Pateros Balut sa Puti Festival
If you’ve been to Asia specifically the Philippines, then you’ve probably heard of the Balut delicacy. An early morning or evening laying in your bed and you hear a vendor shouting “baloot! baloot!” this is the first experience most visitors and some locals have with the delicacy. What is Balut and what makes the aphrodisiac so special that it gets a whole festival to it name.
Balut and Its Significance to Filipinos
Balut is a common dish in Asia where the embryo of a duck is boiled for 15-20 minutes before being eaten within the shell. The snack is rich in protein and therefore considered a healthy snack. The snack in the Philippines and around Asia is sold a street food.
As is with most street foods, the vendor always has a mixture of different additives to allow the customers to season their eggs. Most tourists and first time Balut buyers find it as the most difficult food to stomach but once they get past seeing the almost fully grown chick inside the egg, they are hooked. That said, how did the Pateros Balut Sa Puti festival come to be?
How it all started: The Pateros Balut Sa Puti Festival
The Chinese influenced the Philippines in 1895 and in 1900 Balut gained traction in the Philippines. Since then they have been preparing and eating the exotic dish. As the Filipinos migrated to other foreign countries the popularity of the snack and demand grew.
On the 31ST of January, the small town of Pateros, the official municipality of Pateros, hold the Pateros Balut Sa Puti festival. The tradition has been handed down from one generation to another and currently the town has 23% of the shares in the Balut making industry. The festival’s highlight is a competition where different locals and tourists compete in making Balut.
The festival is a highlight of the Pateros town and brings people from all over the country and tourist to celebrate the country’s exotic dishes and street food. The festival has helped in improving the image of the town and promoting the image of the industry. Visitors and locals gather in the streets to commune together to enjoy drinks, food, and the highlight of the occasion, Balut. That said, it suffice to say Balut festival started with the preparation and competition of cooking Balut annually.
Other cuisines in the festival
Other foods that are cooked during the festival include the following:
Balut makers and vendors have perfected the art of making the Balut under various temperatures. The makers also blend different ingredients to come up with a different forms of the snack.
In this form of Balut making, instead of using chicken and pork, the Balut is seasoned with vinegar and soy sauce. Onion, garlic, pepper, and salt to taste are added to bring the savory taste home. It is one of the popular and interesting Balut snacks.
The traditional snack is given a twist by adding a sizzling element. The Balut dish can therefore be served on a sizzling hot plate.
This form of Balut is known as “tokneneng” where the egg is covered with flavorings and flour before being cooked in a hot pan. The flavorings include pepper and vinegar.
Cultural significance of the Festival
The Balut Festival holds an important aspect of the Philippines history. Philippines is home to many exotic foods and flourishes in the agricultural sector. It has over 7000 islands attracting tourists firm all walks of life. Each island offers a variety of cuisines and street foods. Among these street foods and local cuisines is the Balut. Cumulatively these street foods and dishes are what contribute to the rich culture of the Philippines.
How to get to the Pateros Balut Sa Puti Festival
The Nino Aquino International Airport serves Manila and the surrounding metropolitan. The airport is conveniently located at the border of the Paranaque and Pasay. Its approximately 7.3Km from Makati. Once you arrive at the airport, you can get to the location of the festival by commuting. Whether you are visiting Philippines for the first time or a local, you can get to Pateros via the MRT Guadalupe station.
The Jeepney terminal can be serves Manila and the surrounding area. If you are a local easily located using the Pateros bound jeeps. If you are coming from the Makati direction you can board the jeep parked in front of the stock exchange building. The jeeps can be located at Ayala center terminal in Ayala Center Avenue. There are four ways you can get to Pateros if you are in Manila by bus, ferry, taxi or foot. The cheapest way to Pateros from Manila is by bus, which will set you back by one dollar.
The direct bus leaving for Pateros from Manila is located at the Queens Blvd, Manila. The services depart after every five minutes and operates every day. Therefore if you reach Manila you can tour the famous sites before heading to Pateros for the Balut festival.
Here a map on how to get to Pateros: https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Manila/Pateros.
Place to stay near Pateros, Manila