Puto-sikwate sends 37 scholars to school

By: Apple Ta-as December 23,2014 - 12:50 AM

Before pancakes, bacons and eggs  became regular breakfast favorites, puto and sikwate were the morning mainstays in dining tables in Cebuano homes.

Puto to the uninitiated is sticky rice cooked in coconut milk which is wolfed down with a hot cup of native chocolate drink or sikwate.

Puto-sikwate was a culinary tradition which nowadays is associated with the Misa de Gallo or the nine-day novena masses leading to Christmas day which is celebrated at dawn.

Stalls offering puto, sikwate as well as bibingka, budbod and other native delicacies to sleepy devotees dot the church courtyard or along streets leading to churches.

At the Redemptorist Church in Cebu City, a group of lay church leaders who call themselves as the “Pamainit Group” or roughly, the Breakfast Club use the puto-sikwate as a platform to foster camaraderie among the faithful.

“The whole year round, they go home right away after attending Mass. But for at least one period in a year, people can stay back, meet new friends over puto-sikwate,” said one of the group’s facilitators who refused to be named.

“We just want to spread the word about this and let other parishes know so they can do the same,” he said.

A big part of the proceeds from the sale of native delicacies go to a scholarship fund for underprivileged children. The Pamainit Group now have 37 scholars.

Soccoro Basubas, 86 who braves the chilly weather all the way from Mandaue to attend the early morning Mass, said she is glad that  a group has taken time to promote the puto-sikwate tradition.

“It’s good the younger generation get to experience the tradition,” she said in Cebuano.

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TAGS: Cebu City, Christmas, food, livelihood, puto, sikwate

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