Hello. I might as well continue the momentum of posting about Lumpia– that fresh spring roll made of sautéed ubod or heart of palm or coconut pith.
Funny but when I was small, this celebration food I never touched. Veggies you know. With the passing of the years, one learns to make better, healthier choices. Lumpiang ubod is one of the healthiest snacks/dishes one can ever have. It’s Pinoy Paleo food.
i recall that the late Doreen Gamboa-Fernandez, whose writings have inspired me in the same direction, wrote an essay specifically entitled Lumpia of Silay. Being a Silaynon, she definitely would write about what she grew up with and the lumpia ubod was one of them.
(By the way, guru Doreen had that flair for writing scholarly essays about the food and culture of a place and still manage to sound literary. So much for Inday Joy. Haha)
The lumpia of Silay found itself into CNN’s 50 foods that define the Philippines.” The most famous maker is Emma Lacson with her business continued by her heirs. El Ideal Bakery also makes this fresh ubod lumpia.
Come to think of it, this acclaimed Silaynon delicacy has been a staple in Molo, Iloilo long before. Charrey del Rosario, a present-day lumpia maker, narrates that this tradition has been passed down by her grandmother to her mother and now to her.
Fact is –the rich families of Molo moved to Negros with the sugarcane boom at the turn of the century. The Lacson, Locsin, Yusay, Montelibano, and all other haciendero names you can think of– they trace their origins mostly to Molo and Jaro. Wth that migration, naturally, they brought with them their food and foodways. That’s how lumpia became associated with Silay.
So how about the Jaro lumpia? Same thing. Oh, I don’t mean the sugarcane thing. It was a case of love. The late Mr. Rosario Villa (who hails literally from Villa) married a Jardiniano. So he “migrated” to Jaro. This famous maker of fresh lumpia ubod in Jaro traces his family tree to Molo as well.
So that’s how it goes. No need to fight over titles. All hail the Ilonggo Lumpia.