PUTIK, ZAMBOANGA CITY –More than a delicacy, making the “lokot-lokot” is considered an art form.
According to Sheilah Nuño-Ismula, who is part of the third generation of owners of Taluksangay Muslim Delicacies, it was decades ago when her great grandmother Sheikha Bagis introduced the lokot-lokot to the Sama Banguingui, a first class tribe in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
The lokot-lokot is made from rice flour, which is repeatedly pounded until it becomes fine powder. Water and other ingredients are then added and blended to create a thick mixture.
The mixture is then poured in a strainer with holes called ulayan and formed into rolls using two wooden spoons called the gagawi.
When it’s golden brown in color, it is set aside to cool until it hardens into the crunchy rolled floss of flour that is sweet. The sweetness of the lokot-lokot is comparable to Car-Car’s ampao but it is denser.
The artisan tradition of preparing the lokot-lokot is said to have come from Malaysia and that it was brought by seafarers who once mingled with the early dwellers of southern part of the Philippines.
Accounts say that the distinctly fine Chinese noodles took inspiration from the lokot-lokot. Indeed, this oil-fried delicacy resembles sotanghon and bihon.
Sheilah said the lokot-lokot is a staple of any Muslim celebration. The Hariraya or the Eid-il-Fitr would just not be complete without the “lokot-lokot” in every household’s table.
By motivating the present generation of lokot-lokot makers, Sheilah aims to introduce it to markets outside Zamboanga.
“Through this ethnic delicacy, I hope people will see more of our culture and less of atrocities tagged to us,” she said.
A bag of 12 pieces of lokot-lokot costs only P120. Sheilah said they are now planning on innovating on flavors to make their product more enticing to the general Filipino tastes.