Let’s face it: puto bumbong is not something anyone would describe as delicious. It’s bland, really.
But puto bumbong is also something that’s so firmly welded to the idea of a Pinoy Christmas that not eating it, even once during December, is like missing out on a big part of the Pasko experience. This was why I woke up at 5AM today: to seek out puto bumbong, to boldly eat what everyone else seems to be craving for.
Yes, it’s sentimental, but I make no apologies.
I hopped on my bike and pedaled to U.P hoping to find a vendor selling puto bumbong around the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, also known to some as the flying saucer church because of its unique architectural style.
No luck. Apparently, since there was no more 5am simbang gabi, there was no reason for the vendors to set up shop so early in the morning. I hung around inside the church however, as the choir was rehearsing their repertoire for the Simbang Gabi finale that evening and as usual, it included Handel’s Messiah.
Normally, I’d be feeling forlorn at having a failed quest. But the cool early morning weather, Handel’s Messiah, the relaxing dawn vibe of the UP campus, and the army of runners and bikers that were starting to invade UP around this time all lifted my mood.
I did a few rounds around UP, soaking in the Christmas spirit of the place. It was a pretty good morning.
By 7AM I was starting to get a bit hungry, and I was still craving for puto bumbong. Then I remembered that there was another church in Krus na Ligas where there was bound to be a vendor selling this yuletide kakanin.
Success! Well… pedaling for puto bumbong may not exactly count as an epic ride, but it’s fun to accomplish anyway.
I really love the vibe of Krus na Ligas. This working class district on the periphery of UP still knows its Pinoy Christmas traditions. The community spirit here is also something that middle class neighborhoods could only aspire for. This makes me glad, again, that I live on Maginhawa where KNL and UP are just a few pedal stokes away.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to everyone who reads this blog. Hope you guys will still keep visiting this slice of the web next year! :)