Why Is Friday ‘Ginisang Munggo’ Day?

Ginisang Munggo

AS far back as I could remember, Friday has always been Ginisang Munggo day. At home, our Manang would always cook Ginisang Munggo on Fridays, and she always paired it with fried fish—which is the same thing other Filipinos do regardless of which province they come from. It is a given: When it’s Friday, you can expect Ginisang Munggo on the table, and if you are too tired or feeling lazy to cook, you can just go over to the neighborhood carinderia and buy an order or two of Ginisang Munggo. They will surely have it—and fried fish, too!

Even now, whenever it is Friday, I think of Ginisang Munggo. I used to cook it, but it takes time to soften the beans, and since Raff had problems with uric acid anyway, I stopped cooking it. Whenever I felt like eating Ginisang Munggo, I would just order. More so now that Raff is still confined to the bed after suffering his second stroke in June 2019. So, these days, when it’s Friday and I want to have Ginisang Munggo, I would just get on my bike and pedal my way to the neighborhood carinderia in our subdivision and buy. Although it has pork (I do not eat pork) and not much of the stuff that I like loading my own Ginisang Munggo with (small shrimps, tomatoes, ampalaya leaves, malunggay leaves and, whenever available, himbabao, as well), it still effectively satisfies my craving. So, there!

Ginisang Munggo

But I have always wondered why there’s a connection between Ginisang Munggo and Fridays. So I decided to find out by asking culinary heritage advocate Chef Christopher Guado Carangian, punong heneral of the Culinary Generals of the Philippines, an organization whose members dig deep into the history of each heirloom dish in an effort to preserve it.

There are two stories behind the Ginisang Munggo-and-Friday connection, Chef Chris says.

Story No. 1: “During the time when there were no refrigerators, people were buying their food stuff during weekends. So, most of the time, they had their best and most impressive meals on Saturdays and Sundays. The days would go by and by the time it’s Friday, there would be no more fresh meat and vegetables to cook with. Since munggo (or mung beans) does not spoil, people usually turn to it at this time of the week,” Chef Chris explains.

Story No. 2: “The other story, or explanation, has a religious background to it. During the Lenten season, priests encourage parishioners to abstain from eating meat. This is especially true on Fridays because Friday happens to be the day when Jesus died on the cross. Through time, this practice has become part of the Filipino culture and tradition, and so we got used to cooking Ginisang Munggo in our homes on Fridays. Carinderias would also always serve it on Fridays, and it would often be paired with fish. No pork allowed,” says Chef Chris.

So, that is why Fridays are Ginisang Munggo days.

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Marinduque’s Bibingkang Boac

Bibingkang Boac

DIFFERENT regions and provinces in the country have their own versions of kakanins (native delicacies), particularly the bibingka. Over in the Southern Tagalog island province of Marinduque, there is a rice cake called Bibingkang Boac, also known as Bibingkang Lalaki because it has eggs in it.

Bibingkang Boac is named after the capital of Marinduque, which is Boac, where it is a specialty. A huge bibingka that is as big as a pizza, it is made with tuba (coconut sap wine) in place of yeast, which explains why, when cooked, the bibingka stays moist on the inside despite being cooked thoroughly over burning coconut husks.

To enjoy this delicacy, Marinduqueños from other municipalities—Torrijos, Sta. Cruz, Gasan, Mogpog and Buenavista—often have to take that trip to Boac to get their hands on Bibingkang Boac. It is best enjoyed freshly off the fire.

A week before the National Capital Region lockdown followed immediately by the Enhanced Community Quarantine of the entire island of Luzon, I got to enjoy Bibingkang Boac, which my sister-in-law Lanie Zulueta-Marquez brought to the house along with boiled peanuts and suman from her and my husband Raff’s hometown, Sta. Cruz, Marinduque.

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Bellefleur’s To-die-for
Strawberry Tres Leches Cake

Bellefleur by Beatrix’s Strawberry Tres Leches Cake

BELLEFLEUR by Beatrix’s frozen cakes are something else. The product of careful planning and countless kitchen testing until the recipe has been perfected, they look awesome and taste as good as they look. And Bea Atienza, the brains behind Bellefleur by Beatrix, is just so good at layering her frozen cakes with stuff that work like magic together that she just keeps coming up with best-selling cakes one after another.

Her newest creation: Strawberry Tres Leches Cake. It is a brilliant follow-up to her extremely popular Mango Tres Leches Cake and therefore follows the same formula but with sweetness and general taste adjusted from what works with mango to what works with strawberry to make it just the right sweetness—nothing more, nothing less—for the particular fruit used. Leche flan sits at the bottom of the cake, with vanilla chiffon cake over it and then a generous layer of strawberry cream mousse, topped with slices of fresh Baguio strawberries and crowned with lady fingers soaked in a delightful tres leches sauce.

“We use local strawberries because we want to highlight their natural sweetness and vibrant color. Apart from that, we also want to help local farmers uplift their lives through our products,” explains Bea.

The Strawberry Tres Leches Cake and other equally refreshing frozen and refrigerated cakes and pastries are available at Bellefleur by Beatrix, Ground Floor, Unimart, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Club Filipino Ave., Greenhills, San Juan. For inquiries or orders, call 0945-1234577 or 0928-6215669. For delivery, call 0917-8128730 or 0917-8258730. The store opens at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m.

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Enjoy Premium Sea Mantis
at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Wok-fried Sea Mantis Prawn with Salt and Pepper

SEA mantis. These are marine crustaceans that are an exquisite treat for the palate. They are called sea mantis shrimps and can be eaten the way shrimps are eaten. They are more often mistaken for lobsters because they taste like lobsters, but they are not. They can be found in various cuisines, including Vietnamese, Japanese and Cantonese Chinese.

So, in keeping with the traditions of authentic Cantonese cuisine, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s authentic Cantonese restaurant, Lung Hin, showcases the subtle, exquisite flavors of the sea mantis for the whole month of March.

Steamed Sea Mantis Prawn with Vermicelli and Minced Garlic

Wok-fried Sea Mantis Prawn with Chili Sauce

From March 1 all the way to March 31, 2020, Executive Chinese Chef Ken Leung and his kitchen team sets the stage for this exceptional ingredient to be enjoyed to the fullest by discerning gourmands who will be visiting Lung Hin. The sea mantis will be showcased in three culinary creations—Wok-fried Sea Mantis with Salt and Pepper, Steamed Sea Mantis with Vermicelli and Minced Garlic, and Wok-fried Sea Mantis with Spicy Chili Sauce.

For inquiries or reservations, call (+632) 7720-7720 or email restaurant.mnl@marcopolohotels.com.


(Marco Polo Ortigas Manila is located at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number (+632) 7720-7777.)

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Savor the Romance
at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas

A Junior Suite at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas

SAVOR the love and romance that exists between you and your significant other this Valentine’s Day with a romantic staycation and an exquisite dinner at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas.

Available until February 29, 2020, is the classic Forever Room Package, which comes complete with accommodations in a well-appointed room and a sumptuous breakfast for two, at a package price of Php3,900 nett. There is also the Ever After Room Package, which adds a bottle of fine wine and cheese to the breakfast amenity for two, at package rates starting at Php4,500 nett. The wine and cheese may be served in-room or at the Richmonde Café or The Exchange Bar. Couples celebrating on February 14, Valentine’s Day itself, with a staycation at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas may opt for the Valentine’s Day Bundle Package, which includes a delightful Valentine’s Day Dinner and breakfast buffet for two at Php5,700 nett (Deluxe Room) or Php6,200 nett (Junior Suite).

All room packages, which are valid only for local residents or foreigners with ACR, come with complimentary use of the Health Club’s gym and heated indoor pool plus Wi-Fi access.

Salmon Fillet for ‘Cena Romantica’

Also available at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas this Valentine’s Day, February 14, is an intimate Cena Romantica at the Richmonde Café from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. It is an Italian-inspired feast complete with an appetizer buffet, a salad bar, soup, entrée choices of either Rib Eye Steak or Salmon Fillet, and a luscious array of cakes, pastries and fresh fruits at the dessert station. Priced at Php1,498 nett per person, it comes inclusive of a glass of wine.

For inquiries and reservations, call +632 8638-7777 or +632 917-8597914.


(Richmonde Hotel Ortigas is located at 21 San Miguel Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City.)


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