Here’s something every Filipino kid my age might know and love.
This bunch of sweetness are called “bukayo,” — a native kind of candy composed of shredded coconut meat set in melted sugar and milk. What comes off is a round disk of goodness that can make you finish lots in one sitting and rot your teeth if you aren’t careful with the tooth brushing.
When I was younger, I used to buy rolls of this candy at the village market. It’s something that I used to save money just so that I’ll have my weekly fix. For PHP5 per roll, it’s not exactly expensive but for a kid with a few coins as lunch money — it already merited serious savings. The love for bukayo also merited countless cavities fixed by dental work which I had to pay for extensively as soon as I got a job.
The sad thing is there’s no longer “bukayo” visible in modern Manila, the same way that where the old village market once stood, is now a soul-less gasoline station. I tried searching for this once, but merited nothing at all. Sad that kids in modern Manila will no longer now just how yummy this candy can be.
I was able to get my fix this time, thanks to my friend who lives in Bulacan, a province a few hours north of Manila. In just a few days, this supply will be gone and the tiny girl in me will again miss this remembrance of bygone areas and wonderful childhood memories.