About Biñan

Experience Biñan

What’s New

Contact Us

At the other end of the nearly two and a half kilometer-stretch of Halang Road from Southwoods Exit stands a monumental work portraying one of Biñan’s living social practices that has turned into a full-fledged industry in Barangay Canlalay. The work was commissioned to celebrate a big contributor to the barangay’s economy. The work renders a crucial phase in producing pinipig that needed the different but equally important roles of men and women in the labor process, as well as its significance in a family’s economic growth. This process today has been mostly replaced by machinery to cater to mass production.

Traditionally, making pinipig is not only a lengthy process that would take days, but an arduous one as well. Glutinous rice is soaked for about 12 hours before being sundried for two to three days. It is then toasted in a lila (clay pot), with bamboo as firewood as Canlalay used to have vast lands grown with this hardy grass. By this time, the inviting and soothing aroma of the toasted glutinous rice, together with the smell of burnt wood, blesses the entire barangay, and now the factories and pasalubong centers. The man then pounds the toasted glutinous rice in a lusong (huge wooden mortar and pestle for pounding the rice) until flattened as the woman constantly checks how flat the rice and how open the husk is.The manual pagbabayo (pounding) leaves some of the rice extract intact, giving a subtle sweetness to pinipig. After this, the woman separates the rice from its husk through pagtatahip (winnowing).

Despite being laborious, the process becomes a modest social gathering, especially during the time leading to the week of Undras and Dia de Todos los Santos, when demand is high for kakanin (native snacks), which cemetery goers feast on. To make the production process less grueling, as pagbabayo extends overnight, neighborhood friends come together to do harana (serenading), singing kundiman (Filipino love songs) to the accompaniment of a guitar. The pace of the pagbabayo automatically follows the rhythm of the guitar—as the rhythm goes fast, so does the pagbabayo.

Today, to meet the high demand of culinary enterprises, pinipig producers have resorted to machinery that emulate the traditional pagbabayo and pagtatahip movements, but the sweetness of the rice extract is somehow lost along the way.

One of the most popular pinipig establishments in Biñan is Edna’s Pinipig Ampaw and Pasalubong, named after Elpidio Sanchez’s eldest daughter and now the manager, Edna Sanchez Sietereales. Then 16-year-old Edna witnessed firsthand Mang Elpidio’s hard work and persistence to send his seven children to school. He first worked in his uncle’s pinipig shop, but his guts and ability led him to venture into his own business in 1967.

In his entrepreneurial pursuit, he set the bar high in the competition. Mang Elpidio went beyond pinipig as a topping or as a kakanin. He made them into pinipig ampaw—Edna’s is the only one of the six recognized pinipig producers in Canlalay that makes this. In one pot, the freshly made pinipig is cooked in highly heated oil; while in a separate pot, the sweet juice freshly extracted from sugarcane is caramelized. When both are cooked enough, the pinipig and caramel are thoroughly mixed together then flattened evenly on a long table before being cut into rectangular bars. From the aroma of the toasted pinipig and the indulging sweet smell of the lightly burnt sugar in the pinipig shops, the pinipig ampaw bars now make their way to the pasalubong center and to its branches in malls and petrol stations.

The current production manager and the fourth of seven children, Joel Sanchez, innovated his father’s classic recipe with different flavors: champorado (chocolate rice porridge), cashew, peanut, sesame, and butter. It is popular yet rare, which makes it a perfect pasalubong of travelers for their loved ones back home. Vendors would station themselves at bus terminals or would ride the buses to sell pinipig ampaw to the passengers.

A proud and grateful daughter of a worker, Edna is always considerate of her workers’ welfare. She sees to it that the production of pinipig and pinipig ampaw is done everyday so her workers could earn their daily wage. Also, despite the rapid modernization of her production chain, she keeps the use of machinery minimal so that her 25 workers still keep their role in the production process. Edna, through the Pinipig Ampaw and Pasalubong Center that she inherited from her father Elpidio and mother Leticia Almadin, wishes to pay back to the industry that lifted them from hardship by creating as many jobs for small workers as she could.

Related Articles



In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the town square in Barangay Poblacion, there quietly exists a humble lugawan (porridge food stall) that has...

Puto Biñan

Puto Biñan

Almost every region in the Philippines has its own version of puto or rice cake, but what has come to be known as Puto Biñan is exceptional. The use...