Monday, November 9, 2015


"First time to taste the so-called TENGBA of Besao, Mountain Province"


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-my pagnapagna-
(November 8, 2015 a Sunday)

For the past few months. I have talked to a friend whose hometown was Bauko of Mountain Province. I first learned from him about a fermented food called "bakkay". Since then, I want to taste that exotic food from Bauko, Mountain Province.

Lately, I was invited indirectly for a feast at a residence in Baguio City. The one who invited me was from Besao, Mountain Province. He said "umay ka tatnu makitam mut nu kasatnu ti tradisyon mi a Igorot" (come so that you will see our tradition as Igorots).

His elder sister had just given birth to a baby boy and they will be having a feast. They have invited friends and relatives for a gathering.

At the porch of their Baguio house, the feast was celebrated.  I was seated with the father of the one who just gave birth a few days ago. He said that in Besao, Mountain Province, they have that tradition of having a feast when a baby is born in the family where in they invite friends and relatives. The invited usually give gifts for the newly born. If both the husband and wife came from the same place, they will celebrate everyday until the umbilical chord of the baby dries out.  But if one of them comes from another place, they usually celebrate it only once after the umbilical chord of the baby dries out. 

I asked him about the "bakkay" but he seems not to know about it.

On a round table, foods were served. There were rice, fried chicken, pancit, adobo and a macaroni salad that was served afterwards. What caught my attention was when they served a soup in a pot. I heard them said, "ni mangan tayo ti ''Tengba" (Let's eat "tengba"). "Datoy ti luto mi mut nga Igorot" (this is our Igorot food), they added. Afterwards, I've heard the others said "naimas dayta bakkay" (the "bakkay" is delicious). Tiing! I went also to the table and scooped for myself a cup of that "bakkay".

The "bakkay" as called by the people from Bauko, Mountain Province or "Tengba" by the people from Besao, Mountain Province was a little bit sour to the taste that there was a slight hint of fermented vegetable. They have cooked it similar to that of very wet "lugaw" (arroz caldo/rice porridge/congee).
My friend said that these were made out of fermented small river crabs called "gaki" (the one with no hairs or little furs), salted, mixed with rice, yeast added and kept inside a container.


They really loved the "Tengba" that their friends and relatives brought home some in containers.

Although, I've heard at the feast that the word "Tengba" as one and the same with "Bakkay", I just remembered that the one I have talked to from Bauko, Mountain Province described the "Bakkay" as plain fermented vegetable. Maybe the "Tengba" and "Bakkay" were two different things?

-end of pagnapagna-

The view from the feast, the mt. Sto Tomas area (zoomed)

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