Before I came to the Philippines, I didnâ€™t think Iâ€™d find tasty desserts there. My friend, who had been studying in Manila for about a year, told me only about balut, a fertilized egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It seemed to be very popular. Itâ€™s usually sold at night by food vendors, she told me, much like the ginger soya bean dessert in Indonesia. Ouch, is that what Filipinos eat for dessert? I made a resolution not to touch balut at all and so I was a bit surprised that when I did come to the Philippines, I found quite some really delicious sweet desserts.
fried bananas from the bald-man cafe in manila - topped with palm sugar sauce
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.
halo-halo: supposed to be the legendary dessert of the Philippines
In Tagalog language, â€śhaloâ€ť means â€śmixâ€ť. 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 â€śtaroâ€ť one so I had this beautiful purple yam ice cream on top of my glass) and it tasted very very sweet =D
Bicho-bicho: I believe itâ€™s a kind of Filipino donuts but itâ€™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 =D) Bicho-bicho that I tried is sold in stands in the malls. It offers various kinds of flavour too. But no, it can't beat the j.co donuts of Indonesia! Thereâ€™s something that just doesnâ€™t feel right about eating a square donuts =P
Suman: A rice cake made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, and often steamed in banana leaves.
bibingka, the Filipino pancake - served with grated coconut and cheese
The cake is filled with different kinds of fruit preserves. The plain ones are also avalable. We actually have a similar snack in Indonesia
(called "lemperâ€ť), only the filling is shreded meat instead of sweet preserves. Of course, I prefer the Filipino version =D
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. (Yes, itâ€™s a dream come true ďż˝" dinner that consists of dessert and dessert alone =D). In Indonesia we had a similar desser, called â€śserabiâ€ť but itâ€™s smaller and usually served with palm sugar sauce, not grated coconuts.
Thereâ€™s also a fast food chain restaurant in the Philippines called Jollibee and my friend insisted on taking me there because she thought Iâ€™d love its peach mango pie. It is served hot and it does taste lovely. â€śIf I have to leave after my study is finished, Iâ€™m definitely gonna miss this one,â€ť my friend confessed. Well, sheâ€™s right. I kind of miss it too now.