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Linapet: The Best-Kept Secret of Agawa, Besao

Discover the secrets of Agawa, Besao's famous Linapet, a culinary delight with a rich tradition waiting to be savored.

 |  10 min read

Discover the culinary treasure of Linapet, a unique and indigenous Filipino food, in Agawa, Besao, Mountain Province. Dive into the rich cultural heritage of the Agawa community with every bite. Photo: Dawn Gee KA Lisen

The Linapet is a unique and indigenous Filipino food originating from the Igorot culture of Agawa, Besao, located in the Mountain Province of the Cordillera region. This culinary treasure symbolizes the rich cultural heritage of the Agawa community.

The Linapet is a sticky rice bread, often sweetened and filled with grounded peanuts, making it a delightful treat for both locals and visitors. However, its significance goes beyond its taste. This humble food carries profound cultural importance within the Agawa community, deeply intertwined with their traditions and way of life.

Linapet, typically wrapped in banana leaves, may be enjoyed alone as a satisfying snack or dessert. However, the true spirit of the celebration is never complete if Linapet is not shared. It serves as a symbol of togetherness, fostering bonds between family members and the community.

Linapet: A Culinary Treasure from Agawa, Besao Photo: Eva Batnag Bomal-o

In this article, we will embark on a journey to uncover the Linapet's history, explore captivating legends, and illuminate its pivotal role in both ceremonies and daily life. Join us as we delve into the cultural roots of the Linapet, gaining insights into why it remains a cherished tradition among the I-Agawa. Let's immerse ourselves in the fascinating world of Linapet and its enduring legacy.

Linapet's Stories, Origins, and Cultural Significance

The Linapet, a sticky rice bread traditionally filled with sweetened ground peanuts wrapped in banana leaves, carries a unique tale within the Cordillera region. Its story is intertwined with the Igorot culture of Agawa, Besao, within the Mountain Province of the Philippines.

Agawa, Besao: Where Linapet, a culinary treasure, tells a story of culture. Photo: Dako Bagano

Origins and Special Significance

True Linapet, as per local tradition, is reserved for the i-Agawa, residents mainly from Barangays Gueday, Agawa, Lacmaan, and Ambagiw, and those with I-Agawa ancestry. This showcases the belief that "food is culture," highlighting the connection between culinary traditions and a specific cultural identity.

KASILAPET: A Cultural Milestone

KASILAPET, celebrated every September 30th in Gueday, Mountain Province, marks the core of Linapet's cultural significance. It aligns with the rising sun above Ambaonbato, observed while lying on the Stone Calendar in dap-ay Awaw. Beyond its visual appeal, KASILAPET signifies the shift in the agricultural year, a time when the Agawa community gathers to honor their traditions.

Ancient Stone Calendar in Dap-ay Awwaw, Gueday, Besao: A Window to Agawa's Heritage Photo: Dako Bagano

The National Museum officially declared the historic and scenic Gueday stone calendar as a national landmark pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 260 issued by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos on August 1, 1973.

A Historic Moment: The Plaque of the 1973 Declaration of Gueday Stone Calendar as a National Landmark Photo: Dako Bagano

Morning Rituals and Panag Dowwa Tradition

Morning rituals in dap-ay Awaw precede the panag do-dowwa, where Linapet is exchanged among community members. This practice extends beyond sharing food; it symbolizes respect and honor. Linapet is first given to close family members, including in-laws, parents, grandparents, and siblings. Not participating or reciprocating this gesture may indicate a breach of respect and kinship.

A Symbol of Unity and Harmony

Linapet acts as a bridge, promoting acceptance and harmony, healing relational gaps among relatives and community members. It strengthens bonds and encourages discussions on unity and mutual support. KASILAPET's essence goes beyond borders, celebrated by Agawa communities worldwide, showcasing the solidarity of the i-Agawa.

Tradition and Flavor in a Bite: Linapet Photo: Jhoe Bosigen

Making Linapet: A Traditional Process

Crafting Linapet, an integral part of Agawa culture, involves a meticulous process passed down through generations. The traditional techniques and craftsmanship behind each Linapet contribute to its cultural significance.

The Heart of Linapet: Diket, Ready to Undergo a Culinary Transformation Photo: Apil Randy

Ingredients

  • 2 kilograms of ground diket (glutinous rice)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ kilogram of sugar
  • ½ kilogram of peanuts, roasted and ground
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • Hot water
  • Banana leaves

A close look at 'Bayo,' the age-old rice hulling practice in Igorot communities Photo: Freddie Agyapas

The Method

  1. Prepare the Rice Mixture: In a large bowl, combine the ground diket (glutinous rice), salt, and sugar. Mix these ingredients thoroughly.

  2. Create the Dough: Gradually add hot water, ensuring you pour just enough to form a stiff dough. The consistency is crucial to crafting Linapet.

  3. Enhance the Peanut Filling: Meanwhile, enhance the flavor by sweetening the roasted and ground peanuts with half a cup of sugar.

  4. Prepare the Banana Leaves: Get ready for the wrapping process by wilting banana leaves over a fire. Cut them into square pieces, approximately 10 inches each.

Crafting Linapet, a labor of love that preserves Agawa, Besao's culture. Photo: pikp

The Art of Crafting Linapet

The art of crafting Linapet is a cherished tradition within the Agawa community. This meticulous process involves:

  1. Wrap the Linapet: Take one square of banana leaf and place a portion of the rice mixture onto it. Top it with the sweetened ground peanuts, then carefully fold the banana leaf to wrap the Linapet securely. Continue this process until all of the rice mixture is used.

  2. Boil the Linapet: Arrange the Linapet wraps in a large pot. Add water until it reaches about one-third full. Boil the Linapet for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are thoroughly cooked.

  3. Serve and Share: Once cooked, serve these delightful creations, sharing them with relatives, friends, and neighbors. Linapet embodies the spirit of togetherness and unity within the Agawa community, making it more than just a snack but a symbol of their cultural heritage.

This crafting process exemplifies the deep connection between culinary traditions and the preservation of cultural identity, with each Linapet representing a piece of Agawa culture.

Linapet Today and Its Preservation

In modern times, Linapet remains a cherished part of the Agawa community's culture in Besao, Mountain Province. However, it has also gained popularity outside of Agawa, particularly in the tourist destination of Sagada.

Savor the iconic Linapet, Agawa, Besao's best-kept secret-a culinary treasure ready for discovery. Photo: pikp

Tourist Attraction

Linapet, with its unique blend of sticky rice, sweet fillings, and banana leaf wrapping, has become well-known among tourists. You can often find it being sold in Sagada. It's important to note that there's a story of an elderly man in Sagada who emphasized that the term "LINAPET" should be reserved exclusively for the i-Agawa community. This story serves as a powerful example of cultural appropriation and highlights the need to respect and preserve the cultural identity linked to this Filipino indigenous food.

Linapet, the beloved tradition of Agawa, Besao, embodies the heart and soul of this community's culinary heritage. Photo: Eva Batnag Bomal-o

Preserving Cultural Heritage

Even after September 30th, Linapet's cultural significance endures. Some i-Agawa individuals travel to distant places to offer Linapet to their relatives, thereby preserving their unique cultural identity. This act of sharing Linapet symbolizes acceptance, unity, and the strong bonds within the Agawa community.

A Symbol of Unity and Goodwill

Linapet, in all its variations, signifies harmonious relationships among the i-Agawa. It serves as a reminder for everyone who enjoys it to strive for unity and goodwill.

Linapet delights the senses while preserving the famous cultural treasures of Agawa, Besaoa legacy of culinary tradition. Photo: Tony Sagayo Agomeyeng

Recognizing Its Origins

Beyond the i-Agawa community, Linapet has piqued the interest of those who appreciate its preparation and artistry. However, it's crucial to always acknowledge its origins within the Agawa community. Linapet, while adaptable, remains deeply rooted in tradition, continuing to be a food ritual that fosters harmonious relationships and a lasting symbol of cultural identity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Linapet?
Linapet is a unique Filipino food originating from the Igorot culture of Agawa, Besao. It is a sticky rice bread, often sweetened and filled with grounded peanuts, symbolizing the rich cultural heritage of the Agawa community.

What does Linapet symbolize?
Linapet symbolizes the cultural heritage of the Agawa community and acts as a bridge, promoting unity, harmony, and mutual support among relatives and community members.

Can you describe the taste of Linapet?
Linapet has a delightful taste, combining the sweetness of sticky rice with the nutty flavor of ground peanuts, making it a popular treat for both locals and visitors.

Is Linapet typically consumed as a snack or dessert?
Linapet can be enjoyed both as a satisfying snack and a dessert, often wrapped in banana leaves for added flavor.

What is the cultural significance of Linapet in the Agawa community?
Linapet holds deep cultural importance within the Agawa community, symbolizing their traditions, unity, and way of life.

Why is Linapet wrapped in banana leaves?
Banana leaves are used to wrap Linapet not only for flavor but also to enhance its cultural and traditional significance.

Can you explain the significance of KASILAPET?
KASILAPET, celebrated every September 30th, marks a cultural milestone in the Agawa community, signifying the shift in the agricultural year and honoring their traditions.

What are the morning rituals related to Linapet?
Morning rituals precede the panag do-dowwa, where Linapet is exchanged among community members, symbolizing respect and kinship.

How does Linapet promote unity and harmony?
Linapet acts as a bridge, fostering acceptance, unity, and discussions on mutual support among relatives and community members.

Is Linapet only enjoyed by the Agawa community?
While Linapet is rooted in Agawa culture, it has gained popularity among tourists and others appreciating its preparation and artistry.

Is Linapet a tourist attraction?
Yes, Linapet has become well-known among tourists, especially in Sagada, for its unique blend of flavors and cultural significance.

Why is it important to respect the cultural identity linked to Linapet?
Respecting the cultural identity linked to Linapet is crucial to preserve the traditions and heritage of the Agawa community and avoid cultural appropriation.

How can Linapet be preserved as a cultural heritage?
Linapet's cultural significance endures through acts like sharing it with relatives, symbolizing acceptance, unity, and strong bonds within the Agawa community.

What does Linapet signify beyond the i-Agawa community?
Linapet represents harmonious relationships and remains a lasting symbol of cultural identity, garnering interest beyond the Agawa community.

Why is it essential to recognize Linapet's origins within the Agawa community?
Recognizing Linapet's origins within the Agawa community is crucial to honor the deep-rooted traditions and cultural significance it holds.

How can readers try Linapet and become part of its preservation journey?
Readers can seek out Linapet, appreciate its unique flavors, and, in doing so, become part of the journey to preserve this cherished culinary tradition.

Conclusion

In the heart of the Agawa community in Besao, Mountain Province, Linapet stands as a symbol of tradition and togetherness. This indigenous Filipino food, crafted from sticky rice, sweet fillings, and banana leaves, is more than just a snack; it's a piece of cultural heritage.

The process of crafting Linapet, an integral part of Agawa culture, involves a meticulous process passed down through generations. Traditional techniques and craftsmanship play a significant role in making each Linapet culturally meaningful. The creation of Linapet is a labor of love, showcasing the community's commitment to preserving their culinary heritage. Each Linapet is more than just a snack; it represents a piece of Agawa culture, highlighting the traditions and craftsmanship that define this indigenous Filipino food.

As we savor the flavors of Linapet, let's also savor the rich heritage it represents. By understanding and appreciating this traditional food, we honor the legacy of the Agawa people and the cultural treasures they hold dear, including the meticulous craftsmanship that defines each Linapet.

Have you tried Linapet or are you eager to give it a taste? We encourage you to seek out this unique and flavorful delicacy. By doing so, you become a part of the journey to preserve the traditions and flavors that make Linapet a beloved treasure within the Agawa community.

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