Piat: Pawa

Photo Album: Piat, Cagayan: Pawa

CAGAYAN - After our visit to the Our Lady of Piat Basilica, we headed to the back of the church (north gate) to search for pawa. Stores line the street selling this famouse Piat delicacy. A favorite among the people of Cagayan, a trip to this town will never be complete without having pawa as a snack or pasalubong.

Pawa is basiclly steamed buns made of ground sticky rice and filled with ground and sweetened peanuts. They are sold in packs of 9 or 10 pieces at PHP25.00 per pack. They are best eaten when freshly cooked.

Unknown to most people of Cagayan, pawa has a Chinese origin. The rootword of pawa is pau (Chinese: 包; pinyin: bāo) which means "to wrap". These buns are collectively called in Chinese as bāozi (包子) or simply pau by most Filipino-Chinese. A similar, but slightly bigger, peanut-filled pau is also being sold in Binondo, Manila, which I will feature in a separate post.

Regardless of its origins, Filipino or Chinese or both, it was really a pleasure eating pawa and it will always be one of the reason for me to revisit Piat.

How to get there:

The Our Lady of Piat Basilica is located in the town of Piat, approximately 34 kilometers north-west of Tuguegarao City. From Tuguegarao City, take a tricycle (PHP10.00 per passenger) to the West Terminal along Buntun Highway. Take the van bound for Piat (PHP60.00 per passenger). Travel time is about 45 minutes. Some vans drive all the way to the church, some would stop at the terminal. Tricycles are available within the town (PHP10.00 per passenger).

How to get back:

The van terminal is just a 5 minute downhill walk away from the church. At the terminal, take the van bound for Tuguegarao City (PHP60.00 per passenger). Travel time is about 45 minutes.

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