Red Maleta Eats: Bohol’s Not-so Secret Ube Kinampay

Jul 14, 2014

sagbayan peak
View of Bohol’s famous Chocolate Hills from Sagbayan Peak

Ever since I tasted a homemade ube halaya (in Tagalog) or ubi kinampay (in Boholano), I’ve been asking friends and relatives to bring me some from Bohol. Unfortunately, my requests fell on deaf ears and I’m starting to worry that the sweetened dessert I’ve been craving is exclusively made by my colleague’s mother and Bluewater Panglao’s Aplaya Restaurant.

The kinampay or ubi-kinampay is a variety of ube found in Bohol. It is also considered sacred to the locals. Every time an ubi falls to the ground, people would whisper an apology and kiss it as a sign of reverence. In fact, the Ubifest is celebrated every January.

Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in Bohol for a CSR project. Yes! I can finally buy myself a tub of ube halaya.

After saving the world by feeding the citizens of Bonbon and its neighboring barangays, we set on a travel mission to visit Sagbayan Peak and purchase the ube treat in Tagbilaran. And a fridge magnet, while I’m at it.

sagbayan peak
Bohol meets Baguio

This is the fourth time I’ve been to Bohol, three of which are work-related. We left Bonbon, Clarin at 1 pm in search of a tricycle to get us to Sagbayan Peak. We brushed up our negotiating skills and managed to pay ₱300.00 (round trip tricycle ride from Clarin to Sagbayan) for the three of us. It took us more than 30 minutes of travel time. But the view of the famous chocolate hills artfully scattered on the vast green fields was worth it. Sagbayan Peak may not have the best angle of the hills unlike in Carmen but it has its own allure.

sagbayan peak
That’s Queenie over there. She convinced us that a side trip to Sagbayan will not make us miss our trip back home.

After the driver dropped us off in Clarin, we rode a van that will take us to Tagbilaran. We paid ₱100.00 each and got off in Manga, Tagbilaran. From there, we took a multicab to take us to the busy district of Tagbilaran. That’s a lot of transfers in one afternoon.

Bohol’s homemade ube kinampay and where to find it

Tito, my colleague, a Boholano through and through, showed me where to find the best ube kinampay in Bohol. This not-so secret place is located inside the hallways of Executive Inn in J.S. Torralba Street in Tagbilaran City.

ube kinampay
This is the location of the best ube kinampay in Bohol, hidden within the premises of Executive Inn
ube kinampay
Ube halaya or ube kinampay is simply known as ube jam

When we reached a white wall with a screen door (it actually looks like a laundry area of a private house), Tito called out to the door saying that we want to purchase an ube kinampay. A lady welcomed us inside and led us to the selling area. Their makeshift selling area is a black wooden divider that separates the living room from the kitchen with a price list propped against the wall.

ube kinampay
Bought a kilo of this purple carbo treat at ₱400.00
ube kinampay
Prices are subject to change without prior notice

If you are looking for the best ube jam/kinampay/halaya in Bohol, this place is a must-visit. If you know other places–secret or not–where to buy this native delicacy, drop me a line.

The Girl with Red Maleta

Red Maleta

The Red Maleta story was born out of an idea to travel to new places, learn different cultures and understand the world better. Of course, bringing my red maleta along with me.

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