Yummy Stories: The Dying Art of Pabalat In Bulacan | Yummy Ph

Yummy Stories: The Dying Art of Pabalat In Bulacan | Yummy Ph

“Don’t let this go to waste,” she said. “This is my life.” “I grew up with this,” my Nanay Luz said. I told her, “Okay, mommy.
We will continue your work.” I am Natty Castro Ocampo. Pabalat artist from San Miguel, Bulacan. Pabalat is a type of candy wrapping art. This is an art form known in San Miguel and Malolos that was commonly done by women, when they have nothing to do in the afternoon. In Malolos, they do not use any pattern or template. They fold the Japanese paper and freely cut shapes, unlike here in San Miguel, we use patterns or padron before we cut the Pabalat. The pastillas from Bulacan is
unlike other kinds of pastillas because it uses fresh carabao milk and a small amount of sugar. It takes a long time to boil it in a pan, until it thickens. I can say that Pabalat is a dying art form because it is no longer being practiced. It is also not taught in schools anymore, while others have no patience to do it. My Nanay Luz told me that while we were growing up, my mother did not focus too much on Pabalat. When she was widowed, she eventually accepted numerous Pabalat orders. This was one of her means of livelihood when she needed to support the family, after our dad passed away. I learned how to make Pabalat when my mother, I think, she was 88 years old then. I started to practice Pabalat when I was 52 years old. But my work would always get rejected. So, I did not stop until my work was clean. My mother’s designs, her inspirations back then, led her to her first pattern, the nipa hut. The nipa hut is a representation of Filipinos. Because weren’t nipa huts our houses back then? It was our traditional house. She was also inspired by farmers na “nag-babayo” or pounding the rice grains. Also, women who were dressed in Maria Clara. Her other designs were plants and flowers. If she sees anything beautiful, or nature that’s beautiful to look at, she can make a sketch of it. Whenever I cut the Pabalat, this is one way for me to keep her memories alive. That’s why… we might never surpass her skills— —but to just be at par with her work, that would be enough for us.


  • flipthecoin888 says:

    Wow napakaganda. I remember, distinctly, watching about this on an episode of Batibot. Hope you could show us how to make basic designs! Mamamatay talaga yan unless people get educated.

  • Zen Parker says:

    More yummy stories pls

  • Mary Grace Guerra says:

    ang galing sna nga ituro s mga schools, parang ang hirap gawin ,

  • Mary Grace Guerra says:

    pantanggal stress, pano kya gumawa ng pattern para s pabalat ?

  • Anet Alba says:

    Salamat po sa paapapalabas ng likhang sining ng aming lola nanay luz..kung nabubuhay lang po ang nanay sa ngayon panigurado kami na tuwang tuwa po sya…

  • Maria C says:

    Oh my God! Thanks for sharing this, what an amazing form of art. I hope it stays alive thru Ms Natty Castro Ocampo. Sayang naman kung mawawala. The local government of San Miguel (or kung anong bayan man sila, dalawa yata)should do something to preserve this amazing heritage. So beautiful. Mabuhay ka Ms Natty! Thank you!!!!

  • Rio Francisco says:

    Naalala ko yung sa Batibot dati, manghang-mangha ako noon bilang mahilig din ako sa papel tapos kada uuwi kami ng Nueva Ecija o paluwas na ng Maynila sa San Miguel talaga ang bilihan ng pasalubong

  • Joy Gozon says:

    it should be taught to the younger generations of today so the lineage will continue! more stories to come! ty yummy for sharing this story! 🙂

  • Bella Estrella says:

    Naty, sana marami ka pang maturuan ng art na iyan, sa mga schools .. para magtuloy-tuloy. It's a rare talent. Nakaka proud bilang isang Pilipino.

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