Tikoy

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By Linda Grace Cariño

Baguio Stories

Friday, January 31, 2014


I FIND this charming story on Yahoo’s “Eight Things You Don’t Know About Tikoy.” The story has it that tikoy is given as a gift and eaten during Chinese New Year because in Chinese folk religion/mythology, it is believed that the Kitchen God makes his annual trip to heaven just before the first day of the new year to give his report to the Jade Emperor, emperor of the heavens, on the activities of every household for the past year.

“Offerings of tikoy to the Kitchen God make(s) his mouth sticky so that he won’t be able to report negative things about the family that offered him tikoy.”

And who is the Jade Emperor? Godchecker.com states that he is “Ruler of Heaven, Creator of the Universe, member of the SAN-QUING, and Lord of the Imperial Court.” In short, methinks, God, the supreme being of many names. What is the San-Quing? Again from Godchecker.com, the San-quing is the “supreme trinity of Chinese Daoism known as the Three Pure Ones.” Sounds more and more familiar… For the pronunciation of San-Quing and more about the gods who are that trinity, go to godchecker.com.

Back to tikoy, which has been around in the Philippines for as long as the Philippines has been around. Perhaps lending credence to the paradigm that the isles we now call our country were once just the southeastern corner of China. May this rice cake we are all happy to partake of this Chinese New Year be pleasing to the Kitchen God, and may the Kitchen God thus whisper to the Jade Emperor only good things about our kitchens.

And may the Jade Emperor spin our universe this Year of the Wood Horse so that goodness rules, the prosperity of the heavens shower us with grace, and love and health triumph, all ways.

Kung Hei Fat Choi, everyone!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 01, 2014.

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