Pandesal Kahapon at Ngayon

The paper bag on the left contains leftover pandesal from yesterday’s breakfast. They cost P1 apiece from the Bitonio Bakery at the nearby talipapa. We had quite a bit left over because Kuya Maui wasn’t around to finish them off.

The paper bag on the right contains today’s breakfast pandesal. Noticeably larger and presumably more nourishing, it also now costs P2 apiece. The bakers were profusely apologetic for this 100% increase, but tried to appease us by saying that the pieces were indeed bigger to match the price.

Pandesal Kahapon at Ngayon

Who wouldn’t want anything bigger and better, one might ask. Today’s pandesal is bigger yes, but is it better? Looking at the picture above today’s pandesal does look at least 90% bigger than yesterday’s pandesal. But today’s pandesal is also noticeably softer (something which I cannot show you here, sad to say) than yesterday’s pandesal, and not because yesterday’s is “bahaw” or day-old as we say it in Visayan. Today’s pandesal is softer because there’s more air in it, meaning more leavening has been used with less flour.

Pandesal Kahapon at Ngayon

We did get a warning more than two weeks ago, when the baking industry announced another possible price increase for bread due to rising flour costs.

“Yung tinatamaan maliit na panadero. Sana ang pamahalaan bigyan pansin ang suliranin ng panadero lalo ng maliit na bakery (This will hit small bakers the hardest. Government should look at their plight, especially the small bakeries),” Luisito Chavez, vice president of the Philippine Federation of Bakers said.

The Bitonio Bakery is one of those “maliit na panadero”. So this was expected. It still shocked us when it did happen, but we were warned.

The pandesal factor can be used to explain Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s much-touted “strong economy”. The bigger pandesal of today can be used to symbolize the high value of the peso today (see—it’s bigger!) compared to that of the past.

But are we actually getting more bread for our money? Or more air?

GMA’s Strong Economy as Explained by the Incredible Expanding Pandesal

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6 thoughts on “GMA’s Strong Economy as Explained by the Incredible Expanding Pandesal

  1. From your photo, I’m definitely showing my age here but I do remember when the price of the bigger pandesal was 10 centavos. I was in elementary school (early elementary naman, hehehe) and I remember them to be firm too like the one on the left.

    I do not profess any expertise in the field of agriculture and all I know of it is based on what I had observed and on what I’ve read about on books and magazines. Anyway, a big part of the problem lies in the fact the agricultural supply chain remains largely inefficient.

    I seriously doubt if the overwhelming majority of Filipino farmers use modern tractors and fertilizers to increase their crop yield. I wonder how much support (whether technical or financial) do they get from the government to procure the necessary equipment and supplies to modernize and industrialize their farming methods.

    Someone can correct me if I’m wrong but I seriously doubt if GMA has a comprehensive program in place to attack the food problem from all the necessary angles. If she doesn’t, then all her pronouncements about our supposed progress amount to nothing more than government propaganda.

  2. The comparison is so accurate and hits the current situation right in the clitoris I mean the button which really means the clitoris when I am talking to my barkada.

    I like the comparison to the state of our economy you suddenly injected on the last paragraph. It came as an intellectual surprise coming from my favorite writer who incidentally happens to be my cousin.

    Sulat ka marami para may ma-plagiarize ako.

    Seriously, I truly enjoy reading your column … have you ever tried reading the one in the Star Rerum Novarum ba yon or something na minsan sobrang lalim palagay ko may katok sa utak yung babaeng writer na yun.

    Sana meron kang daily column sa diaryo, kahit sa tiktik lang sa umpisa. Palakasan din dyan kasi e.


  3. mukha ng cookies yang pan de sal. what the businessowners do is to reduce the size of the pan de sal but maintain the same price so the consumers can still afford it.

    kaya ako, mga 10 mini-pan de sal ang nacoconsume ko para lang mabusog 😀

  4. Panaderos, I do remember when the smaller pandesal was what was delivered to our doorstep every morning by the mama on the big bike with the huge cans hanging like saddlebags behind him. And then a few years after that the “hot pandesal” craze kicked in (around 1975) and I thought that was cool because the bread was huge and hot and soft … little did I know then that it was the beginning of the end for pandesal as it originally was.

    Dikya, AY baket merong censored jan, ayan na-censor ka tuloy, he he he, iba na talaga ang me kamag-anak na bilib sa yo 🙂 I was mulling over that suggestion of yours, but hey — nothing beats blogging your only editor is your conscience.

    Mari, basta mainit ang pandesal tapos me Dari Creme wala nang bilangan kung ilan ang mauubos per sitting! Walang susuko hanggat may natitira. Leave no hostages.

  5. SuperPandesal is too soft for its own good.

    I never thought I’d see the day when I’d turn down a non-vegetable basic foodstuff.

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