Digos in Davao del Sur used to be known as the “big” place that divides Regions XII and XII; the last somewhat-developed place the bus stops at when you’re heading from Davao City to Cotabato City (just before you hit Kidapawan City).
But this place that is located near a once-popular dark-stone-filled beach (that isn’t as frequented now, largely due to bad development of the place) actually has an attraction that has been gaining prominence by the day – i.e. the bibingka sold by the local vendors along the National Highway.
Bibingka is, of course, a type of baked rice cake, traditionally cooked in clay pots lined with (usually banana) leaves. It is a subtype of kakanin/snack foods in Philippine cuisine.
Every region in the country has its bibingka variant; but what makes bibingka a la Digos different is the addition of buko shreds within the rice cake itself (instead of as topping).
The bibingka recipe is somewhat similar… everywhere.
1 cup rice flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh milk
3 pieces raw eggs
Pre-cut banana leaf
- Combine rice flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Set aside.
- Cream butter then gradually put-in sugar while whisking.
- Add the eggs. Whisk until every ingredient is well incorporated.
- Gradually add the rice flour, salt, and baking powder mixture. Continue mixing.
- Pour-in coconut milk and fresh milk, then whisk some more.
- Arrange the pre-cut banana leaf on a cake pan or baking pan.
Pour the mixture on the pan.
***It is at this point where the bibingka de Digos sorts of diversifies the approach, with the addition of the shredded young coconut flesh. This adds a somewhat fresh taste to the bibingka, particularly when buck is added abundantly.
- Bake for 20-35 minutes, or until the color of the top turns medium brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
This type of bibingka is, by no means, exclusive to Digos; a similar version is available in Quezon Province. But exactly because the somewhat-similar variety is in Luzon, Digos’ version is… peculiar in Mindanao. And so this makes this a must-try.
So when in Davao del Sur, particularly when passing through Digos City, be sure to grab some along the National Highway…