The Ilocos Royal Bibingka is one delicacy that Ilocos is proud of and every visitors’ must try. It has a decent packaging, a good shelf-life, and very affordable price [Php 105.00 a dozen, or so] which make it very ideal for “pasalubong.” However, it is only in Ilocos Sur [Bantay and Vigan] where you get your Royal Bibingka. This is not your usual ”puffy” bibingka, like the one at Ferino’s. Instead, the Ilocos Royal Bibingka is a “sticky rice-cake,” closer to fresh “tikoy” in texture.
In Ilocos Sur, the latest maker of bibingka is Marsha’s Delicacies [see their Facebook Page here], located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur, the immediate neighboring town of Vigan City. Marsha’s is located along the highway which makes it very accessible to motorists and with generous parking space, it makes more convenient to have a stop over. A counter with other delicacies on sale renders buying orderly and the dining area is neat. Restrooms are tidy that make it traveler friendly.
Before Marsha’s started to be the talk of the town as the place to buy better tasting [that’s what most people I talked to in Ilocos say about it]. Before Marsha’s royal bibingka, there was, first, the original, Tongson’s Royal Bibingka, located along Crisologo Street in Vigan City. If you are traveling along the highway, you still have to make your way inside Vigan City which is about three-kilometers from the highway to buy at Tongson’s, along Crisologo Ave.
Then came The Sister’s Royal Bibingka, which I was informed is a “break-away group” from Tongson’s, located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. The taste and texture have improved and because it is [now] located along the highway, it became convenient to make stop-overs.
Even while Marsha’s is on it’s way to establishing better goodwill, Tongson’s and The Sister’s still continue to provide more choices where to get your Royal Bibingka’s. All three makers of Ilocos Royal Bibingka, by the way, are assisted by the Dep’t. of Trade and Industry, thus, you are assured of its quality.
Some personal tip:it’s better if the Royal Bibingka is chilled a bit because the texture gets fuller, compared to when it is fresh – it can get sticky which makes is harder to chew, that is if you want to swallow it right away!
See another Ilocos delicacy: The Ilocos Empanada
Update as of February 17, 2012: Lately, I came across an article which featured the Royal Bibingka of Ilocos. I was surprised that Christine, the writer/blogger of aboutvigan.com copied sections of my article above, word for word. I have nothing against it. I welcome it. It’s always the greatest form of flattery. However, it could have been better if proper acknowledgement was made being the most proper thing to do under the circumstances. Nice job Christine .