Friday, January 6, 2017

Whole Wheat Bread in Sibulan

Although the Municipality of Sibulan, where we currently call home, "officially" covers an area of more than 60 sq miles, with a population of 60,000 people, those official numbers include the 15 barangays that fall under the municipality's political jurisdiction, and the Poblacion barangay, where the government offices, public market and most businesses are located, is relatively small; so small. in fact, it doesn't even rate a Jollibee.

In spite of being small, the Poblacion barangay has quite of few bread stores where fresh bread is made on sight several times a day. Most of this bread is a variation on pandesal and assorted sweet breads, as well as sliced, white sandwich bread. Whole wheat bread in Sibulan is as scarce as hen's teeth. There is one bread shop in Sibulan which sells fresh whole wheat bread, but their supply is limited. Birdie's Bakeshop, a chain bakery, bakes five loaves a week. Not five loaves a day - five a week.

Getting a loaf at Birdie's is catch as catch can. My wife and I will buy a loaf there on occasion; mostly, however, we buy our regular, white sandwich bread there.

During one of our morning walks, I told my walking companion about Birdie's wheat bread. He and I would walk past the shop several days a week, but rarely when whole wheat bread was available. Two weeks ago, as we were passing, my neighbor and I saw one single loaf on display. Unfortunately, there was a customer ahead of us who purchased that single loaf. Last week, as we started on our walk, my friend mentioned that he had neglected to bring his wallet, so I immediately knew that morning would be the morning that the whole wheat bread would be there. Sure enough, I was right, but with only one loaf available, I bought the last one. I would have been more than willing to get a loaf for my friend, had there been one.

This morning, my neighbor told me that he was feeling a bit under the weather and wouldn't be walking today. Just like last week, I knew that today would be the day when whole wheat bread could be found at Birdie's. Yesterday, my wife and I had gone shopping in Dumaguete and we purchased a loaf of whole wheat bread; I wouldn't be needing one. Like the week before, there was the single, remaining loaf in the display area.

Being the wonderful, thoughtful and considerate person that I am, I bought that loaf for my neighbor and surprised him with it when I returned from my walk.

It looks as if we've discovered the secret about when to look for Birdie's whole wheat bread. They bake their five loaves on Thursday night. The other folks in Sibulan who want the bread show up Thursday night - leaving one loaf left for Friday morning. So, if one wants freshly baked, whole wheat bread in Sibulan, you have to be an early bird - or at Birdie's early.

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