The Cebuano Holy Week is not complete without binignit. Binignit is a sweet stew of fruits (jackfruit, banana), tubers (gabi, camote, ube) and glutinous rice. For a better version landang and sago must be added into it.
And why has binignit become famous during Holy Week? One, because the last week of the cuaresma (40 days) of Lent means strict fasting – no meat, hence there’s binignit. It is not known who invented it, but one thing is sure, it is a Cebuano delicacy. Other regions have their similar version like the “bilo-bilo” in the Northern Luzon. According to local tourism advocate Boboi Costas, binignit could be traced to the Spaniards at the time when they introduced Catholicism in the country. Since the Philippines was rich in root crops, the people then concocted a stew using available products for the Holy Week.
Today, practically every household has binignit especially on a Good Friday. And each has their own version: there’s a colorful binignit with all the colors of the round sagos in it, there’s huge slices of bananas and camotes, and there’s the tasty and the not-so-tasty versions. But one thing is common on binignit season, since everyone is at home on Holy Week, either you cook binignit or not, you still get a bowl or two of binignit from your neighbors. Because even when Jesus dies, the Filipino spirit of sharing is alive.