My shoot assignment on the town’s massive kumbento was already done and, early in the morning, at just before 7 AM, I was walking to the market of Lazi for the jeep enroute to Siquijor town and travel back to Dumaguete.
I still haven’t had my breakfast and the rather distant walk from the kumbento where I slept for two nights, lugging my camera gear, clothes and tripod made me hungry.
And there she was, matronly looking, her head wrapped in some headgear, wearing a printed shirt and tending her small table bedecked with plastic containers, some pitchers, bowls and plastic cups and below it were stacked cheap plastic stools. Curious, I approached and when I saw her ware, I smiled. Puto.
Tagpila na Nang (How much is this Ms.?) I asked. Tag baynte. Lima ka puto ug usa ka sikwate (P20: five pieces of puto and a glass of cocoa drink.) She Answered.
When I was still a child, during some mornings, breakfast can consist of puto, glutinous rice steamed and cooked with strips of ginger that is then wrapped in strips of banana leaves which is either eaten with sweet ripe mango, dunked in sugar or swimming in sikwate, chocolate drink made from tablea or ground cocoa seeds. This is another version of puto(rice cake), where in other places is made from ground glutinous rice.
Lumen Lumingkit, 54, has been selling her puto since January of 2012 and has been there daily from 4AM to 9AM, earning P650 per day. She’s not the only vendor around but there are four others found in different areas near the market and main street.
I took my seat, ordered the P20 combo puto with sikwate, savoring its semi sweetness, the semibitterness of the choclate and appreciating the hint of ginger. And I just ate while reminiscing about my childhood in Cebu.