One of the things that I look forward to when I go to Baler is their creamy, yummy and locally made peanut butter. Aside from a private vehicle, dwellers of the city can reach Baler through a 6-hour bus ride. And right beside the bus station is the souvenir and take-home-presents (pasalubong) store where Nanay Pacing’s peanut butter can be purchased.
Via bus ride, I was in Baler this weekend. And upon arrival and while the bus was to park at its station, I took a peek from the window to check the store. The store was closed and it seemed no longer there. My friends and I, who equally loved Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter, wonder how can a very busy store located at a very accessible and perfect spot, could cease operation?
When breakfast time came while spreading the same delicious peanut butter on my toasted bread (hotels in Baler serve this peanut butter in their buffet), I got to ask one of the restaurant staffs about what happened to Nanay Pacing’s store and where it may have transferred.
I was told that Nanay Pacing’s peanut butter is no longer owned by Nanay Pacing. I was told that Nanay Pacing, the label, is no longer owned by Nanay Pacing. And that indeed, the big store beside the bus station has closed.
The restaurant staff through a whisper told me that the label has been acquired by the most powerful family in Aurora and that the peanut butter is now being sold at one of the halls of the municipal building. But with a flicker of hope on catching and tasting the original recipe, I was further told that Nanay Pacing’s new store is now smaller and has relocated and still sells a creamy peanut butter but already of a different brand. I asked the staff where the store was, she answered she didn’t know.
To validate the story of the restaurant staff, I asked our tour guide cum driver to bring us to the Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter store. And indeed, he drove us at the municipal hall! We entered the building, climbed the second floor and indeed saw the bunch of jars of Nanay Pacing’s peanut butter on a shelf waiting to be purchased by mesmerized buyers. I purchased a couple of bottles for pasalubong.
Upon exiting the municipal building, I then instructed our driver/tour guide to bring us to the new store of Nanay Pacing. He humbly told us that the store at the bus station is already closed. I then ordered him to inquire with people at the bus station on where the new store of Nanay Pacing is. They for sure would know.
And indeed our driver through a whisper by one of the folks at the bus station was told on where the new Nanay Pacing’s store was. He then drove us to the nearby Baler Public Market and pointed to us the new store of Nanay Pacing. The store was smaller, offers fewer items but still clean and organized.
The bunch of peanut butter jars can easily be seen displayed on the shelves. I asked the lady manning the store on what happened to the label. With a smile, she ignored my question and simply answered “we have our own version of a peanut butter and free taste is available”. I simply told her, “My God, you are so professional!”
I of course took a tasting spoon and whipped a spoonful from the jar. And when I tasted it, I can suddenly hear my taste buds cheering and clapping for joy! I knew then that it was the same lovely peanut butter which I was mesmerized when I first tasted it as offered to me by no less than Nanay Pacing herself during my first visit in Baler.
I purchased a couple of jars and regretted buying at the municipal hall. I then decided that I will just give away all the peanut jars I purchased at the municipal building and I will keep the peanut butter I bought at the public market for my own personal consumption.
While writing this story, I am munching on a piece of bread with heaps of the delicious Great Harvest Peanut Butter!
Ayana, alam nyo na ang hindi dapat bilin at dapat bilin sa Baler…