Baye-baye, that Ilonggo native snack food made from either ground glutinous rice (pilit) or corn is basically all over the island. It can be found during marketdays in every town. In Iloilo city, baye-baye is available everyday at the Central Market and at Super. There are particular baye-baye variants however, that seem to have risen above the generic kind. I’m thinking in particular about Pavia’s baye-baye which is starting to grace the new Iloilo airport. The many makeshift stands that line the national highway leading to the airport invite travelers to bring home a pack or two of baye-baye and kalamay hati (another native snack). Wait, I’m digressing. This should be another blog entry. Oh, yes, before I forget, there’s another popular variant– Miagao’s baye-baye, which look like miniature pillows nicely packaged in fresh young green banana leaf. (await the entry on Miagao baye-baye).
Now, that picture above is what I found in the public market of San Miguel one Sunday morning (its market day). That’s corn baye-baye which the maker decided to shape into small balls (looking like donut munchkins), eight to a pack. Pretty cute, I’d say.