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About this Workshop

Description

In this workshop you will learn how to make Pastillas de Leche (milk candies) wrapped in pabalat (decorative wrappers). You will make the candies first, then work-on the wrappers. This activity requires a little bit of patience and lots of love for sweets!

Pastillas de Leche is a soft and milky candy loved by Filipinos for generations. The name is derived from the Spanish words pastillas (pills) and leche (milk). It started off as a simple dessert cooked by local farmers. The original recipe uses fresh carabao’s milk, sugar, and citrus zest. These candies are commonly packed in plain white paper and sold in delicacy stores. However, the traditional Pabalat (skin or wrapper) is used as an exquisite wrapper for these delectable sweets.

The Pastillas candies originated from San Miguel, Bulacan, a province of the Philippines. Every year a Pastillas Festival is held where people showcase their yummy milk candies wrapped in Pabalat. The designs are not only intricate and sophisticated, but they also illustrate the Filipino heritage such as local huts, flowers and other national symbols.

Pastillas wrapped in pabalat are only made for special occasions and orders. It serves as an eye-catching centrepiece during feasts and fine gatherings. It also became popular among Filipino overseas workers who buy these beautiful confections as pasalubong (souvenir). Interestingly, Bulacan's Pastillas Festival only began in 2006 to celebrate the renewed appreciation for the craft. Pabalat artists conduct workshops so that people can learn their unique craftsmanship.

Nowadays, only a few ladies in Bulacan continue to practice the craft and one of them is Natty Ocampo—a Pastillas Pabalat artist. She learned the skill from her mother, Nanay Luz, who had mastered the art and made a huge collection of Pabalat designs. Natty feels that the art of making Pastillas Pabalat is winding down because it is no longer taught in schools and the youth seem to lack interest. Natty aims to continue her mother’s legacy and to teach the Pastillas Pabalat artistry to the next generation.

I am excited to teach this art piece to keep it alive and to share an awareness about it. I wish to visit San Miguel Bulacan someday so I could earn from the masters themselves and have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the tradition.

Take note: Children under 12 years of age should be supervised by an adult. 

What You'll Need

GLOkit What's a GLOkit?

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Pastillas Candies in Decorative Wrappers From the Philippines GLOkit

This GLOkit contains eight sheets of Papel de Japan (Japanese Paper), twelve small pieces of parchment paper, nine Pastillas Pabalat templates, and a 99g package of Bear brand powdered milk.

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Additional Supplies

 Each Learner will need the following:

  • A small can of sweet condensed milk (half of the contents poured in a small bowl)
  • 1/4 cup refined white sugar (in a small bowl)
  • A tablespoon
  • A spatula / a wooden spoon
  • A medium sized mixing bowl
  • A plate
  • A bowl of clean water and paper towels (for dampening / rinsing fingers)
  • A pencil
  • Sharp tip scissors

 

 

Technical Requirements

You will need a device (computer or tablet) that is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speakers. For more information, please check out our Technical Requirements page.

Meet the Instructor

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Donna Tyra BarbosaView Profile

Hello!  I am Donna- a kindergarten teacher and a student of life.  I enjoy being with kids probably because of my childlike wonder.  I keep on learning things that are artistic, fun and healthy for the mind and body.

My fondness for art and craft started when I discovered my talent in drawing.  I would watch cartoons and draw my favorite characters.  I did this regularly until I got to use different media like crayons, oil pastel, and watercolor. I made my own paper dolls, even paper bead bead bracelets and friendship bands.  I realized my potential when people noticed and appreciated my work. It motivated me to keep on practicing and improving.  My teachers also encouraged me to join art contests.  I did not win all the time, but still I felt like a champion with all the support that I received.  Since then I knew that art and craft would always have a special place in heart.

I have been involved in crafting from a young age.  I helped my mom and my aunt with their cross-stitching when I was a teen.  I also helped out in creating Christmas ornaments made of recycled materials such as wreaths, ornaments, and the Filipino Christmas lantern called "Parol."

I am excited to teach my Workshop on Pastillas candies and its Pabalat (decorative wrapper) because it is deemed to be a "dying art."  The craft is no longer taught in Philippine schools and the artisans of the Pabalat are just a handful.  I think sharing and practicing the basics of this craft would spark interest and appreciation for it.

Personally, I like working with watercolors and recycled items the most.  I could use anything I find interesting, from bottle caps to dried leaves.  When it comes to local materials, sea shells and Capiz shells are good in making accessories and home decor.

The Philippines is a beautiful place to live.  The best thing about the Philippines would be exploring the islands and the pristine beaches. The Philippines has 7000+ islands and it would take a lifetime to visit them all!  I've been to some provinces and the experience is just fantastic. I  grew up in the city and so my travels and interactions with my Kababayans (fellowmen) bring a more authentic understanding of the Filipino life.

 

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Pastillas Candies in Decorative Wrappers From the Philippines