Share Poll

Poll link

500 px
350 px
250 px
Preview

widget preview:

Width - px Height - px

Close preview
! You are using a non-supported browser Your browser version is not optimised for Toluna, we recommend that you install the latest version Upgrade
Our Privacy Notice governs your membership of our Influencer Panel, which you can access here. Our website uses cookies. Like in the offline world, cookies make things better. To learn more about the cookies we use, check out our Cookies policy.

eatee2017

  1 month ago

Pabalat

I am very fond of eating pastillas. Since I was small, one of my favorite Filipino sweets is pastillas. I have an officemate who lived in Bulacan and she used to sell pastilllas to us. Bulacan’s pastillas are very unique. Bulacan's pastillas is soft and easily melts in the mouth. The popularity of Bulacan's pastillas boils down to the process of mixing fresh carabao milk with a bit of sugar in a pan. It's a time-consuming process that results in a sweet and milky candy, but without the cloying feeling of granulated sugar when you bite into it.

One time, my officemate brought some unusually wrapped pastillas. I later found out that this beautifully wrapped pastillas were called Pabalat. Pabalat comes from the Tagalog word "balat," meaning "skin" or "wrapper". It is the art of wrapping candies with colorful Japanese paper that have intricate designs. The wrapper can be used in different candies, but in Bulacan, it is solely used with their milky pastillas.

The pastillas are wrapped in vibrant, delicate Japanese paper, but with the ends of the wrapper longer-falling like a gorgeous, paper-thin waterfall. The long ends serve as the canvas of the Pabalat where the artist uses her craftsmanship to cut intricate and detailed silhouettes and shapes.

I was really amazed by the the designs of the wrappers. They have different designs and it must be very labor intensive and very difficult to cut these designs with a small pair of scissors. I don’t think you can use machines to cut these very detailed and delicate designs in Japanese paper.

From the Youtube video, you will see how intricate and difficult are the designs. Cutting the designs into the Japanese paper is another astounding feat. There are many classic designs like the bahay kubo, the magsasaka or farmer, flowers, and Maria Clara.

They said that the tradition of Pabalat is unfortunately an art form that is dying. It is kept alive by only a number of Pabalat artists in Bulacan. Schools no longer include this in their curriculum and people don't have the patience for tedious cutting that requires precision. Natty Ocampo Castro, a second-generation Pabalat artist from San Miguel, Bulacan, is one of the Pabalat artists that continue to spread awareness of this dying art form. She learned the craft from her mother and mentor, Nanay Luz.

Nanay Luz first learned about Pabalat when she was in 5th grade, but she never paid much attention to this craft because she was preoccupied with raising Natty and her family. When Nanay Luz's husband passed away, it was only then that she accepted most of the Pabalat orders that came her way.

On the other hand, Natty only started working on her Pabalat journey when she was 52 years old and it took her a whole year of nonstop cutting and guidance to perfect her work, and for that, she thanks her Pabalat mentor-her mother, Nanay Luz.

I hope this art will not die and continue to live and thrive forever. This is one cultural heritage we should preserve and protect. The Bulacan folks and schools should continue to teach the next and younger generations to continue the Pabalat tradition.

Have any of you eaten any Bulcan pastillas wrapped in Pabalat?
Reply
Post

walski

  1 month ago
I appreciated the clip and at my age have never seen one of these "pabalat". It truly is a form of art and hope they continue to have this. People should realize the heart and patience of the people doing this plus the delicious taste of pastillas. Most of the time I can see and buy only pastillas in simple wrapper. Reply
1 comments

alangla

  1 month ago
We made some of those wrappers when I was in grade 11 and boy, they sure are very hard to make! Especially if you don't have the proper materials and skill. I have a great respect to the people who enrich this art of pastillas. Reply
1 comments

eatee2017

  1 month ago
Erratum in last sentence: Bulacan pastillas Reply
0 comments

tants

  1 month ago
Thumbs up! Reply
1 comments

M4336173j43

  1 month ago
Wow great artwork. I like pastillas too. Thanks for sharing this informative content. Reply
1 comments

MarioLuigi3286687

  1 month ago
Yes. I ate a lot of these when I was still young. I didn't know that it was called Pabalat then at that time since all I did was eat and eat. Reply
1 comments

Mapazenbuco

  1 month ago
like it. Reply
1 comments

LetBenjamin

  1 month ago
Thanks for sharing it. I like the taste of pastillas. :) Reply
1 comments

donarana

  1 month ago
I love to eat pastillas too! It's so good for dessert! Thanks for sharing an interesting share. Reply
1 comments

eatee2017

  1 month ago
Watch the video to know more about Pabalat. If you enjoyed it, press the Upvote button ⬆️. Reply
0 comments

Copied to clipboard

You’re almost there

In order to create content on the community

Verify your Email / resend
No thanks, I’m just looking

OK
Cancel
We have disabled our Facebook login process. Please enter your Facebook email to receive a password creation link.
Please enter a valid Email
Cancel
We're working on it...
When you upload a picture, our site looks better.
Upload