By Ruel S. De Vera
The afternoon air is heavy with the distinctively sweet scent of bread. In a basket on a table is a dizzying array of breads, enough to feed a Filipino family for a week. The baked goods come in all shapes and sizes. There is a giant conjoined pair of monay, huge as a person’s buttocks. There are breads in the shape of a lechon and the form of a crab. Scattered around are pieces of egg pan de sal, little golden drops of cooked dough. Visible in the pile are the bonnet-shaped goodies called, of course, pan de bonete. There are examples of the dense pan de sal de suelo, among others. Placed together, they threaten to overwhelm the senses: How can there be so many kinds of bread in one place at one time?