I loved the bibingka in Baliuag. Specifically at the plaza adjacent to the church and just across the town’s Glorietta park. It was fluffy (and hot), fresh from the claypot it was cooking in. The saltiness of the strips of cheese and salted eggs made for a delicious counterpoint to the semi sweet strips of macapuno (young coconut meat). For 110 pesos, I had the big and thick super special bibingka all to myself.
Christmas comes early in the Philippines. As early as September 1, one can already hear carols and see decors already being readied or sold. While I don’t really like this, the yearly bibingkahan food park at Baliuag’s public plaza is very much welcome.
Bibingka in Baliuag, a yearly tradition
This small park transforms into a veritable native delicacies heaven annually from September to December. Three local treats takes center stage: bibingka, puto bumbong and bicho or bicho-bicho. Most Filipinos are familiar with the first two as these are typical fare that greets them after simbang gabi or misa de gallo in December.
Neatly lined claypots front six cottages built around the park. Each claypot holds a bibingka cooked with charcoal at the top and bottom. Plastic tables and chairs under tents surround a Christmas tree in the center.
This food park serves bibingkas with different types. It can be basic to special, something with several toppings, to overloaded, bigger ones good for two to three and double the cheese, salted egg and macapuno. Other than that, they also sell puto bumbong, elongated steamed violet sticky rice daubed with margarine with a side of freshly grated coconut meat with or without sugar. At the front of the park are six kiosks selling bicho or bicho-bicho with different fillings.
A good and affordable snack right at the town center
I was in Baliuag for an Ingress First Saturday event together with my Resistance Philippines community and after the games, we settled at one of the empty tables and chairs just opposite Ka Resty’s. The park is getting busy as we waited for our orders. While we were sipping cups of avocado tea served free. These cottages usually cook several bibingkas but since we ordered the ones with a higher price (and with additional ingredients), they have to be cooked from scratch. Judging from the thickness, we had to wait for a while.
After around 15 minutes, the lady served my order. Melting margarine and a side of freshly grated coconut completed the dish. It was steaming hot and smells divine! I spread the freshly grated coconut meat on top, sliced a small portion, blew air to cool and ate. It was so good and delicious. It made our visit to this town memorable. Instead of eating at the usual fastfood restaurants, this bibingka in Baliuag, and other delicacies, is something to look forward to during the Christmas season.
About the bibingka food park
This food park of bibingka in Baliuag is available daily starting after lunch till late at night from September to December. Nights can get crowded especially during weekends but there’s fast turnaround of people so waiting is not a problem. Other than these three, there are a few vendorsselling other local delicacies like suman sa lihiya, biko, and other sweets.
This seasonal food park is just beside the historic Baliuag Catholic Church. From Metro Manila, you can take a Baliwag Transit bus at their terminal in Cubao. From the Baliuag Terminal, its just a few meters to the park.