Bohol’s Calamay, “The Sweetest of them All

Brown. Round Shaped. A red mark on its equator covering the middle. What is this?

“Gikan ka sa Bohol? Nagdala ka ug Calamay?”  – This is the most words I’ve heard so far when I came back to work from Bohol.

Who could ever deny the fact that Boholanos are well-known for its rich culture and history? One of its symbol as a Boholano insignia is the sweetest Calamay.

 Kalamay (also spelled Calamay), which means “sugar”, is a sticky sweet delicacy that is popular in many regions of the Philippines. It is made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground glutinous rice. It can also be flavored with margarine, peanut butter, or vanilla.

But one of its remarkable delicacy is made from Bohol. Jagna is known as the “Calamay County” of Bohol and is famed for the production of the finest Calamays in the province.

Calamay, sometimes called “kalamay” is made from well-milled glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk and sugar. It is the signature delicacy and pasalubong from Bohol. One of the island’s most iconic images, that brown spoke-shaved coconut shell with a red band.

Great as bread spread, calamay is also perfect scooped from the shell into your mouth. From locally harvested glutinous rice, pounded and ground in stone mills before cooking in the freshest coconut milk, over low fire, calamay tells the travails of sacrifice. It could be the constant stirring, or the cooks’ tireless dedication which rewards it with its sticky consistency and sweetness.

Calamay is not only about the land’s bounty; but it also encapsulates in a shell: industry and dedication that has cemented the Boholano. Surviving through heat and sweat, cooks still stick a smile when pouring the thick paste into the coconut shells. Rev. Fr. Mariano Gutierrez, OAR incidentally taught the art of making calamay to the people of Jagna. while he was still parish priest of Jagna from 1825 until his death in 1855.

According to a report, the calamay industry has been giving the members of Jagna Calamay Makers and Vendors Association (JACAMAVEA) enough income to bring food to their tables.

Established in the 1900s, JACAMAVEA is the first organization formed for the calamay makers in Bohol. Its counterpart, Jagna Calamay Makers Cooperative (JACAMACO) was formed when the calamaderas decided to go into lending. The organization is comprised of 70 members, 66 of which are women.


Address Can-upao, Jagna, Bohol
How to Get There
  • Van – 100/hd
  • Bus – Regular P60.00
  • Bus – (Aircon) P 80.00
Schedule Open – 9:00 a.m.-6:00 evening on daily basis (including Saturdays & Sundays)
Tour fee 25 peso
What is included in the Price? Entrance fee
Precaution statement It is allowed for all ages20-30 maximum of allowed individualMaximum time will be 30 mins. for the tour
What to wear? No dress code
What to bring? Tourists could bring their cameras
Souvenir items Home made noodles made up of malunggay, Virgin coconut oil, Powdered Ginger, homemade cookies, ubi calamay, corn chips, etc.
Other Important Information:
Does the eco-tour accept bookings? Yes, tourists need to book first in advance prior
Contact person
Ms. Elizabeth O. Balaba




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