Posted by: Carlo Lorenzo

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A glimpse of the past in today’s delicious culture — that’s binulu. Binulu means cooking ingredients inside a “bulu.” Bulu is a Kapampangan word referring to a type of bamboo. It’s a taste of what the natives from Porac have been practicing for generations.

Porac Town, in Pampanga Province, was predominantly inhabited by Aeta tribes long before the colonization of the Philippines. Silvestre David, a local of Porac and a resort owner in Barangay Babo Pangulo said, Aetas cooked using bulu and those from nearby towns who moved to Porac learned this from them and adjusted the ingredients through the years.

Today, Silvestre treats tourists with binulu, and, at the same time teaching them how to do it. He said the staple ingredients include kamias, tomatoes, garlic, onions, salt and a glass or two of water. For the meat, it depends on what you’d like to put in. Usually, pork and chicken are used.

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We chopped all the ingredients and mixed them in a container, except for the water. Silvestre showed me prepared bulus they got from the mountains. We put the ingredients inside, poured the water, and folded a banana leaf to seal it and keep the liquid from evaporating.

ingredients, chopped and mixed

ingredients, chopped and mixed

The filled bulus were placed on an open flame, and then turned after 30 minutes. One hour cooking time is needed.

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The binulu was very tasty. The broth was very good, and it wasn’t sour, which was what I had expected. Since kamias is very sour, I thought it would dominate the flavor, but it didn’t. The pork and chicken meat absorbed the taste of the garlic, onions, tomatoes, and kamias which made it really delicious. I don’t know if I was just tired and hungry from all the cooking, but I definitely ate a lot. Maybe, the taste of the bulu and the banana leaf that mixed with the stew contributed to the delicious taste and my enormous appetite.

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If you want to experience binulu cooking you may want to get in touch with Porac’s tourism office with telephone number (045) 329-2053 local 101, and with the email address [email protected]

Know more about Porac, visit their website:

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*The trip to Porac was part of my shoot for I LOVE PINAS. It’s the travel show I host and it airs every Thursday 11:59pm on GMA News TV, and every Saturday 5:30pm+ on Light TV 33. It also airs abroad through GMA Life TV International. Special thanks to the staff of I Love Pinas for helping take photos and arranging the trip. Like I Love Pinas on Facebook, click here.

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