Sunday, 1 November 2009

Trick or Treat Guinatan

The other day, I was reading an entry in Facebook. It says
Halloween is fast approaching and if anyone could share something
about Aswangs in the Philippines. Aswangs? I prompted a short
response writing that these Aswangs
have nothing to do with this Americanized version of a tradition
we have in the Philippines...not that we have a tradition of
remembering the Aswangs
but what I meant was the celebration when we remember all
the saints and souls on the 1st and 2nd of November and we call
this tradition Undras.

Aswangs, Halloween, Undras and Guinatan.

This is also the time of the year when sticky delicacies like rice
cakes Kakanins, sumans and coconut
milk-based dessert, Guinatan are prepared as food for the
wandering souls but enjoyed of course by hungry mortals.
The sticky finger goodies are given to kids who come in the evening
singing "kaluluwa'y dumaratang, sa tapat
ng durungawan etc...
we are lost souls in front of your windows,
bells are ringing to wake you up, and if you want to give us alms,
please make it fast before the door of heaven closes on us."
I think a more dramatic interpretation than the globalized Trick or
Treat Halloween fun for kids.

But back to my original blog entry which is the recipe for this
typical Filipino merienda. Preparing guinatan has become one of
my keeping up with the tradition stuffs either to appease the
hungry spirits or my own cravings.


Sweet Potatoes
Ube (violet yams)
Shreds of Bottled Sweet Langka (Jackfruit)
Sticky rice Bilo-bilo
Coconut Milk ( I used three cans of 400 ml each)
Drizzle of salt
Pandan leaves for aromatic effect

(Violet yams while cooking in coconut milk with pandan leaves)

Place the yams, taro in a saucepan, pour in coconut
milk with the pandan leaves. Bring to boil and later add the
sliced bananas, langka, bilo-bilo and cook further for
ten minutes, adding sugar to your taste.
Note: You have to watch it while cooking. Mine
turned like a cream yellowish pumpkin soup but the taste
was sweet enough to cure my nostalgia.

I texted my sister to ask on the exact date the kids do this
She texted back that it is on the night of Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 but
it is no longer practised in our village...the cost of malagkit rice
has gone so expensive, around 80 Pesos per kilo. People could no
longer afford to give away Sumans
and sticky rice delicacies to keep up with the tradition.
Poor hungry, wandering souls.

Poor me, eating my guinatan alone. Hubby said when he saw
the bowl of guinatan for our brunch...
"hmmmmmmmmmm, you can have my share."

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