Love and patience in cooking among Aetas PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 11:31



LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love…” (1 Corinthians 13:13, the Holy Bible).


AETAS SURPRISE ROTARIANS WITH CHICKEN MEAL COOKED IN BAMBOO POLES: Rotarians routinely do their duty to “lead the way” in giving “service above self” as they “reach within to embrace humanity” internationally, never expecting any gift or favor in return from the people who have been beneficiaries of their charity work ever since Rotary was established in 1905.

On February 11, 2017, however, the members of the Rotary Club of Intramuros Manila got overwhelmed by the manner by which Aetas, or native Filipinos from Central Luzon, especially from Sitio Babo, Clark, Pampanga, expressed their appreciation for the brand new eight toilets that the Rotarians from Manila donated and formally turned-over to them.

As the turn-over of the toilets worth about P350,000.00 came to a close, the Aetas surprised the Rotarians with a hearty and traditional native meal—chicken “binulo” (or chicken “tinola” cooked inside tightly-sealed young bamboo poles), native rice wrapped and cooked in banana leaves, and sweet potato or camote also cooked inside young bamboo poles. It was a feast, and a true gastronomic delight to palates of Rotarians so used to city cooking.


LOVE AND PATIENCE IN COOKING AMONG AETAS: Ms. Mercy Tecson, the resident teacher at Sitio Babo who handles the day-care school of the place, led young Aeta girls and boys in preparing the meal. I learned that cooking food the “binulo” way requires a lot of patience, expertise, and love, what with the manner by which chicken parts and species to season them are slowly inserted into the bamboo poles.

The poles are then sealed, after which they are placed on top of burning coals. Once the poles are exposed to the coals, they are required to be carefully watched over, to avoid their being overly burned in one side, and left uncooked in its other sides. To attain the desired taste, the poles must be thoroughly roasted in every side.

After the food is already cooked, taking them out from the poles requires the same extra-caring method. The juice that is formed inside the poles is poured into a soup saucer and distributed to the guests. The chicken and its spices are then brought out of the poles by cutting the poles into two and are served hot. Wow. It was an experience in native cooking Rotarians will never forget during their lifetimes, I am sure!


SANDALS, BREAD, AND FOOD PACK FOR AETAS:The turn-over of the toilets was further spiced up by donations of some 100 rubber sandals coming from RC Intramuros Past President Arnold Saavedra and his wife, Rotarian Mila. The sandals were given to Aeta children who had been roaming freely in Sitio Babo without foot coverings and who were therefore exposed to dirt and microbes from a dirty surrounding daily.

Then, Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc. of Binan, Laguna, on the other hand, gave 150 packs of loaves of bread which were also distributed to the Aetas on that day. On top of these, Past President Oca Garcia and his wife, Past President Amy Garcia, donated 70 food packs consisting of rice, adobo, and pansit, which were handed out to hungry residents by All Star President Angelina Mauricio, my wife.

Many Aetas also received used clothing from Past President Floren Naguit, while others received dental and hygiene kit from Dr. Debbie Tenorio, the Club’s President Nominee. For pictures of the event, please go to


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