The quaint town of Sampaloc is known for its impressive array of “buri” products, the source of livelihood of the amiable people of this 5th class municipality in the province of Quezon.
“Buri,” a large palm tree noted for its strong leaves that can be made into various products like bags and other native accessories. The houses are adorned with different buri products during the Bulihan Festival.
This writer has witnessed this festival in years past – during the 4th Bulihan Festival. The highlights of the festival were the costume parade and the showcase of native dishes, as only “Sampalukins” (how residents are called in Sampaloc) can uniquely prepare and do.
“Palos” Cooking Contest
One of the awaited activities of the festival was the native “Palos Cooking Contest.” “Palos,” is Sampaloc’s term for native eel, which is caught in the Maapon River. It’s often brought by Sampalukins as a present to somebody being asked for a favor. The “madulas” is associated with a saying that if it is given as a gift to the person being asked for a favor, the request will be easily granted.
This exciting and one-of-a-kind cooking contest was participated by representatives from the 14 Barangays through the town’s Rural Improvement Club.
The cooking skills and creativity of the “Sampalukins” were once again demonstrated — with everything and anything that can be done and concocted with “palos.” Spicy, sweet, saucy, “ginataan”, “ginisa”, baked, steamed, fried, what have you!
The winning recipe came from Barangay Ibabang Owain. The dish is called “Steamed Palos.”
Sharing here the winning recipe:
1-kilo Palos (cleaned)
Calamansi or Lemon juice
Tomatoes for garnishing
Toppings: mayonnaise, grated carrots, chopped hard-boiled egg, onion leeks
- Mix all ingredients and wrap with aluminum foil.
- Put onion leek into the water and set for boiling.
- Steam Palos for about 30-40 minutes.
- When cooked, arrange the steamed Palos on a platter with the toppings.
- Serve hot.
The “Parada ng Bayan”- a buri-inspired costume parade was participated by the different sectors of the community like NGOs, the private sector, puroks, barangay, and municipal government officials and employees.
The strong camaraderie was felt as the whole town took time to participate and support the costume parade. It was amazing to see how young women and men were dressed in different creative and distinctively classy costumes made from colorful buri. It was as if these costumes were tailored and styled by professional designers — knowing these were handcrafted by the “Sampalukins”!
The Bulihan Festival provides jobs to residents and promotes tourism in the municipality.
Some of Sampaloc’s beautiful sceneries are the Malaoag Cave and Underground River, the Hangga Falls, and the Kakati River. During our stay, we were fortunate to explore Hangga Falls, a hidden gem located in the boundary of the towns of Sampaloc and Lucban. An approximate one to two hours of trekking was needed to reach the destination, and was worth the exhaustion upon seeing the invigorating waterfalls!
Discover Sampaloc and know more about its culture, people, and captivating attractions!
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