October 2008



By Queenie Rose A. Donaire*

Way back in high school in Barbaza National High School, students were made to decide what electives to take when they reach 3rd year. So I took up entrepreneurship. The best part was when we were given 100 pesos to make products and sell them in our school canteen. By the end of the school year, we should return the capital to our teacher whether we earned a profit or not. My group chose to make bandi niyog because it’s a low cost product and almost all of the group members knew how to make bandi except myself.

Actually, it’s because of that high school project that I learned how to make bandi. Although it was not a formal business, we were very happy when one of our group members told us that the friends of her mother in Hongkong wanted to order bandi from us. And that was our first “export” of bandi. So her mother paid us in advance and we used it to buy ingredients. We made more or less 200 bandi. Since we wanted to make a good impression on our customer, we made sure everything was perfect—from choosing the ingredients to cooking them, to forming the bandi and then packing them. And it all started there. My friends and I began talking about putting up a bandi business after we graduate from college. Who knows, we might end up “exporting” them again abroad.

Bandi niyog is a delicious candy, a native one. It is made of coconut and brown sugar called muscovado. It’s a delicacy of the Antiqueños. It served as a dessert and even as a viand to some. Bandi niyog may look rather ordinary, perhaps not as enticing as the bandi mani of the Ilonggos. To tell you, making a perfect bandi niyog is one tough job. It needs care in choosing the perfect coconut and sugar. It also needs proper quantification of ingredients and accurate timing.

To Ilonggos, when you say bandi they would automatically think of one thing because there’s just one bandi to them: the bandi made of peanuts. Actually, this kind of bandi is specifically called bandi mani in Antique. Not knowing that bandi niyog and the bukayo of the Ilonggos are just the same, I argued with my teacher that the two are different. I kept on insisting on this until one day I went to SM. I was lining up at the grocery counter when I saw a woman holding a wrapped bandi. I was amazed that they were selling bandi in SM and so I tried to look at the label to know if it really was from Antique. And to my surprise it was named bukayo and it was made in Iloilo. Then I thought, there’s nothing to argue at all. Our bandi (niyog) and the bukayo of the Ilonggos are just the same.

If we, Antiqueños, have our bandi niyog the Ilonggos too have bandi but it goes by another name-bukayo. For us, however, bukayo is another thing. Bukayo is also a sweet candy made of coconuts. The coconut in the bukayo of the Ilonggos is shredded and it is round and flat while in our bukayo, the coconut is grated and it is shaped into small balls.

Apparently, bandi niyog and bukayo are not popular because they don’t circulate in the market. People make bukayo or bandi for their own consumption though there are very few who make a living out of selling them. They’re already part of the Antiqueño tradition. Usually our lolos and lolas were the ones fond of cooking native foods like bandi and bukayo. The recipes are then passed on to the younger ones. An example is my grandmother. She would usually say, “Agto dya kag lantawa ako magraha para makamaan kaw.” (Come and watch me so that you will know how to cook this.)

My lovely cousin eating bukayo

Now, I will share to you how to make delicious BANDI NIYOG.

Here are the ingredients:

1.      Shredded coconut

(Tip: Choose the durolsihon type of coconut. This coconut is between the butong and the lahin in maturity scale.)

2.      Muscovado

3.      Buko Juice (You may also use water in substitute of buko juice.)

4.      Vanilla (optional)

You also need the following:

1.      Frying pan

2. Luwag or ladle

3.      Coconut shell (will serve as your measuring cup)

4.      2 Forks

5.      Clean kararaw (winnower) or any clean flat surface


1.      Measure the shredded coconut and the sugar using the coconut shell. Put the same amount of coconut and sugar in the frying pan. (i.e. 3 coconut shells of sugar, 3 coconut shells of shredded coconut)

2.      Add small amount of buko juice (i.e. Using example in procedure no. 1, you will need only half coconut shell of buko juice.)

3.      Heat and stir until the coconut has absorbed the melted sugar or when the sugar is sticky.

(Tip: To test the stickiness of the sugar, try to get a spoon and dip it in the syrup. Try to stick a small amount of the syrup in the spoon and then dip it in a glass of water. If it does not spread out, then it’s almost cooked.)

4.      While waiting for it to cook, sprinkle water on your kararaw or in the clean flat surface.

5.      Remove the pan from the heat. Using the 2 forks, get a small quantity (the size of the bandi you want to make depends on you). And then put it on the flat surface.

6.      Using the forks, form it into round shapes while it is still wet.

7.      Leave to dry.

There you go! Your dessert, snack, or even your viand!

By the way, if you want to try, you can go visit my town Barbaza in Antique on a market day or better yet order from me.

About me:

I’m Queenie Rose A. Donaire.  I’m 18 years old.  I’m a 2nd year BSBA-Marketing student at the UPV, city campus.  I love food that’s why I’m fond of cooking.  When on break from school, I would usually raid our ref in my home in Antique.  I’ll find anything I could use for my food experiments.

You can contact me through my phone +639082146246 or by e-mail quequedoanire@yahoo.com.

Related reads:

Quianan, San Joaquin’s bandi



By Rachelle and Amylene of Top 10 Carinderia Dishes*

Pakbet is a mixture of vegetables like okra, squash, string beans, eggplant, and ampalaya, cooked until almost dry and shriveled to produce a very yummy taste. It’s a very healthy dish preferred by the vegetarians. Pinakbet is cooked with bagoong to make a delicious sauce.   Of course, we attribute to the Ilocos region as the originator of pinakbet.  In places like Sagada, they really put a lot of bagoong and plenty of sauce.

Below is a recipe courtesy of Mrs. Mila Luna Mata. Auntie Mila is the mother of our dear classmate and friend Ruthchel. A native of Villa Arevalo, she really cooks so well. Anyway, nothing beats a mother’s cooking!



¼ kilo eggplant, cut into cubes

¼ kilo squash, cut into cubes

¼ kilo string beans cut into about 2 inch long

¼ kilo shrimp, skinless

¼ cup bagoong

¼ garlic, pound

2 onions, sliced

½ cup cooking oil

½ cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups coconut milk


  1. Sauté garlic and onion in oil
  2. Add shrimp and squash and some water.
  3. After a minute, put everything.
  4. Put coconut milk and mix.
  5. Let it simmer for 3 min.
  6. Suite to taste and serve.

By Rachelle and Amylene of Top 10 Carinderia Dishes*

Laswa is a dish of mixed vegetables like okra, squash, string beans, malunggay, and others.  Shrimps are usually added to it to make the taste more savory.   What’s  different about it from other vegetable dishes is its slimy and sticky sabaw.  Some have it with eggplants, saluyot and some bagoong.  Anything goes, whatever is available.  That’s Ilonggo creativity for you.

Below is a recipe courtesy of Mrs. Mila Luna Mata. Auntie Mila is the mother of our dear classmate and friend Ruthchel. A native of Villa Arevalo, she really cooks so well. Anyway, nothing beats a mother’s cooking!



¼ kilo squash, diced

¼ kilo tugabang

¼ kilo okra cut into 3

¼ kilo malunggay, leaves

¼ kilo takway

¼ kilo shrimp, skinless

3 pieces tomatoes, sliced

1 pinch salt

1 pinch vetsin

1 onion sliced

2 cloves garlic, pound

1 shrimp knorr cubes


  1. Boil water.
  2. Put squash and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Put other ingredients.
  4. Mix and let it simmer for 2-4 minutes.
  5. Taste. Serve.


By Rachelle and Amylene of Top 10 Carinderia Dishes*

Linaga can be stated in English as a stew. It’s the leisure of beef/pork with a touch of fruity sour flavor of batwan. Some put libas or alubihod. Big chunks of unripe langka are added to the linaga.

Below is a recipe courtesy of  Ilongga Manang Lalaine of Lalaine’s Eatery located at Ybiernas St. She is very famous among UP students because of her lutong bahay. She’ cooks in either the traditional Ilonggo way or with some twist, the Lalaine way.



¼ kilo batuan/ I pack Knorr sinigang

¼ kilo petchay

¼ kilo hilaw na langka, diced

4 pieces long chili

1 piece beef Knorr cubes

1 kilo beef/pork, cut into serving size

2 pieces onions, sliced

½ medium size garlic, pounded

½ cup cooking oil


  1. Sauté garlic and onions.
  2. Put the beef, mix for 2 min.
  3. After a few minutes, put some water.
  4. Let it simmer until the beef/pork gets soft.
  5. Put langka, salt and vetsin [optional]
  6. If the langka is soft enough, put the batwan or if batwan is off-season,  knorr sinigang.
  7. If batwan is used, take out from the broth the batwan if its skin is already open.
  8. In a small bowl, press the softened batwan to bring out the juice.
  9. Strain the batwan and put the juice into the pot.
  10. Simmer for a few minutes.
  11. Put the petchay.
  12. Simmer for a minute and add the chili peppers.
  13. Mix, simmer and serve.


By Rachelle and Amylene of Top 10 Carinderia Dishes*

Tinola is a dish with chicken as its main ingredient. It’s not only the chicken that makes this dish appetizing but also its sabaw, which is flavored by malunggay, papaya, and spices like ginger, onions, cooking peppers and tanglad. It’s traditionally cooked with native chicken but most carinderias use the 45 day broiler instead.  If one really likes it special, chili leaves would be the very best to add to the soup. Best served hot.

Below is a recipe courtesy of bachelor Manong Jay Naparato who is a certified Ilonggo. He is really fond of cooking that he even collects write ups about food. He is the youngest among the staff at Balay Ilonggo.



½ clove garlic

2 onion bulbs

1 kilo chicken

1 tanglad

2 pieces small papaya, sliced into wedges

2 pcs. cooking peppers

2 small bundles of chili leaves

1 chicken cube

2 tsp cooking oil

3 cups water

1 tsp salt


1.      Sauté garlic and onion.

2.      Put water and let it boil.

3.      Put the chicken.   Add the tanglad.  Wait for 2 minutes then add salt and let it simmer until the    chicken    is tender.

4.      Add the sliced papaya. Let it simmer until the papaya is soft and tender.

5.      Add the cooking peppers.

6.      Put the chili leaves and let it simmer for 2 minutes.

6.      Serve.

Inday Joy says:  At home, right after putting in the chili leaves, I turn off the heat so leaves still retain much of their vitamins.


By Rachelle and Amylene of Top 10 Carinderia Dishes*

Mongo is a mixture of mongo, and vegetables like alugbati and squash. Actually, mongo is any dish that has mongo as a base ingredient. There are so many ways of cooking mongo dishes that it’s like in every carinderia, there’s a different dish of mongo. There’s the mongo with squash, the plain mongo with chopped pork, there’s the mongo with pinakas which is a dried fish, and many others. In Marilou’s Eatery, mongo is mixed with chopped banana pith and tomatoes. In Lalaine’s Eatery, they have the mongo with sardines, langka, coconut milk and camote tops. Below is a recipe courtesy of Manong Totong, our dorm staff.



½ salmon mongo

½ clove garlic

2 onion bulbs

¼ kilo pork

3 pieces tomatoes

5 cups water

1 tsp salt


1.      Boil the water.

2.      Put the mongo and let it simmer until it is cooked.

3.      Add salt.

4.      Set aside.

5.      Sauté garlic, onion, and tomatoes in a separate pan.

6.      Transfer the sautéed ingredients in the pan where the mongo is.

7.      Let it simmer for 2 minutes.

8.      Serve.



by Rachelle and Amylene of Top 10 Carinderia Dishes*

The walang kasawaang Adobo is so very popular in the Philippines that every home has the mastery of cooking such a dish. Adobo makes everyone eat so much rice.

It is a dish of chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, paminta and some bay leaf. Its savory taste depends on the proportion of the ingredients and the procedure. The color is usually golden or dark brown.

Meat is usually cut into small chunks but there’s one exemption, try checking out Tobeng’s Eatery near Iloilo Doctor’s College and they will give you a large pork chop.

Below is a recipe courtesy of  bachelor Manong Jay Naparato who is a certified Ilonggo. He is really fond of cooking that he even collects write ups about food. He is the youngest among the staff at Balay Ilonggo.



1 kilo pork/chicken

3 onion bulbs

1 clove garlic

1 small piece ginger

6 laurel leaves

1 tsp atsuete

3 tbsp oil

½ cup vinegar

½ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp powdered pepper

½ cup sugar


1.      Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, powdered pepper.

2.      Put the chicken/ pork in the mixture and marinate it overnight.

3.      Sauté the garlic, onions, ginger.

4.      Put the marinated mixture of chicken/ pork in the cooking pan and let it boil for about 15 minutes.

5.      Add water and let it simmer until the meat is tender and cooked

6.      Add vetsin and vinegar. Boil for 2 minutes.

7.      Serve while hot.

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