I have to admit it, I am a foodie and wherever I find good food, I feel comfortable, I find a home. I can find comfort almost everywhere – whether it be in the poshest hotel or restaurant or in your neighborhood burger joint or even in the corner where street food can be had. I love food – whether it is fried, dipped, overflowing with broth or whatever, as long as I get to listen to the conversation, feel the vibe of the locale, I find myself being content. I find myself happy, I find myself ecstatic and connected.

However, I would have to say that one of my most favorite places to find and grab a bite is the kakanin section of any public market. I feel that it shows the collective soul of the people in the locality. I believe that it shows how people use their creativity – how people adapt, how people co-opt with their community and the available products. The more variety I see, the more I appreciate the locality. The more I get to sample, the better I feel about it as well.


I have been to several public markets and probably one of the most common delicacies that I find in the stalls are local sapin-sapin. Almost always there are three or more layers on offer and always colorful. And from the conversations that I have had with the vendors, they pretty much state that the colors are dependent on their moods when they are cooking. Loud and proud colors are present when they are happy at the moment of culinary expression. Somewhat subdued colors become their trademark when they’re not really into it but still have to cook their product.

For me, the layers represent the levels of what we have to put up with. The base layer, usually the one that is pretty colorful represents the foundation of everything we do. It’s usually pretty dense, and heavy which makes it pretty good to the taste. The middle layer to me represents the things that matter to us such as our aspirations which we strive to reach with all our might. And the top layers represent the luxuries that we want to have – and in the sapin-sapin, it is usually the thinnest layer. In life, luxuries are there to be enjoyed when you have the time and the resources. And the specific topping that every vendor seems to have not only adds to the taste but also represents their personality. Some of them smother it with latik, some smother it margarine, some with shredded coconut meat. It just adds a whole new different dimension to the taste. Sometimes it is kind of strange at first but eventually, it tastes good because the elements somehow begin to complement each other. And you would really appreciate the delicacy so much more.


Sapin-sapin may just be one of the signature local delicacies that vendors would sell but it can represent much more than that. It would be representative of the prevailing local culture and would also be a window to the collective psyche of the community you are in. It may be simple, but it is much more than that.

Where to find the best Sapin-Sapin in Bacolod City

Quan Delicacies offer sapin-sapin on a daily basis for their avid patrons. This famous store for native delicacies has the following branches:

Bacolod Branches:
MC Metroplex – Northdrive – (34) 433-9987
La Salle Avenue (034) 707-1982
Gaisano City (034) 707-8440
Phoenix Gas Station, San Sebastian
Robinsons Supermarket (034) 476-1518
SM Food Court – 213-9149
San Juan – (034) 704-1253
Talisay Branch:
Super Metro, The District North Point (034) 702-3466
Manila Branch:
1797 Dian St, Palanan. Makati (02) 833-5843

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Jojo Vito

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  1. Very interesting that you have thought of the meaning of the colors sapin-sapin. It my fav filipino food. 🙂

  2. Very interesting! I saw in one place in Manila last year, I just forgot where, they made sapin-sapin with different set of colors. Also they sell it in squares. I was looking for that pics I took to show you, unfortunately hindi ko na makita. This is an interesting write up about sapi-sapin. 🙂

  3. Hahaha this reminds me of my Grandmother…she was a very good cook of many native delicacies…

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