made a few extras and almost everyone is on a panic mode or buying spree of other delicacies . We even called the occasion PANIC Buying !

participants were busy buying pastries and empanadas

Unlike the ordinary empanadas that is common in Metro Manila and in most places . The crust was flaky. It was more like layer upon layer of thin wrappers. The fillings have shredded pieces of sweeten chicken meat , diced potatoes with a slice of egg . It was a delicious treat of varying textures; crunchy at first bite, followed by mouthfuls of soft, tasty chicken filling, then ending with more crunch.

I think the secret is the dough, ingredients , lard and deep frying them to perfection.

Tita Mercy Antonio – one of the culinary icons of Malolos

For the sake of marketing and to differentiate their empanada ,  Aling Mercy eventually decided to call it Empanada de Kaliskis (aptly named as the crust resembles fish scales or flaky). The name was suggested by a family friend – This was according to Ms. Rheeza Santiago Hernandez – niece of the the late food historian Milagros Enriquez.

Origins :

According to Tita Mercy and the people within the bakery ( probably relatives ) . It started around 1820 when sisters Agustina Domingo de Jesus (great grandmother of Tita Mercy) and Justina Domingo learned to cook and bake for the Spaniards.They were probably kitchen aide on call whenever there are special occasions . Hence this is not your ordinary type of pastry offered during that time.

The sisters were often invited to cook for the prominent families of Malolos on special occasions. Their empanadas were popularly called Empanada de Malolos.

Agustina passed the knowledge on to her daughter Trinidad de Jesus Antonio (Mercy’s grandmother) , who later gave up sewing to sell empanadas.

They made Trinidad promise to hand the recipe down to members of their family who would be interested in carrying on the tradition. They also gave instructions that, should no one be interested, the recipe should end with the last person in the family who has it.

Eventually, the recipe were handed down to Mrs. Lucila Antonio (Mercy’s aunt), who taught Mercy how to make it at a very young age. Tita Mercy recalled helping her aunt at age seven.

 Tita Mercy Antonio with the author

She and cousin Tessie Luriaga are now the keepers of the family’s secret recipe. But Aling Mercy hopes to pass it on to her sister Connie Antonio Cervantes, as she is the one with children.

Now at 92 years-old , She is still actively cooking the empanadas and other pastries that their family is known for.
According to the old time residents of the place, There are still a lot of heirloom family recipes that were lost in time due to many factors. Some families refuse to pass them to other members of the family or clan . Others were lost as time passes, replaced with modern way of recipe which is faster to prepare and to make.

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some of the participants took a photo opportunity beside one of the culinary icons of Malolos

Famous People :
Philippine Presidents that have eaten their empanadas included  Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, Carlos P. Garcia, Elpidio Quirino, Ferdinand E. Marcos and Joseph Estrada.
This is aside from the prominent families , celebrities like Mikael Daez  , Chef Giney Villar , balikabayans and even foreigners .

Gorgoria biscuits and Biscocho de Sebo – Malolos variety
They also have other specialties which includes Gorgoria and Biscocho de Sebo (also called Kurbata) because it is shaped like a necktie or bow tie  . The difference of Malolos gorgoria is the spelling , size, flavor and how it is cooked compared to the one in the town of Bulakan which is spelled Gurgurya .
I bought 1 box of the empanada , gorgoria and biscocho de sebo as pasalubong.

Mercy’s Original Empanada de Kaliskis

Address: M. Tengco Street Santo Rosario, Malolos City

Operational Hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm 

Tel. 0916-4364835 Ms. Tessie

 After the endless photo opportunities and chitchat with the culinary icons of the place , We finally bid farewell and give them warm hugs and kisses from our group. It is time to go to another town – Bulakan, the former capital of the province and is also known for their great foods, ancestral houses and birthplace of another Philippine hero- Marcelo H. del Pilar .It took us about 30 minutes to reach the shrine.
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 Marcelo H. del Pilar  10-foot statue is made of cement and bronze which highlighted his life . It is flanked by two bas -relief panels that show his life story. Apolinario Bulaong created the statue and the panels.
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Mr. Joey Meneses Rodrigo
Mr. Joey Meneses Rodrigo – We were accompanied by one of the local tourism officers of the town . Sir Joey is related to 2 important families of the town – Meneses and Rodrigo . He is related to the current mayor – Hon. Patrick Neil F. Meneses and former senator and statesman Francisco ” Soc” Rodrigo.
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Marcelo H. del Pilar monument and tomb
We were greeted by the curator of the shrine and the group took some time to roam around the place. They are making the shrine more interactive .  The shrine and monument is located at Sito Cupang , Barangay San Nicolas , Bulakan . 
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group photo
The shrine and monument stands on a 4,270 square meter lot with an imposing 10 feet tall statue erected in his memory .  The statue of Marcelo H. del Pilar serves as the final resting place of the Philippine hero. Del Pilar’s remains were returned to the Philippines from Spain in 1920 and were interred in Manila North Cemetery for 64 years. In 1984, his remains were transferred to the Marcelo H. del Pilar National Shrine.
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The two-storey house was constructed  in time for the 1998 centenary of Philippine independence from Spain.
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Museo Del Pilar marker
 The museum -library through the assistance of the Bulakan Municipal Government and President Fidel Valdez -Ramos -presidential social funds  constructed and inaugurated on Aug. 30, 1998 for the hero’s 148th birth anniversary. The original house was destroyed several years ago .
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Marcelo H. Del Pilar family line
Beside the house there is a family mausoleum. Our group pay homage by silently passing the mausoleum and took time to light some white candles.
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the family mausoleum also contained the remains of the relatives and nearest kin
Note : The shrine collects no fees and is open to public from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  For large tour group, a pre-arranged booking is required .
Origin of Bulakan town:
The town of Bulakan is about 18 kilometers away from the present capital Malolos. The town used to be the former capital of the province .To avoid confusion on the name the New Provincial Administrative Code of Bulacan (Ordinance no. C-004) of 2007 states on Chapter 2, Section 15 that the word “Bulakan” stands for the municipality and first capital of the province while “Bulacan” refers to the province itself.
The town of Bulakan, being the first capital of the province, gave the name to the province as customary to the other provinces of the early Philippines (like Cavite, Cavite; Tayabas, Tayabas (now Quezon) or Batangas, Batangas). It was the hub of economic activities and the inhabitants enjoyed excellent trade with Manila, primarily due to its proximity to the city and accessibility through its wide and navigable river.
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Bulakan Church / Our Lady of the Assumption Church or more popularly known as Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Parish Church
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intricately carved door
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historical marker
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interior of the church
Compared to the 2 other churches that we have visited , the interior of this church is much simple and with less ornamentation. There is also a small parochial museum beside the church entrance .
There was an ongoing wedding so our group just quietly took photos of the notable art pieces and church arts.
Bulakan  Cemetery or Campo Santo de Bulakan
We wanted to have a different kind of tour so we decided to visit the old cemetery and pay homage to the famous people and clans that shaped the town. What a nice way to see the different architectural styles and tombs.
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stone arch which leads to the older parts of the cemetery
The cemetery is smaller compared to other old cemeteries that are located in Metro Manila . But there is a lot of history that unraveled in this journey. This cemetery was founded during the Spanish regime and old adobe perimeter walls are still intact .
The tour was planned several months ago and thus our group had cooperated with the municipal tourism officer.

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 This is a crucifix metal statue
 ( modern style ) Tansimsim clan
We marveled at the different architectural styles of the public cemetery .  The crucifix scene looks like the works of the famed metal sculptor Eduardo Castrillo  .
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Buyson clan tomb with interesting architectural style
 Gonzales Buyson family mausoleum is one of the more imposing mausoleum at the cemetery. According to the local folks , they are some of the early pioneers and entrepreneurs of the town.
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 Ycasiano family tomb – Dr. Santiago Ycasiano y Bello ( below) , Cesar Ycasiano y Rivero (upper left ) and Francisco Ycasiano y Aguilar
What makes this family tomb interesting is a lady paying homage guarding them tomb with wreath
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Enriquez- Ramos mausoleum
The mausoleum looks like a miniature chapel in gothic style architecture with nice grill pattern.
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Rodrigo family mausoleum
The Rodrigo family mausoleum lies the remain of former Senator Franciso ” Soc ” Rodrigo and his immediate family members   .
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Senator Franciso ” SOC” Rodrigo tomb
Sir Joey Meneses Rodrigo took the initiative to explain to us some of his major legislation and his contribution to the welfare of the nation.
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Lava-Baltazar family mausoleum
Lava-Baltazar family clan members are well-known political figures of Bulakan town . One of the current sanggunian or council members is a direct descendant .
Mr. Vicente Lava ( born 1894 to July 1947)  is a communist leader before the war and  merged with Socialists in country to form the Hukbalahap movement together with Taruc brothers .
He was a Professor of the University of the Philippines. and He became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in 1938.

Lava organized  in 1940 and 1941 headed the League for the Defense of Democracy, an organization of the progressive intelligentsia. From 1942 he was a member of the political bureau and, from January 1942 to September 1944, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines. From 1946 he was a member of the executive committee of the Democratic Alliance, a bloc of democratic public organizations.

Citation : The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. 
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Enriquez Family Mausoleum
This is the family mausoleum of the famed culinary icon Milagros Santiago- Enriquez  (birth : November 21, 1923 death: June 8, 2008 ) of Malolos , Bulakan town and Bulacan province .
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she was interred on the left side second row of the family mausoleum
The group pay  homage to the culinary icon by lightning some candles and Ms. Rheeza S. Hernandez told some interesting stories about her maternal aunt.We quickly end our cemetery tour since it is getting late .
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 We saw a small group of people holding different saint images having a simple procession along the narrow streets . Some of the participants are children . Some of us candidly took some souvenir shots.
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   participants riding a pedicab
I remember that this might be a simple transfer of icon from one house to another . You can sense the religiosity of the people .
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Lava Ancestral House with interesting entrance arch
The tour group was met by the current owners of the ancestral house Honorable Rosalie Lava ( incumbent councilor ) and her husband – former municipal vice- mayor Mr. Jose B. Lava .
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Honorable Rosalie Villanueva Lava- incumbent councilor of Bulakan
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Mr. Jose Lava
He was delighted to know that there were some academe and professor that are graduate of the University of the Philippines.  They graciously toured us in their home and they even told us that there are some instances that television station would rent the house for their television series ( teleserye) .
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The couple even prepared  Filipino- style spaghetti , kutsinta and juice.
The gesture caught everyone by surprise ,Since we just ate barely 2 hours ago. According to our hosts ,  It was their custom to serve people from Metro Manila -their homemade spaghetti since it is popular and special.
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We felt the warm hospitality and affection by the couple . Our aim was just to visit the ancestral house and pay homage to the Lava clan.
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 Senator Franciso ” SOC” Rodriguez Ancestral House
The ancestral house is quite big and had a spacious garden . Unfortunately , We were not able to enter inside , since it was last minute decision to include the house in our itinerary. the group decided to take a group photo to mark the end of the Bulakan town tour.
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historical marker
Senator Francisco ” SOC” Rodrigo (January 29, 1914 – January 4, 1998)  is playwright, lawyer, broadcaster, and a Senator of the Third Congress (1955–1957), Fourth Congress (1958–1961), Fifth Congress (1962–1965), and Sixth Congress (1966–1969) of the Republic of the Philippines. He is related to Marcelo H. del Pilar and Gregorio del Pilar
 It is past 4:00pm and we still have 3 more places to visit (Enriquez Ancestral House  Euro Bakery and Guiguinto Plant Center.
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Ms. Rheeza S. Hernandez welcomed the guests
We traveled about 20 to 30minutes going to the ancestral house of the famed Enriquez family . They are respected and one of the pioneers of the place. A lot of their clan members were supporters and members of the revolutionary forces.

Please try to visit the related links for Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour Part 1 , Part 2, Part 4

Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour Part 1 : https://renz15.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/bulacan-culinary-and-heritage-tour-part-1/

Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour Part 2 :https://renz15.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/bulacan-culinary-and-heritage-tour-part-2/

Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour  Part 4: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/bulacan-culinary-and-heritage-tour-part4/

 

Website Links:

Beto E. Reyes blog: http://beto-reyes.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-enriquez-family-of-bulacan-bulacan.html

Bulacan Provincial Government  :  http://www.bulacan.gov.ph/

Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour part 2

 

Malolos City , Bulacan province -Philippines

Malolos Cathedral also known as Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion Minor Basilica

After we toured the Malolos Cityhall, Our next stop was the Malolos Cathedral which is just a few meters away from the Barasoain Church . The church a neoclassical church completed 1817  destroyed by earthquake in 1873, burned in 1899, and was rebuilt 1902-1936.   A large Statue of  Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception stands out even from afar.

Malolos Cathedral interior

Since it was also the practice of rich dioceses during the Spanish colonial regime to name the church under Immaculate Concepcion.  The church is favorite place for weddings, renewal of vows and place for pictorials. The Malolos Cathedral convent served as the presidential palace of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy, during the First Philippine Republic from September 15, 1898 to March 31, 1899.  Gen. Aguinaldo used the convent as his office.

Siar Tree ( Peltophorum pterocarpum  ) is native to tropical southeastern Asia  and northern Australia

Within its parking space stood  a living century-old tree  Freedom Tree ( Kalayaan Tree) which is a living witness to the Spanish revolution.  This is locally known as SIAR ,according to the locals living near the cathedral. This tree used to be commonly planted as ornamental shade tree within the plazas and main avenues with its bright yellow-colored flowers.

historical markers

Unfortunately, It also had its disadvantages, Since  it is a large tree – It can be uprooted when there is a strong typhoon . The century-old tree was examined by tree specialists few years ago and its health is declining due to the bad practice of leaf burning near its tree trunk and thus it was prohibited .

Filipino statues during the revolutionaries represented by Gen. Gregorio del Pilar , Gen. Isidoro Torres; Don Pablo Tecson, Fr. Mariano Sevilla, & Doña Basilia Tantoco.

We went to the ka-mestizohan district .   It was patterned after the old intramuros area where streets are narrow and some of the rich Filipinos ( Chinese , Spaniards , Mexicans mix ) settled.

Pariancillo street

We walked the historic streets of Estrella and Pariancillo .  There is the the Ejercito House which was the Department of War of the First Philippine Republic.

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On the left side of  Pariancillo St. is the Cervantes House which is the Tiongson House with its intricate windows.  ( Pariancillo street was named after the famed Parian district of Manila ) This is where Chinese immigrants and localized Filipino-Chinese settled and allowed to trade before they were moved further north of the Pasig river . The early pioneers were the merchant and mestizos from Manila.

Gobierno del Pilar de Malolos building also known as Meralco building

The group also passed by GOBIERNO del Pilar de Plaza de Malolos or called
Adriano House has been beautifully restored and today and serves as the Meralco Building.  Unlike other buildings around the area, a visit within the compound requires a written permit since this is a private building .  There is a historical marker within the grand staircase in front of the old building.

It was then the Gobierno Militar de la Plaza. Now Just across it is a structure with
sealed half-moon balconies that once served as  jail or (carcel ) .

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casa tribunal walls with ferns and weeds

CASA TRIBUNAL served as town hall of  Malolos in 1859. its now a blank
wall only 4% remains of the structure.

Alberta Uitangcoy – Santos House

This is the 1914 Paulino and Alberta Uitangcoy-Santos House in Malolos, Bulacan.
our group were extremely privileged to visit the house of the acknowledged leader of
the group, Alberta S. Uitangcoy, “iDING”(1865). It is the home of one of the notable Women of Malolos who started a signature petition for Governor General Valeriano Weyler for women in Malolos to have a school in which they can learn Spanish  in 1889.

The lower floor used be a Pharmacy store

the house was burned down and a second house was built,  This second home, completed in 1914, is what we get to visit today. Within the grounds of the house, it had an old well.

 old well

The house was restored few years ago by Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. who’s fore bearers owned the house. Now, the house serves as a venue place, lifestyle museum.

The site also serves as an office for the foundation

The Women of Malolos Foundation Incorporated  ( WOMFI )or   (Kababaihan ng Malolos) relatives and kins were direct descendants of the original Women of Malolos whom Dr. Jose Rizal wrote letter.

 

Ms. Rheeza Hernandez briefing the participants

We were served hot pandesal, coffee and home-made ham in our brief stop-over at the house. We toured the rooms and their wonderful array of old clothes , furniture sets ,kitchen sets, commemorative pins and wood works.

Jamon de Bulakenya/ Hamon de Bulakenya 

Jamon de Bulakenya / Hamon de Bulakenya – It is made from choice cuts of pork belly  ( liempo ) . The use of  pineapple juice ( 2 cups) , beer ( 1 cup ) , 1/4 cup wine , 4 tablespoon sugar , 2 tablespoon of salt , 1 tablespoon of prague powder .  They used to put salitre ( Sodium nitrate ) as preservatives but it was gradually changed.

The difference between this ham compared to the commercial ones that we have tasted , Is that it is mildly flavored and is quite tender. It might be due to the fact that pineapple juice were used for marinating the ham . (pineapple juice contains enzyme bromelian which tenderized meat ) The beer and the wine also somehow neutralized the taste of the ham. The ham is also available for sale at Bistro Maloleño.

pressed ceilings  / hammered iron ceiling  is locally called pinukpok , pukpok 

  Tin -plate ceilings were popularized during the time of Queen Victoria in England. These are mass produced from thin rolled tin-plate – sheets of tin were stamped one at a time using rope drop hammers and cast iron molds.

They were traditionally painted white to create the illusion of hand-carved or molded plaster. Built to withstand the test of time,  many colonial era homes still bear witness to the durability of these ceilings, especially in the absence of moisture damage, which lead to corrosion.

I have seen some nice tin works on the Villavicencio house in Taal , Casa Manila in Intramuros ( probably bought from demolished colonial houses from San Nicolas district in Manila) .

a more colorful and elaborate pressed ceiling at the Santos -Bautista home

The simple interiors were made from choice hardwood panels gave way to white colored steel ceiling art work known as ” pinukpok ” or ” pukpok” by hammering sheets of iron to form intricate design patterns.   It used to be imported from the United States or Europe in which the plates of iron were installed  at the the ceiling of rich aristocrat homes in the late 19th  to early 20th century .

wood mold with intricate pattern

When the rising cost of materials and technology led to local people copying the designs and technology of pressing tin , thereby reducing the cost of materials .  Hence towards the early 20th century there are more homes which were able to afford these iron ceilings.

Using hardwoods as molding material , locally trained carpenters would hammer out thin sheets of iron . They are still labor intensive to make and according to some seasoned architects and interior stylists . They cannot be bought by ordinary wage earners.

beside the present marker , now stood a modern mansion

Women of Malolos marker – an old house once stood

On the left are the ruins that mark the place where Jose Rizal’s historic letter
To the Women of Malolos was read.

Bautista-Santos House

The Bautista-Santos House is ornately sculpted with neo-classical touches is also known as the Secretaria de Fomento.

gazebo

It had a large garden with makopa trees , gazebo and neatly manicured lawn. According to one of the present owners of the house, the garden can be rented-out for special functions like weddings, pictorials and special events.

tour participants carefully listened to the architectural details of the Don Antonio Bautista house

There is a popular myths that if makopa trees were planted extensively in one’s backyard. There will be high chances that there will be spinster and old gentlemen in the family.

  side entrance

 Don Antonio Bautista was an aide of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. 

life-sized statue of Mother Mary dressed in period finery 

The house is indeed a treasure trove of old items and family heirlooms such as paintings done by well-known artists , antique vases, life-sized santos ( saints)

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There were a lot of furnitures , some of which are centuries-old

dining area

The living room area had a lot of paintings from known artists of that period.

Katipunan flag owned by Gat Andres Bonifacio

There is  an old Katipunan flag which is mounted on a wooden frame with shells and mother of pearls that was previously owned by Gat Andres Bonifacio and was kept by his wife Gregoria de Jesus.

The flag was given as a token of gratitude to Mr. Antonio S. Baustista when she visited  him on April 28, 1931 .

We then walked and passed several old colonial houses which dates from late 19th century to the late 1950 and 1960’s.

Dr. Luis Santos house

Another very interesting architectural wonder is the house of Dr. Luis Santos – He is one of the prominent personality and he is the son of Alberta Uitangcoy-Santos . The house was probably built around the early 1931 and was finished in 1933 . This was the start of the art deco style of architecture in the country.

marker

Don Luis Santos was an eye specialist who cured Maria Rizal ( sister of Dr. Jose P. Rizal) , Fabian dela Rosa ( artist ) and among prominent families of Malolos.

an area which is converted into a library

The house command a very imposing view of a bygone era which reflects the art deco architecture and with its dark wooden panel interiors  speaks of the affluence of the Malolos families of the early 20th century.

Participants of the tour  (  field of architecture and interior design ) assume that the owners had used 3 to 5 kinds of hardwood tree species .

 

 bookshelves  with an unidentified wooden female sculpture holding a lamp

Since our tour group were composed by architects, landscape professors, plant enthusiasts, heritage advocates ,  photo enthusiasts, travel , art historians and bloggers. The caretaker carefully noted some of our suggestion.

 

art deco elements and floral carvings on staircase supporting frame

An apotheosis was painted by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo

The magnificent art works done by Mr. Fernando Amorsolo solicited a lot of amazement from our group. The dark woods highlighted his pastel colored art works.

an old piano , family photos and a Fabian de la Rosa painting

Another master of Philippine painting is proudly displayed at the dining room area .  It is entitled “El Kundiman ” 1932 by Maestro Fabian dela Rosa. The painting shows a beautiful maiden in period traje de mestiza dress performing a kundiman song and entertaining visitors .

Fabian de la Rosa (May 5, 1869 – December 14, 1937) is an artists ,uncle and mentor of Fernando Amorsolo .

sanggumay orchid painting

When the caretakers of the house opened the lights, it further illuminates the beauty of the paintings. It took us a while to marvel and gaze .

Some of the participants also marveled at the intricate art deco grill works and stained glass windows.

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peacock design steel works adorn the doors

Dr. Luis Santos bust and wooden sala chair

Some of the items we saw inside the house were given as gifts or tokens to the family by their friends and patients .

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Santo Entierro – Dead Christ covered by purple cloth 

In one of the rooms inside the house, There is a place with a bed and a life-sized body of Santo Entierro which is covered in purple cloth .

The usual highlight of Good Friday is the Santo Entierro (“holy interment”), which is the name of both the rite and the wooden sculpture of the dead Christ lying supine used in the ritual.

 

fountain sculpture in the garden was done by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino

a pocket garden with ground orchids, pinsarai , miyagos and large taklobo as an added accent

The garden boast of several fruit trees like kamias, mangoes , santol , guavas among others.  Flowering plants included , ground orchids, portulaca ( Vietnam rose)  and a couple of native orchid species like Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumay)  and Dendrobium crumenatum ( dove orchid )

 private altar where Our Lady of Lourdes is dedicated

Our group also marveled at the wood ceiling with floral and art deco elements .

 The bathroom is also very interesting part of the house . It was painted by Fernando Amorsolo and it created an illusion of being inside an aquarium or fish tank , according to one of the architects which join the tour. It is one of his rare works of art.
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spiral staircase
Beside the kitchen area, There is a door which had a spiral wooden stairs going to the third floor of the house. This is like the secret room of the house or viewing deck .
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outside view
According to the local historian ,  It is where violin was played during the owners time which serves as a form of entertainment . The room was simple and there are windows which command a magnificent view outside . You can see the surrounding houses and buildings.

The house is not open to the public and we have to pre-arrange our visit days and even weeks in advance.  We were supposed to meet the descendants of Dr. Luis Santos during our visit .

Unfortunately , the meeting was called off in the last minutes due to conflicting schedule .

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 Bistro Maloleño
After a short photo opportunity , the group decided to eat a late lunch at Bistro Maloleño– This is one of the culinary restaurant ” MUST” place to visit . The restaurant and venue place touted as the “Home of Authentic Bulacan Heritage Cuisines”. With the goal of preserving the traditional the traditional cuisine of Bulacan.  The restaurant opened its doors to the public on April 15, 2013
In fact , QTV Channel 11 a sister company of GMA channel 7 top rated show ” ANG Pinaka-YUMMY in Bulacan ” hosted by Mr. Rovilson Fernandez . Viewers and food critics ranked this place as number 2 in Bulacan province and hailed number 1 in Malolos . The restaurant can accommodate between 65 to 75 at any given time.
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Jacobina with white sugar on top – This is more popularly called ” Pinaso” meaning to burn or scorch
Jacobina is a special sweet biscuit pudding made from Jacob’s crackers ( imported from the United States) topped with white sugar and using hot steel turner scorching the surface, the white sugar will eventually turned into brownish in the process of caramelization or glazing.

 I usually refer this dessert as a type of pudding , but some would compare this as a mixture of leche flan , creme brulee or leite creme by the Portuguese.

 This reflect the influences of Spaniards, French , Mexican, Portuguese and Americans  gradually making it as our own unique dessert.
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Pinaso or Jacobina
Normally , this type of biscuit pudding is served only on special occasions like birthdays, debuts , Christmas , New Year or whenever there are foreigners or balikbayans . They usually get the best portion .
 There were a lot of theories and opinions with regards to the creation of this dessert. Some say that this is to extend the shelf life of the biscuits, since they are hard to come-by , hence every piece is important .

Others would say that egg yolks which were byproducts of construction during the Spanish era  were made into different kinds of delicacies . Egg white is normally added as a binding agent together with lime and sand.

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Mrs. Milagros Enriquez is well known and respected authority on Bulacan cuisines and food that were served to heroes and famous personalities
 
Ms. Rheeza Santiago Hernandez told us that most of the cuisine that the restaurant offers were authentic dishes that her aunt taught to the proprietors of the place.
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Our group were treated to a lunch buffet meal and a short lecture /demonstration on how to make the famous jacobina and sweet jamonado.
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mixed vegetables – chopseuy

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Our lunch buffet meal consists of Fried rice , Pochero ala Marcelo H. del Pilar
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Giniling na Baboy ala Cubana , Chopseuy , Tinolang Manok and Ice tea.
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tinolang manok

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Mr. Freddie Talbenito
The group were able to meet the proprietor of the place Mr. Freddie Talbenito who happens to be a coin and paper bill collector.
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Philippines banknote collections featuring Barasoain church
His collections of different banknotes and coins were added attractions to the place. I have him some interesting tips on how to improve his collections and tips on how to present his collection.
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crispy kare-kare
They also have their own family recipe which are  added to the long list of food that were favorite of our national heroes .  Examples  of the family owned-recipe are Seafood Bulaqueño, Crispy Pata Kare Kare , Bulalo Calderetta , Sweet Chicken
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sizzling chicken on platter
The restaurant also accepts catering for all occasions like birthdays, parties, debuts , baptism , conventions .
Address: 1 Valenzuela St., Bulihan Capitol View Park, Malolos, 3000 Bulacan
Phone:0942 824 7876 / Landline : +63 (44) 305-0645
Operational Hours:10:00am to 10:00pm Daily
After the hearty lunch and brief lecture , We went to another culinary icon and 2 more towns within Bulacan province.
Please try to visit these links:
Website Link:

References:

Hand-outs and leaflets provided by the Bulacan Tourism office .

Ocampo , Maria B.  Kalayaan tree: a living witness to Aguinaldo presidency, June 4, 1993

Enriquez, Milagros – Santiago : Kasaysayan ng Kaluto ng Bayan, (Zita Publishing Corp., 1993)

Agoncillo, Teodoro. History of the Filipino People. Garotech Publishing, Quezon City. 1990.

Lansigan, Nicolas P. Living Links with our Past. Herald Printing Services, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. 1983.

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