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Bulusan’s Candelaria

Bulusan's Candelaria

The culture of food : food and culture merge in Bulusan’s Candelaria. Above photo shows a local boy with his mamon ready to be blessed in the town’s Parish church, February, 2, 2014.

Like many other Catholic celebrations, the influence of the local culture and its Catholic beliefs fused to create an original form of event. In Bulusan, the locals take on the Candelaria celebration is bread themed. Hence, the mamon. Other kinds of bread are also present during the priest’s blessing of  the candles and some religious images but the mamon rules as captured by these photos of this morning’s Candelaria mass.

The Feast of the Candelaria, February 2, is actually a continuation of Christmas. Count forty days from the birth of Jesus (Christmas day) and the child Jesus must now be brought to the temple for presentation as tradition dictates. As explained by the celebrating priest in this Sunday’s morning mass, the Candelaria celebration is to commemorate the “Presentation of Christ at the Temple”.

Candles also are very much in the picture because this event is also in honor of the Feast of Purification of the Virgin Mary with the Philippines Nuestra Senora de Candelaria’s Feast being celebrated on the same date.  Significantly,  the candles symbolize the inner light of Christ being shared with the world.

The mamon, assorted bread, candles and religious images will be brought back to the respective homes of the faithfuls after the mass and the priest’s blessings for these items are finished. The candles according to the priest can be used as altar light or vigil light during prayers at home. The bread must be savored to the last crumb because it has been blessed with holy water – ‘benditado’ in the local dialect. It has been bestowed with ‘holiness’ comparable to the host partaken during mass celebrations.

Enjoy your mamon! A short Our Father prayer is said before devouring the treat is a must  at home with my siblings during our childhood Candelarias. We however and most Bulusanons simply refer to this Catholic feast as ‘Tagmaramonan’.

The texture - not so soft but not so heavy. The taste - just the right kind of sweetness that does not overpowers. A classic from the simplest baking recipe there is.

Bulusan traditional mamon: the texture – full and fluffy but not airy. The taste – perfect balance of sweetness  and rich flavor from the egg that does not overpower but will keep you yearning for more. A classic from the simplest baking recipe there is.

Photos: Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, February 2, 2014

Recommended related reads for Bulusanons:

http://pamughaton.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/sayo-pa-na-langhoy/

http://pamughaton.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/untali-sa-bulan-san-mga-mamon-bendita/

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