Savoring the Heirloom Dishes of Aling Ika’s Carinderia

A trip to Cavite City is incomplete without a stopover at Aling Ika’s Carinderia sometimes called Aling Ica Carihan which is located within Pamilihang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite ( Cavite City Public Market).

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left to right- lumpiang shanghai, tortang alimasag, pancit puso ng saging, lumpiang sariwa

They would start the day at around 6:00 am and would remain open until past 2:00 pm. Most of the well-loved dishes and desserts would run out by 10:00 am.

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Cavite City Public Market ( Pamilihang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite) early dawn

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Pamilihang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite

I took a chance to travel and waited for at least 10 minutes at the Plaza Lawton Ferry Terminal in order to take the first ferry ride to Cavite City but unfortunately DOTR schedule had changed few days ago, the security guard manning the terminal told me that the first ferry ride to the city would be past 6:45 am, instead of what was originally posted ( 5:15 am).

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Aling Vherna busy taking orders and preparing pancit puso

Then rode the Saint Anthony bus bound for Cavite city at around past 5:15 am. I happened to meet a fellow passenger Kagawad Rogelio Cruz of Barangay 471 zone 46 of Sampaloc. He paid Php 50.00 ( senior citizen) and i paid Php 63.00 regular fare which ply the Lawton -Cavite city route. Traffic was surprisingly light and the leisurely ride only took less than 1 hour.

After arriving at the intersection of P. Burgos corner Molina street. We took the Dalahican jeepney, took off near Dizon Bakery then walked a few meters towards the public market. We bid farewell and Kagawad Rogelio Cruz also told me that he had a relative who is also a kagawad of San Antonio.

Aling Ika’s Carinderia Dishes

Aling Teodorica Samson-Bautista more popularly known as Aling Ika was considered as a culinary icon of the city.  She was a pioneer woman during her days. Earn a living by selling lutong ulam/ bahay ( home cooked meal viand) during the early 1920’s. Unlike ordinary housewives who would rely on their husband earning, Aling Ika was a business minded person.

She was resourceful and use the local ingredients or what is available and abundant. The local workers or trabajador would knock at their house would buy the home cooked meals before going to work at the city or at the naval base.

She would wrapped the meals in banana leaves because banana was abundant within the province. The leaves would add additional flavors to the meal.

The family legacy was eventually passed to Mrs. Lolit Alejo, now 84 years-old who learned how to make Bibingkoy and other dishes that you can only find in Cavite City.

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Ms. Vherna B. Alejo a third generation descendant, would supervise the operation of the carinderia.

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Bibingkoy

Bibingkoy is like a combination of Japanese mochi, bibingka and ginataan sa sago. It is filled with sweetened boiled mung beans. The ingredient uses sticky rice.

Instead of being fried like the buchi, it is cooked pugon-style using the traditional charcoal which heat on top and at the bottom, much like a typical bibingka is cooked.

A thick coconut creme made with combination of coconut milk extract, langka/ nangka (jackfruit), and tapioca pearls (sago) is slowly simmered over low heat and is poured over the Bibingkoy before eating.

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Bibingkoy with gintaan

The best way to eat the Bibingkoy is hot with the sauce then best pair with tea, coffee or local chocolate. Php 50.00 per serving while a large bilao cost Php 550.00. 

I remembered that an uncle who used to live in Cavite City would bring Bibingkoy when he would come and visit our home before.

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Lumpiang Sariwa ala Aling Ika

Lumpiang Sariwa– Aling Ika’s version is wrapped with lumpia wrapper with fresh lettuce leaves, mung bean sprouts, carrots, pechay, cabbage,tofu, beans. However the vegetables were a little bit overcooked.

The annato or achuete adds flavor and color to the lumpiang sariwa. It is topped with crushed crushed peanuts, chicharon (crushed pork rinds) and minced garlic. It only cost Php 30.00 per order. Used to be lot cheaper few years back.

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Tortang Alimasag

Tortang Alimasag or Crab Omelette. They sell this at Php 50 per slice and this is best paired with tomato ketchup, vinegar or banana ketchup.

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Lumpiang Shanghai with special sauce

Lumpiang Shanghai – Deep fried spring rolls which is sold at Php 10.00, They also have Lumpiang Frito which spring roll filled in with vegetables then deep fried.

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Pancit Puso ng Saging

Pancit Puso ng Saging or Pancit Puso– This noodle dish combines two types of noodles; miki and bihon. It includes a generous mix of fishball, tofu, kikiam, shrimp, chicken meat, chopped carrots, chopped onion, beans, chorizo, chayote/ sayote, cabbage, coriander and pechay.

It is seasoned with shrimp stock, salt, black pepper and annatto / achuete. Aside from coloring, achuete would also add distinct flavor to the dish.

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miki, bihon and vegetables of lumpiang sariwa

The chopped banana blossom is prepared by boiling it in a combination of vinegar and salt. Banana blossom is cheaper compared to calamansi hence it was used by Aling Ica or Ika. It was used as a souring ingredient in the noodle dish.

The noodle is topped with crushed pork rinds, deep fried garlic and onions. It cost Php 30.00 per serving while a large one (bilao ) good for sharing between 30 to 35 people and cost Php 800.00.

Best way to eat the noodle dish is by mixing the noodles well before eating. It balances the flavors.

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Ube Kalamay

Ube Kalamay – This is another specialty of the carinderia and this is sold per slice. One can pre-order in advance for large orders.

The carinderia had more than two dozen dishes at any given time, worthwhile mention are adobong pusit, pancit pusit/ pancit choco en su tinta ( seasonal), pancit palabok, fried rice, beef kaldereta, pork barbecue among others.

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UNTV channel 37 staff and program producer

Met the staff and producer of UNTV channel 37 while they were filming at the carinderia / eatery. The station will be having a new travel and lifestyle program which will air on the early January of 2020.

Also met Professor Zarny Zarragoza of San Sebastian College -Recoletos de Cavite who hails from Cavite City, He bought some of the well-loved dishes before going to work.

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Those planning to order in bulk their Bibingkoy and other dishes, must order at least 1 to 2 days in advance and do not forget to bring plastic container. Cavite City Public Market had an ordinance of minimizing single use plastics.

Aling Ika’s Carinderia

Stall #9 Pamihilang Bayan ng Lunsod ng Cavite

Contact Person : Ms. Vherna B. Alejo (0916-679-5916)

Operations: Everyday from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm

3rd Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan – award for environmental causes

Bureau of Soil and Water Management , Visayas Avenue corner Elliptical Circle, Quezon City-Philippines

Most Reverend  Deogracias S. IÑIGUEZ, JR., D.D  ( Bishop of Caloocan ) and Commissioner Romeo Hidalgo 

 Bishop Deogracias S. IÑIGUEZ is an active partner of the Eco-waste Coalition and member of the defunct Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya.

The Center for Environmental Concerns–Philippines (CEC-Phils) is a non-government organization founded through the initiatives of organizations representing fisher folk, farmers, indigenous peoples, women, urban poor, and professional sectors.

Sinag Bayan performer

This year’s awarding ceremony was in cooperation and partnership with AGHAM party-list, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, ECO Waste Coalition , Panalipdan Mindanao , Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center ( FIDEC) .

Mr. John Arcilla

Mr. John Arcilla is a stage actor, celebrity and environmentalist hosted the biennial awarding ceremonies .

small photo exhibit pays tribute to awardees

Currently, the Center is a service institution based in Quezon City, Metro Manila. Its area of operation and networking covers the entire Philippines and different ecological contexts.

distinguished vips, guests and organizers

The 2013 Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan awards committee was led by Most Reverend Bishop Deogracias IĂ‘IGUEZ, Bienvenido Lumbera , Atty. Howard M. Calleja , Carol P. Araullo , MD, Dr. Teresita R. Perez and Sr. Ma. Carmen Dianne Cabasagan , RGS

Mr. Jovan Marquez – UNTV channel 37 director received the award in behalf of Mr. Daniel Razon ( individual category)

The Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan (GBK) is an awards event and lecture series honoring Filipino heroes and heroines who have defended the environment and people’s rights. The 1st Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan ( GBK ) award was given in 2009, then 2011.

The Philippines is endowed with rich natural resources that can support the country’s national development and ensure that the Filipino people can live in peace and prosperity. For the past century, however, our environment has gone through severe destruction and depletion. The degradation of our ecosystems has proceeded alongside poverty and the dislocation of communities from their lands and livelihoods.

There are 3 main categories Natatanging Gawad ( Most Distinguished Award)  – This is awarded to either individual or organization that has his/her /their being an inspiration and example to the Filipino people for offering time and talents for the defense of the environment and advancement of the people’s welfare.

Mr. Rodne R. Galicha from Sibuyan island , Romblon province

Mr. Rodne R. Galicha is a dedicated and vigilant guardian of the environment . He hails from the island of Sibuyan . Mr. Rodne studied Philosophy and Classical Arts before teaching philosophy  , environmental ethics, sociology, history , and literature at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Seminary and Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros.

Governor Eduardo ” Lolong ”  Firmalo of Romblon and Mr. Rodne R. Galicha

group picture

Gawad sa Indibidwal ( Awards for Individuals)- This is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability and effort to uphold the environment and people’s welfare in form of advocacy, campaigns, education, research , technology, development, community services , mass media or cultural works.

Ms. Bianca Dava and Mr. Jovan Marquez  of UNTV channel 37 received the award in behalf of Mr. Daniel Razon

Gawad sa Organisasyon ( Award for the Organizations) This is awarded to people’s and community organizations and institutions that have demonstrated organizational strength or unity in upholding the welfare of the people and of the environment by exemplary actions  and advocacy , campaigns, education, research, technology,  development , community services , mass media  or cultural works.

After the presentation and a short ceremony , a sumptuous snacks and evening meal  were served to all the guests and invited awardees  .

List of 2013 Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan Nominees

Mr. Noli Abinales

Mr. Conrado Esemple

Mr. Nilo ” Sonny” Estrella

Bro. Martin Francisco

Mr. Rodne Galicha

Mr. Romeo Hidalgo

Atty. Antonio Manangan

Mr. Armin Marin

Mr. Angel Padron

Fr. Joel Taora, SJ

Mr. Edgar Taladhay

Mr. Perfecto ” Ka Pecs” Ruiz Vicente

Organizational Category

Cebu Institute of Technology- University Industrial Engineering Council

Kababaihang Nagtataglay ng Bihirang Lakas

Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization

Magsasaka at Siyemtipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura

Solid Waste Management Office- San Carlos City

Note : I would like to ” Thank” Ms. Frances Quimpo – Executive Director ( Center for Environmental Concerns -Philippines for the invitation . Maraming salamat !

Websites :

Center for Environmental Concerns : http://cecphils.org/

Department of Natural and Natural Resources: http://www.denr.gov.ph/

Department of Agriculture: http://www.da.gov.ph/

UNTV channel 37: http://www.untvweb.com/

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