The Daily Roar

Painitan, A place of warmth in Dumaguete City

Painitan in a loose English translation means, “to heat” or “to warm up” but in
Dumaguete City the word yields into a whole another meaning that lets you in to an
intimate and unassuming lifestyle of the locals.

Local delights of Dumaguete City

A vacation in Dumaguete City, a city in the province of Negros Oriental Philippines,
will be incomplete if you did not pay a visit to this place. As early as four in the
morning, “Painitan” stalls are already open in public markets ready to serve people
who are eager to start their day with a hearty meal. Painitans are easy to find as they
are usually situated in rows at the side of the market. “Bangko” or benches of these
open-aired stalls are full of peddlers, buyers and tourists alike. A sense of welcome
could be easily felt as vendors greet you with a smile. A small talk or lengthy
discussions are also to be expected when you’re eating. Tourists are treated with
special hospitality, as the locals are eager to share their lifestyle to new faces. Good
food and good company are great combination after all.

These stores popularly serve “budbud,” a sticky rice mixed with cocoa and wrapped
in banana leaves; and “sikwate”, a hot chocolate drink made from tablea, brown
sugar and water where you could dip your budbud in. Budbud are sold at ~USD 0.20
per piece while the sikwate is at around USD 0.10. A special version of budbud,
which is the “budbud kabog”, is made of millet instead of rice. Because of the
material used to cook it, it has a nutty flavor distinct from budbud. A piece of budbud
kabog costs about USD 0.40. For people with sweet tooth, they also sell chocolate

Though these delicacies are famously bought in Painitans in Dumagute City, they are
actually made from the town of Tanjay, which is a small town one hour from
Dumaguete up north. The factories where they make “budbud” are already open as
early as 3 am in the morning.

In the Philippines, markets are often regarded as the center of society. They often
serve as a window into the lives of the locals. Here we could observe how locals
trade, eat, and communicate with fellow citizens. Painitians provides a place to
receive the weary as well as to provide sustenance and encouragement for the
coming day. We often hear, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” and to be fully
immersed in the culture and lifestyle of Dumaguetenos, well you just have to visit
this place.

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