Tomorrow, February 2, is Candelaria. In Bulusan this catholic feast is celebrated with mamon and candles being brought to the church for blessing. As to the question on why mamon is traditionally associated with this event, the answer will take a long cultural discussion that dates back to the Spanish colonial period.
Meanwhile, I will try to show how we make this traditional bread/cake which is simply referred to as mamon by Bulusanons straight from our kitchen table to the neighborhood panaderia (bakery) with a circa 40’s hurnohan – a native kind of wood-fired oven. In our decades long experience (after several trials with the modern oven) – we have concluded that the best mamon can only be made by using this antiquated hurnohan. We made our own mamon a day earlier than the rest to avoid the other locals who for sure will simultaneously avail of the services of this panaderia that doubles as community baking service shop during celebrations such as this Candelaria
The shape of the mamon does not matter much. It depends on the available mold for baking. We use cupcake style molds for easy serving and storage.
Tomorrow I will be taking photos of the blessing at the church for our mamon now ready and packed in containers. See you there!
Notes: Loida, my sister-in-law and Jomabel, our household assistant did the whole cooking preparation except for the actual baking at the hurnohan which is a block away from our house. There are only three main ingredients : flour, sugar and eggs in equal proportions beaten and mix together until the batter attained the finest consistency (photo). The resulting bread/cake has a texture so filling and a taste that is so heavenly! No wonder why Bulusanons made it a traditional bread/cake for the Candelaria.
Photos: Alma P.Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines