The Sinukmani Festival is one sweet and sticky affair. Held to commemorate the founding of the municipality of Rosario in Batangas, the highlight of the event is when residents and tourists alike feast on a massive rice cake, which stretches almost half a kilometer long.
Celebrated every June 9, the fairly new festival was first held in 2005. Since then, the event has only become bigger and fancier. Yet, it’s still the giant rice cake served in a long table—created by more than 200 local establishments—that remain the star of the show. It’s a true community effort.
Sinukmani is a delicacy made of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and sugar. It’s similar to another rice-based food, the biko, except that the sinukmani is topped with latik (brown grated coconut) for added flavor. While the ingredients are simple, it’s the process of cooking it that makes the concoction extra special.
The thing with sinukmani is that it is sticky by nature, which means stirring it in a huge wok is a labor-intensive process. However, the result is always a yummy treat which makes the effort worth it. Served on a piece of banana leaf and with a steaming cup of kapeng barako, it’s an ideal dessert or snack.
Holding the Sinukmani Festival in Rosario is no random thing. The municipality, after all, is known as the Rice Granary of Batangas, which led the local government to choose the sinukmani as the best rice product to promote the place.
Aside from the giant rice cake, the Sinukmani Festival features the “Pinakamalikhaing Sinukmani Contest,” which sees residents trying to put their own twist on the favorite kakanin—some incorporating peanuts, marshmallows, crispy rice, and coconut shavings.
There’s also a Street & Plaza Dancing Competition participated in by local high school students, which brings an unlimited amount of energy to the celebration.
While the annual activity isn’t yet as big or popular as other festivals in the country, it is very well on its way. Give it more time and the Sinukmani Festival would surely become one of the most awaited events in the country.
Note: Due to lockdown restrictions, please check with local government units before making any travel plans.