Puto bumbong and bibingka are two delicacies that symbolize the Filipino Christmas. The merriest season is certainly just around the corner when we see vendors selling these on the streets. However, for a group of puto bumbong and bibingka vendors in Mandaluyong City, Christmas may not be as joyful than past celebrations because of quarantine rules imposed by the local government. As such, there is no assurance that authorities will allow them to sell at their usual locations in the city’s thoroughfares. Thankfully, they were accepted and allowed by the San Felipe Neri Parish Church to sell in front of it.
Iba ‘Yan host Angel Locsin met one of them, Milagros “Nanay Mila” Arabit, a puto bumbong and bibingka vendor for 20 years. She admitted that the income they get from selling really varies, especially when the pandemic started. Sometimes, they earn just a little, and sometimes, they take home huge amounts. She continues to work hard for her grandson who has special needs because of his heart and speech problem. Liezl Reyes is the one who helps her in making and selling bibingka and puto bumbong. Nanay Mila also aided Liezl in earning more for her four children. The Iba ‘Yan team gave them Nanay Mila and Liezl noche buena packages. Nanay Mila also received vitamins for her health, as well as a gift that she can give to her grandson Axel. Iba ‘Yan also provided a tablet and a pocket Wi-Fi for the online schooling of Liezel’s children and Nanay Mila’s grandson.
Angel also met a family who also makes and sells puto bumbong and bibingka. Sonia Darlucio and one of her five children, Gerald, have become the family breadwinners since Sonia’s husband succumbed to a heart attack. Sonia admitted that it has been really hard for her to provide for her children when her husband passed away. But she did everything that she could and worked hard just to provide a good future for all of her children. Gerald is the one who has mostly been helping Sonia in their bibingka and puto bumbong business because he’s really interested in it. He also shared that he wants to save up so that he can go back to school. He actually helps his mother to sell by posting online. Iba ‘Yan gave them a noche buena package and cash assistance for Gerald.
Another hardworking puto bumbong and bibingka vendor is Charlie Flores. He wasn’t able to finish school because of financial problems. That’s why he chose to work for himself and to help his family. He once worked as a canteen staff at school. However, because of the pandemic, he lost his job because students were not physically attending classes. Until he learned how to make bibingka and puto bumbong, and eventually started to sell them. He works hard to help provide for his family, especially his mother who has a heart illness, and the education of his brother. Iba ‘Yan gave him a noche buena package, as well as tablet and pocket Wi-Fi for the school of his brother and his nephews. Iba ‘Yan also provided the maintenance medicine for Charlie’s mother.
While Iba ‘Yan redesigned the stalls of the vendors in front of San Felipe Neri Parish Church, Angel gathered Nanay Mila and Liezl, Sonia and Gerald, and Charlie to tell them more good news. Iba ‘Yan gave the rest of the vendors noche buena packages. They also provided additional ingredients for their puto bumbong and bibingka. The vendors were also given customized aprons and promotional materials like tarpaulins and banners. Iba ‘Yan also shouldered the vendors’ electricity payment and their monthly contribution for the stalls. Iba ‘Yan also purchased their puto bumbong and bibingka to give out to the people. Angel also told them that she would give an additional PhP10,000 to each of them for their stalls.
Aside from the puto bumbong and bibingka vendors, Iba ‘Yan also brought smiles to more Kapamilyas including Ramil Pura, a hardworking sidewalk vendor who makes and sells recycled artwork products made from plastic bottles. Angel handed him a noche buena package and a ligtas bag. Another lucky Kapamilya who received a noche buena package and a ligtas bag was Nanay Nelda Belen, a sampaguita and religious items vendor who works hard for her family.
Watch Iba ‘Yan, hosted by Angel Locsin, every Sunday at 6:45pm on the Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z Channel 11.