Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Last year, the world's biggest calamay was gone in ten minutes. This year, an hour and a half after Candon's claim for the world's biggest rice cake was opened, the residents are still halfway through the huge cake made of glutinous rice, coconut and brown sugar.

This "magnified" calamay presented last March 28 at the Candon Plaza weighed 2,547 kilos set in a makeshift bilao with a diameter of 6.8 meters and a height of seven inches.

'My stomach is heavy with all these calamay," said Candon resident Willy Balikawa. He is one of 10,000 who this time lined up for a share of the calamay.

Candon officials are hoping to beat the previous record for the biggest rice cake set by the city of Niigata, Japan in March 1, 2002. The traditional rice cake weighed 2,097 kilos and was sponsored by the Kamaura Food Co.

"We had it harder because we had to grind the rice into flour and grate the coconut meat," said Candon Mayor Allen Singson.

Workers started pouring the calamay at 3 pm last Monday while a representative of the Department of Trade and Industry was weighing its pouring.

Liza Abaya, president of the Candon Calamay Makers based in the village of Bagar, said that 45 cooks worked around-the-clock to produce 132 vats of calamay in three days. They used 2,000 coconuts, 200 gantas of galapong or rice flour and 1,200 kilos of brown sugar.

Singson said that they spent more than P100,000 for the ingredients while the Bagar calamay makers gave their services for free.

Lat year, the calamay was open to the public and a melee started with the calamay gone in ten minutes. 2005's calamay was made of 270 kilograms of glutinous rice or diket as it is called in Ilocano and 1,440 coconuts and 720 kg. of white and brown sugar.

This year, the calamay makers wearing a green T-shirt with "I came. I saw. I tasted…" printed on its handed out the calamay. Although Candon is selling both the white and brown varieties, the city decided to make only the dark calamay.

Rep. Eric Singson said that the Guinness world record attempt is their way of marketing Candon and Ilocos Sur as a whole.

He said that since Candon began making these giant calamays since 2003, the production has gone up.

"Balikbayans have been buying the calamay in bulk and freezing them where they can stay fresh for about a year," the older Singson said. Without refrigeration, the Candon calamay can last for a week.

He said that the calamay industry started before World War II with Rosa del Rosario and Caridad Dario.

Although other areas have been making calamay, Liza Abaya said that theirs is still the best.

"The best is that we are constantly smiling while we are cooking it," she said. "That way, you can only have happy thoughts while eating it."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sure your password was stolen? Or you were just too busy enjoying the super calamay in Candon? Hehehe. Glad you've got new postings. Hala! My day isn't complete without your blog! As coffee is for my get the drift.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oo nga ano. . .That must be the secret of cooking delicioso...haan naka-misuut jay aglutluto. And then you have these waitresses/waiters/ doughnut-Mcdo-Jollibee counterpeople who should make it a point to serve with a smile...the second step to having a satisfying meal. Frank, did you get some calamay for one year freezing?

9:12 AM  

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