Fabulous Desserts from the Philippines

by Sandra Lilyana, Apr 11, 2008 | Destinations: Philippines
Bibingka - dessert from the Philippines

Bibingka - dessert from the Philippines

Bibingka - dessert from the Philippines
The traditional oven used to cook bibingka
Suman - another dessert of the Philippines
Halo-halo and the happy dessert lover

Since I’m a sweet-tooth, I never miss the chance to try different kinds of dessert while travelling in different countries. Here are some lovely ones that I found while I was travelling in the Philippines.

Halo-halo: A popular Filipino dessert consisting of a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a tall glass or bowl. In Tagalog language, “halo” means “mix”. When I came to Manila, my friend took me to have a halo-halo from the classic restaurant Aristocrats near the Bay of Manila after sunset. A perfect time for dessert - The ice is very colourful (I ordered the “taro” one so I had this beautiful purple yam ice cream on top of my glass) and it tasted very very sweet.

Bicho-bicho: I believe it’s a kind of Filipino donuts but it’s shaped like a fat stick instead of a ring. (I also notice here the Filipino tendency to repeat the exactly similar words to name things) Bicho-bicho that I tried is sold in stands in the malls. It offers various kinds of flavour too.

Suman: A rice cake made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, and often steamed in banana leaves. The cake is filled with different kinds of fruit preserves. The plain ones are also available.

Bibingka: Filipino pancake made of sugar, flour and coconut milk. We found a bibingka seller in front of Aristocrats with her traditional oven. So my friend ordered one and we enjoyed a hot fresh bibingka while waiting for the halo-halo in the restaurant. In Indonesia we had a similar dessert, called “serabi” but it’s smaller and usually served with palm sugar sauce, not grated coconuts.

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There’s also a fast food chain restaurant in the Philippines called Jollibee and my friend insisted on taking me there because she thought I’d love its peach mango pie. It is served hot and it did taste lovely. “If I have to leave after my study is finished, I’m definitely gonna miss this one,” my friend confessed. Well, she’s right. I kind of miss it too now.

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