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Freeman Cebu Business

Salbing’s Specials

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

In my adventure with the Sugbo Negosyo program of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, I came to be assigned to Mandaue City. This is where I was introduced by Provincial Board Member Thadeo “Jonkie” Ouano to  Salvacion “Salbing” Soco.

Salbing learned how to make her delicious array of kakanin (native delicacies)  from her mother-in-law, Maria Albano Soco, who would prepare everything manually. Salbing watched her Mama Maria grind, knead, squeeze pound and mix ingredients all by hand having none of the appliances we enjoy today.

In spite of modernization though, Salbing prefers her budbud or suman (soft rice pretzel wrapped in banana leaves), bingka (steamed rice cake), and tagaktak (rice noodle crispies) to be prepared manually as well. She personally chooses the coconut to be used for its milk.

“Ako gyud ang mo pili sa lubi. Dili ko ganahan anang ge kagud na daan ug kinilo kay dili presko. Kinahanglan nga maayo gyud ang klase sa lubi aron maayo sab ang gata.”  (I personally choose the coconut. I do not like the grated ones they sell per kilo because they are not as fresh. The coconut has to be of good quality so I also get good coco milk).  She disclosed.

If there is something I learned from Salbing in all this, it is passion and patience which is exactly what she applies to her cooking.

She mills her dawa (a birdseed that is used also for preparing budbud and bingka), and pilit (glutinous rice) using a mortar and pestle to pulverize the seeds and grain to derive the desired powdery consistency.

According to Salbing, one will know if the cake is prepared with ground or pestled flour because of the consistency of the finished product. The manually milled bibingka is fluffier and has more air in between. While the ground rice is stickier and heavier. 

According to Salbing, it is more delectable to eat the bibingka and tagaktak  if they are made out of manually milled rice, glutinous rice or dawa. 

Selling these delicacies was Salbing and her husband Santo’s main source of livelihood.  It pulled her through tough times, sent her children to school, and provided food on their table.

Salbing lost her husband 12 years ago, so she is left to produce the delicacies on her own. Now she makes a variety of bibingka in satisfying sizes. She has both the bibingka kabog (derived from the birdseed said to be like the bat’s food), and bibingka pilit. She also has budbud kabog and pilit as well as budbud linambiran (a variation where chocolate is added to make the rice pretzel). She likewise added to her variations the budbud tapol, which includes with the glutinous rice, violet or dark colored rice both for flavor and aesthetics. Her bibingka also has two main varieties. One made out of dawa and the other made out of rice and pilit, which she sometimes tops with salted egg. Her tagaktak is also among her best sellers.

As part of the Sugbo Negosyo program, Salbing has learned how to better package her products, account for her produce, and plan her business so she can be sustainable. Her products are made available by order through her cellphone number 09263541010.

GWENDOLYN GARCIA
Philstar
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