Peanut Butter. I like it in almost all forms. Chunky, sweet, light, creamy, plain. You name it, I like it. The provincial tourism office of Aurora insisted I try Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter in Baler and meet Nanay Pacing herself. Baler is a town within Aurora Province.
Days before the scheduled meeting with Nanay Pacing, I started asking around. It turns out, Nanay Pacing’s Peanut Butter is the most popular peanut butter in Baler. I saw it being sold in Costa Pacifica, Pasalubong Center, souvenir shops, and other stores. Different TV shows and online articles have featured it.
For all the visitors, they offer free taste. I had a spoon of peanut butter. I had another one. And another. I was trying to figure out what the fuss was about. It’s creamy and the sweetness was subtle. I wasn’t blown away or anything. Just like any other peanut butter, I liked it. I’m not too discriminating when it comes to peanut butter. I like them all.
But if there was something that made this extra special, it was meeting the woman behind it. Pacita Camacho Tolentino, or Nanay Pacing.
When she arrived, I think I finished half a bottle of peanut butter. I like peanut butter. I can finish the whole thing.
Nanay Pacing said her product has simple ingredients. Roasted peanuts, salt and sugar. It has no preservatives, no oil. She emphasized that she makes sure the quality of her peanut butter is consistent to give only the best. After visitors get a free taste, they’ll know what she’s talking about.
She attributes the success of her peanut butter not to the high quality she ensures, but to God who provided her everything she needed, including the inspiration of how to create this masterpiece. After all, it wasn’t peanut butter she grew up with. Her story is that of a struggling family that was uprooted to look for greener pastures.
In 1966 she moved to Baler. She came from Cabanatuan where competition was too stiff. In Baler she experimented on many income generating endeavors. From selling ukay-ukay or second hand clothes, to selling kakanin. Kakanin are native delicacies, snacks or desserts often making use of rice as main ingredient.
Selling kakanin had a problem. They easily spoil. She wanted to sell an edible product that would last longer. That was when she started learning how to make peanut butter in the 1970’s that became a hit.
Today, her product is available in many parts of Baler and nearby provinces. More than that, she helps other locals sell their products that are made available at her store, like hats, keychains, magnets, bags, wallets, chips, delicacies and more.
When you buy from Nanay Pacing’s, you don’t just enjoy the quality of her peanut butter, but you also help create jobs.
UPDATE: I went to Baler this June 2017 and found that Nanay Pacing’s main store moved to a new location detailed below. The souvenir items described above weren’t available during the recent visit. And surprise surprise, walking around Baler, I found that there’s another brand, “Pacita” peanut butter, and the lady selling it claimed she’s Nanay Pacing but now called Pacita — okay, in case this happens to you, please refer to Nanay Pacing’s picture in this article so you’ll know when a sweet old lady pretends to be her. Be kind anyway and just smile at Ms. Pacita.
NANAY PACING HOMEMADE FOOD PRODUCTS
New Address: @nd Floor, Aurora Bank Building, Rizal St., Baler, Aurora
Old address : Recto Extension, Sitio Kinalapan, Barangay Pingit, Baler, Aurora
Operating Hours: 8am-5pm Daily
Peanut Butter Prices:
340g – Php 140
500g – Php 180
230g – Php 90
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