Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Wrap Them Store Them Peddle Them: The Filipino Way

Wrap Them Store Them Peddle Them: The Filipino Way
Written by Marilen Nolasco-Espiritu
Photos by Johann Espiritu
ArtPostAsia, 2008

This book is in the cataloging pile that caught my eye!

What an interesting read. 

It has stories about the creative ways of preparing and packaging Filipino delicacies as well as the persistence and ingenuity of the people who make them. I had to pause from meeting my cataloging quota to read a few chapters. 

It is the book's cover that got me first: a stack of sundot kulangot. Kalamay. Rice cakes inside the bitaog shell. As a child, I would receive sticks of sundot kulangot as pasalubong from a favorite aunt who loved to travel in the provinces of the North. My lola cooked Kalamay, of course, but back then, cracking open the shell and scooping the kalamay from the inside with a small bamboo stick adds to the adventure of eating one.

Ah, and there are more kakanin and delicacies in the book that brought forth memories and stories of growing up. The chapter on Bagong Balayan reminds me of a neighbor who sold them per scoop or takal from a tapayan. My mother would make me buy 3-5 scoops of bagoong for seasoning in pinakbet. On a Sunday, after morning mass, my father would drop by an old house near Pateros church to buy trays of balut and itlog maalat. A tray of salted eggs would land in my Lola's sari-sari store where it was sold for 5-7 pesos a piece. Add 3-5 pesos and you get one tomato and one small onion.

Amazing how one book can channel me back to those memories of childhood.

Apart from the folkloric appeal of the narrative, the photos are art pieces complementing the book's concept of a vanishing culture put under a microscope. Thus the book is a precious title to add to a library's collection. In teaching and learning context, the book is a valuable source for developing units of study in Philippine studies, art, design and even business.

Rating: 4 Bookmarks

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