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Ka Loring’s Filipino Rice Cakes

One of the advantages of being in the province of Batangas is that the cities and the municipalities are progressive enough to seduce the fastfood chains to come over and set up shop; but if one is pining for something more traditionally Filipino, one can always saunter over to the local market where one can still readily find old food favorites.

For instance, in the Cuenca Public Market, 40-year old Loriana Vergara – popularly known as Ka Loring – maintains a stall where she sells home-made favorites made from glutinous rice: suman (a Filipino rice cake steamed in banana leaf); pinindot (glutinous rice balls and tapioca cooked in sugar-flavored coconut milk); tamales (or suman sa lihiya, if you must; another Filipino rice cake flavored with lye and steamed in banana leaf); and kalamay (another Filipino rice cake made of galapong or glutinous rice dough).

The suman and the tamales sell at 4 pesos per piece; while the kalamay costs, depending on the size, anything from 10 to a hundred pesos. Meanwhile, the pinindot is sold on a per-cup basis.

Such is the repute of Ka Loring’s delicacies that she gets orders not only from neighboring municipalities such as Alitagtag; customers actually come from as far as Metro Manila. Doubtless, however, the prices will be a bit more padded once her rice cakes are sold in the big city.

Ka Loring prepares her products at home and employs just a few people to help her with the wrapping, mixing and steaming of the rice cakes. She is known for being particular about maintaining not only the taste of her products but also their overall quality as well as the cleanliness of the place where these are prepared.

That is why she is always careful about the quality of the glutinous rice that she acquires because she knows that it is this that ultimately dictates the quality of her rice cakes as well as her pinindot.

Such is the repute that she has earned in the local community that her market stall does not even have a signage. Ask anyone in the market where Ka Loring can be found and in most likelihood you will be directed to her stall.

Ka Loring does not really have plans to expand her small food business just yet. Such is her commitment to quality over quantity that she is wary about overextending herself. This is a philosophy that is as admirable as the tasty food delicacies that she sells each day in her market stall.

For those interested in ordering any of her products, you may call 0949-9876577 and ask for Verna Vergara.

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