This Is How Iloilo's Famous Pancit Molo Builds Lives
Lory Joyce Andagan | August 22, 2019
To cure your hunger on rainy days, Iloilo City offers an old-time dish called Pancit Molo. Originated from Molo, Iloilo City, this dish stands out uniquely among noodle dishes because it is not the pancit that you will expect. It is a derivative of the Chinese wonton (filled dumplings) made into a soup.
If you were to ask Ilonggos where to find the best Pancit Molo in town, they point to Kap Ising. The business started in 1970 by Kap Ising’s mother. “I remember the time when I used to sell our Pancit Molo in establishments and banks because I want to help my mother," recalls Kap Ising, "People would tell me to come again the next day because they want it.” To this day, he takes care of the daily preparations, heading to the public market as early as 4:00am to buy ingredients in time for cooking at 6:00 am.
Through the business, he was able to sustain his family needs and finance the education of his three children, who have since graduated to be professionals in their chosen industries. The business has also uplifted the lives of his community. As Barangay Captain of his area, his Pancit Molo gives a simple form of livelihood to students needing extra income. “Students would come to my house at night to peel garlic for my Molo balls and I give them money for their allowance.”
Asked why his Pancit Molo became a hit, he says, “It is not only about the taste. I give back to the people, that is why I think my Pancit Molo is blessed.”
Photographs by the author