Without complimentary breakfast from Plaza Maria Luisa Suites Inn, the hotel we’re staying at in Dumaguete, we headed straight to the public market for one of the city’s traditional breakfast fare, budbud. The locals call the place painitan, which, I guess, literally means a place to warm up in.
|A TYPICAL STALL AT PAINITAN|
As we walked along the open-aired stalls along the market’s painitan area, we were immediately overwhelmed by vendors calling out to us to try their budbud. I have tried this unique delicacy before when I visited Dumaguete the previous years, but I have yet to sample it as breakfast.
Indeed, this is a popular place, it was packed with locals having their early morning fare, luckily, we quickly found an empty seat right by the road. We joined in the fray.
|BUDBUD IS QUITE MESSY TO EAT WITH YOUR BARE HANDS|
Budbud, usually hawked for PHP10.00 a piece, is a suman-like snack made from rice and millet mixed sometimes with cocoa and wrapped in oily banana leaves. The more expensive variety, budbud kabog, sells for PHP25.00 and is made purely from millet and has finer texture. Compared to rice, millet is more expensive since it is harvested by hand; hence the higher tag.
|PERFECT FOR PASALUBONG|
It was interesting to know that these delicacies, while very popular in Dumaguete, are actually made in the neighboring town of Tanjay. These are also good for pasalubong to bring back home since they last for about three days, provided that they’re properly refridgerated.
Besides this, Dumaguete’s painitan also offers puto maya. I’ve only heard about puto maya at children’s games during my younger years, usually a tag for kids who are fond of mimicking other people, like, gaya gaya, puto maya. I never thought the term refers to a real food until now.
|THE COMPLETE SET, BUDBUD, PUTO MAYA AND SIKWATE|
When we ordered one, I thought it would resemble a traditional Filipino puto (rice cake), I was surprised when they plunked a chunk of purplishy gunk of sticky rice cooked in coconut milk on our plate. We were told it was best dipped or lathered with sikwate, a hot chocolate drink they serve here, so we ordered two cups of those too.
|A LOCAL HAVING HIS BREAKFAST FILL AT PAINITAN|
The budbud (which locals spell as bod-bod) we ordered was as I remembered it years back, slightly sweet with a very fine texture. It also went well with our sikwate, so we dipped it in like our life depended on it. The puto maya, on the other hand, was quite bland by itself, it definitely needed a lather of hot chocolate to kick it into gear, or even better, a slice of ripe mango to go along with it.
Painitan is definitely the place to be if you’re looking for something local to eat when in Dumaguete. The ambience may not be the best there is, it is right by the market afterall, but if you’re looking for something new to try, you might want to pass off on your hotel’s usual breakfast buffet and head on over here. If you can’t pass off on your bacons though (which I really understand), head here right after.
Dumaguete Market Painitan
Address: Dumaguete Public Market, Perdices St.,
Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
Open Hours: Early morning to late afternoon
GPS Coordinates Map: 9.305215, 123.306059