Kamuning in the 1940s had a beautiful scenery, so much so that it moved President Manuel L. Quezon then to build his first residential community in the newly created Quezon City, in this barrio. Thus, Kamuning became the first Barrio Obrero (Worker’s Village), in keeping with Quezon’s original vision for the city to become a paradise for the working man. The earliest residents were government employees who were beneficiaries of the People’s Homesite Corporation.
Alejandro Roces, Sr., who was appointed by Quezon in 1939 to be a member of the first City Council, was a key partner of Quezon in creating the new city and in developing the new communities. Roces happened to be a friend of Miguel Bonifacio, a bakery owner, who with his wife, Jovita, owned a thriving bakery in Manila called Los Baños Bakery (so-called because the couple’s roots were in Laguna). Roces felt that bakeries were essential fixtures in residential communities.
Leticia (whose family established Los Banos Bakery), and husband, Marcelo, established a bakery in the brand new neighborhood of Kamuning. It was thus that Kamuning Bakery was built in 43-A K-C (now Judge Jimenez Street) corner K-1st as one of the first structures there, together with a barbershop, a grocery, elementary and high schools, and a church. Kamuning Bakery remains in its original site to this day.
Leticia was not a baker, but a lawyer, a woman empowered at a time when the term was unheard of. During the period of Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the bakery stopped its operation for some time because flour, which was imported, was difficult and expensive to secure.
Fast forward to now Oldest authentic pugon or wood-fire oven bakery and the very first bakery to open in Quezon City, the Philippines in 1939, the historic Kamuning Bakery is a quaint, little yet excellent place where you can buy and eat the most delicious traditional breads, cakes and old-style Filipino biscuits. Pugon or wood-fire oven baking is almost a lost art which Kamuning Bakery continues to uphold by painstakingly producing high-quality, no-preservatives & no-additive products, despite the challenges of this modern era dominated by huge multinationals, bakery chains and supermarkets with their mass-produced factory or industrial breads.
I think Kamuning Bakery is what you would call a “destination bakery,” where customers go to for a specialty product that only they offer. They updated their place where patrons can enjoy their pastries with sips of java. I think they should look into the possibility of marketing the bread as “pasalubong” especially for “balikbayans” who are hankering for the taste of traditional style Filipino breads. Kamuning Bakery continues to bake its breads in a wood-fired oven (“pugon”), that gives its products a distinct smokey flavor. Holly’s fresh milk, chocolate milk, yoghurt & kesong puti ( white cheese ) also brewed coffee available in the bakery as well.
One of the bestsellers is their very own Pan de Suelo, a favorite of the late President Corazon Aquino, who was a frequent customer. This kind of bread, he says, requires a special skill to bake, because it is cooked in the oven’s floor, and the heat is circulated equally to ensure that it is cooked perfectly. Aside from the Pan de Suelo try their other products too like the pan de sal, strawberry cheesecake, eggpie, brazo de Mercedes, Foccacia sticks & breads, ensaymada, biscocho, pianono, pan de España, pan de coco, cinammon rolls, the unique pan de Rizal, Laburita, pan de ciosa and we also do moist chocolate cakes, butter cakes and the very famous Brazo de Mercedes.
A new trivia is that Mr Wilson Lee Flores bought the bakery and he is preserving this historical Kamuning Bakery. So if you want to try fresh pugon-bake pandesal, Filipino traditional biscuits, home-made desserts like cheescakes, and even birthday cakes or any kind of cakes, fresh milk, chocolate and kesong puti from Laguna, drop by at Kamuning Bakery located at Judge Jimenez Street cor. K-1st Street in Quezon City (telephones 929-2216 and 794-5045).