On Point With: Bibingka Mama

She’s serves body, she’s serves face, she serves shows… she serves pastries! The Filipino-American performer Bibingka Mama has become a Brooklyn institution… and it’s high time we all signed up for her brand of drag, burlesque and delicious foodstuffs. [Cover photo: Jeff Jassky]


Thotyssey: Hello Mama! Thanks for chatting today! So, you recently gave a rare Manhattan performance at Barracuda Bar, alongside fellow Filipino queens Jiggly Caliente, Mancie Mandell and West Dakota! How did that go?

Bibingka Mama: Yes, it was “One Night in Jiggly” and it was a super fun show… and she was such a pleasure to work with. The show was a deeper look into Jiggly’s life where she spilled all the juicy tea. She also wanted to showcase her Filipina fam, so also asked me to sell Bibingka, which was a great opportunity to share Filipino culture.

I have worked with West Dakota in the past for a few events, and they are an amazing performer. I love working with them! Their aesthetic is so inspirational.

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You occupy an interesting role in nightlife as both a food merchant and a stage performer. Did you ever think, like, 10 years ago that you’d be doing this?

I never thought I would be a performance artist. When I moved to New York, I was married and working as fashion designer, but the corporate work is unfulfilling. I used to be pretty shy, and spent most of my time with my ex at shoegaze and rock shows. It wasn’t until we split where I was able to find myself again… and Bibingka Mama emerged.

Where did you move here from?

I grew up in Stockton, California, then lived in San Francisco for a bit. I have family in the Philippines, and I visited once when I was nine.

How exactly did you find yourself in the Brooklyn nightlife scene?

When my husband and I split, I started hanging out in the queer community more often. One of the first parties I went to was the Bubble_T party at The Rosemont. It was the first time I felt like I belonged somewhere. It was also a safe place, and I enjoyed being around like-minded individuals. So I just kept going back to The Rosemont and Bubble_T, and these folks became family. I also love a look party; I was always down for any chance to dress up.

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[Photo: Jeff Jassky]
When did it become a thing you for to be serving Babingka wherever you show up?

I think it was the second show I was booked; I brought Bibingka to the Rosemont. I realized that most people, unless they were Filipino, didn’t know what a Bibingka was. The pastry is so unique that I couldn’t find the words to describe it. So I started giving away the cakes for my shows so people could try it. I still bring Bibingka cakes to my shows. People need that full Bibingka experience.

Okay, I now challenge you to describe what a Bibingka is!

It’s an open, gooey, coconutty Filipino Rice cake. Or a mochi butter cake.

I had one at Club. Cumming when you were doing A+. (the Asian-American drag queen revue)… delish! 

OMG! Thank you so much! It’s my favorite dessert, which is why I took it as my name. I’m also that thicc rice cake, and like a Filipino mama, I’m feeder.

How did you start performing?

I thought about doing burlesque, but I felt too insecure to undress in front of an audience. So that never went anywhere, but I did pick out a name. A month later, I saw two of the party producers of Bubble_T a week before their Halloween party “Cosplaysia.” I was telling them about my costume, and showed them a video of me whipping fans. Pauly_T then asked if I wanted to perform, and I drunkenly agreed! I had a week to start all my social media and to get a performance together.

What does a Bibingka Mama performance look like today?

It usually has a cultural or personal story. I like to keep it fun and light, with a little alternative hip hop.

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[Photo: Han Minu]
Who do you consider to be your sisters in this business of nightlife?

I would say any queen I do a show with becomes a sis! But I have a special place in my heart for the Bubble_T fam and the A+ fam. I do a show called Bodyrolls at The Rosemont, so I became close with DJ Tito Vida of Bubble_T, Mini Horrorwitz and Ramen Bitch. My friend Nova JJ helps me out with pop-up events. This community is so welcoming that I feel like family where ever I go.

Tell us more about what the Bodyrolls party at The Rosemont is like.

Bodyrolls is a 90s / 00s hip hop and R&B party. We’ve been doing it the second and last Thursday of the month. The next ones should be on March 12th and March 26th.

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In the meantime, this Saturday you will be at C’mon Everybody for a Janet Jackson tribute party with DJ Hannah Lou and Miz Jade: #Justice4Discipline! Are you a Janet Stan? And, do you think the Discipline album was overlooked by everyone?

I definitely Stan Janet. I love her! She’s an icon! I think the album was overlooked. I overlooked it. I only knew a couple of songs, and after listening to the album for this event, I definitely appreciate it more.

Are you gonna perform? And feed us, lol?

Maybe both! I’m going to perform; I might bring some treats.

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What else is coming up for you?

I have a few events coming up. On March 2nd I’ll be performing for an Elizabeth Warren fundraiser event, with Junior Mint and Just June.

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I’m also doing Synthesis [a variety show / performance art showcase] which is created by Miz Jade on March 20 and 21.

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I have a pop-up shop at BK Queer Flea on April 11th, and the Hester Street Fair on April 18th… and another booth in the evening at The Brooklyn Ball with Untitled Queen. Also, a 420 party which is TBD. I think we might have that at 3 Dollar Bill. Some 420 treats!

Okay, so in closing: Season 12! Whose team are you on?

Team Jackie Cox! I performed with her at A+. So I’ll support my sis!

Thank you, Bibingka Mama!


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Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Bibingka Mama’s upcoming events, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

 

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