(My buko pie 'pabaon' from the Feists)
Late last year, before I flew home to the Philippines, I asked friends living in Manila on where I could buy buko pie in Makati City. I had to ask friends about this because my Korean friend, Joon-Ho, fell in love with buko pie when he first visited the Philippines last summer. Joon-Ho holds fund-raising activities for charity projects, and he went to the impoverished Tondo area in Manila to give out t-shirts and supplies to the kids living there. So, in order to return the favor to this kind-hearted Korean friend, I promised to bring him some buko pie when I return from my vacation.
'Buko' is the Pilipino word for coconut, and buko pie is a Philippine delicacy made of slices of the white coconut meat. These fresh, chunky slices are mixed with some sweetened filling, and enclosed and baked in a crust and yumminess. And there was one brand which I used to enjoy years ago: Collete's.
(A slice of life!)
And thanks to the ever thoughtful friends, the Feists, I got a few packs of buko pie to bring back to Seoul! The day before I flew out of Manila, I got my 'pabaon' of warm, freshly made buko pie straight from Collete's Buko Pie shop in Laguna!
I then bought a plastic container and divided the pies into slices that could squeeze into the container. This way, they wouldn't be crushed in my check-in luggage. How I wanted to handcarry them to make sure they were secure, but I got already a big bag for handcarry. I just saved a slice to eat inside the plane.
(Sliced and packed)
To make the life of buko pie story short, they all landed with me safely at Incheon International Airport, and I was able to share a few slices my friend Joon-Ho, who, as you would imagine, was ecstatic and excited upon hearing I successfully brought him some.
So, thanks again to the Feists (and their driver Ben, who drove all the way to Laguna for the pie!), I (and one kind-hearted Korean friend) was able to enjoy once more this unique Philippine delicacy after all these years!
(My own in-flight meal en route to Seoul: two slices of Collete's buko pie, tuna and beef empanadas from Conti's, sapin-sapin from Dolor, fresh grapes from the ref, and a soda from the stewardess)