We were going around Kalibo’s tourism sites when my guide from the tourism office, Salvador Retiro, told me that we have to go back to the office. There’s a treat waiting for me there. I was giddy.
Native rice cakes and suman come in different form and flavor. Being a traveler, I am forever curious with local food especially local desserts called kakanin which are common around Southeast Asia and are usually based from rice, the Asian staple, thus, we have many variations of rice cakes nationwide.
A staff brought out a translucent plastic and inside were small packages wrapped in blanched banana leaves. I took out one and opened on a saucer. Lo and behold, at the center of the oily and limp leaf was a sticky rice cake around three inches by one and a half inches in size at one inch height. It is topped with bukayo, sweet concoction made from sugar and grated coconut meat, kinudkud, with its syrup covering the top part. It is called latik, which refers more on the sweet coconut sauce.
With my fork, I sliced through the latik. It was soft. I took a bite. The blandness of the rice cake was well balanced by the sweetness of the bukayo. But I like its sweetness, not too saccharine to leave a lingering taste in the mouth.
Latik is sold in Kalibo at P7 per piece at the market or at the Kalibo International Airport but at a slightly higher price.