This Is One Of The Oldest Bakeries In The Philippines

You can find Hojaldres here, a flaky, buttery biscuit made from layers and layers of dough!

IMAGE Mark Jesalva

Step inside Panaderia de Molo in Iloilo City and you will be greeted by shelves of biscuits and pastries-galletas, biscocho, broas, toasted mamon, and more. You can also buy pre-made molo soup, everything in it made from scratch (even the molo wrapper is handmade). This is how everything is made inside Panaderia de Molo: each bread, biscuit, and pastry lovingly made by hand and with care.

Behind the storefront is the panaderia and it's been around since 1872. "We're the oldest bakery in Panay," shares Lally Sanson Golez-Nava, part of the family's fourth generation who is currently managing and taking care of Panaderia de Molo.

She shares that Panaderia de Molo's story started in 1872 when egg whites were used to bind the stones in Molo Church. Three spinsters from the Jason family-Soledad, Mariana, and Natividad-used the egg yolks to make baked goodies with recipes they learned from the Spaniards. The bakery was born in 1872.

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The old pugon ovens that they don't use anymore.
Photo by Mark Jesalva
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Her grandmother, Luisa Jason Sanson, a niece of Jason sisters was left with the bakery. "She had the business sense and grew it to what it is today," adds Nava.

The Hojaldres is made of layers and layers of dough.
Photo by Mark Jesalva
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Everything in Panaderia de Molo is made by hand.
Photo by Mark Jesalva
Biscocho is stale bread baked twice.
Photo by Mark Jesalva
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Inside the bakery, Panaderia de Molo's staff works on dough. It the base for many of their biscuits and breads. But it is the Hojaldres that takes a long time to make: it is made from layers and layers of pastry dough, brushed with pork oil in between, before it is shaped into butterfly shapes and put inside the oven. You can find a similar one in Iloilo, but it's not the flaky, buttery kind that Panaderia de Molo makes.

The Hojaldres is made with layers and layers of dough, baked, then covered in sugar.
Photo by Mark Jesalva
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Galletas is the bestseller at Panaderia de Molo.
Photo by Mark Jesalva

Nava shares that they also employ hearing-impaired bakery staff but the biggest challenge is training new blood to continue her grandmother's legacy. "Most of the staff have been here for years," she says proudly. Nava herself grew up in the bakery and it inspired her love for both cooking and baking.

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Bring home a pack or two, or better yet, get boxes of everything they have. Some of their Pinoy biscuits are not available anywhere else, and in a world of industrial processing, it's even more rare that you get something homemade and made with care.

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