Halo-Halong Halo-Halo in the Philippines
It was freakin' hot here in Manila in the past few days, and what a best way to cool down but to have a glass of our old-time favorite refreshment -- halo-halo. In some of my travels and food trips, I was lucky enough to have a taste of some of the best versions of halo-halo in the country. I know some would say Digman and Razon's are still their top favorites, but there are other renditions of this well-loved cooler that are just as yummy. Let me share with you some of my discoveries:
Instead of the typical ingredients of its Pinoy version, Ruamit (Thai halo-halo) has water chestnuts, corn, coconut milk and shaved ice. It is perfect for those who are not big fans of milk, or for those who does not want overly sweet halo-halo.
Vinzons, Camarines Norte
If by any chance you are in Vinzons, say you were from Calaguas or Maculabo, better make sure to grab the opportunity to sample the famous halo-halo in Reichan Tabeya, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant just a few steps away from the municipal hall. It may look like an ordinary halo-halo, but the big surprise here is in the shaved ice. Why? The ice is like crushed melon-infused iced candy! This, and the ube ice cream on top are just so divine!
|Reichan Tabeya's Melon-Infused Halo Halo|
When I had a food tour of Pampanga (read here), I remember we had our morning snacks at Kabigting's. Just right at the foot of the mystical Mt. Arayat, Kabigting's is so famous that even the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had been here to try its best-selling halo-halo. Its version is composed of pastillas (carabao’s milk candy), halayang (jam) white beans, and sweet corn topped with finely-shaved ice. Becuase of the white beans, this one becomes thicker as the ice melts down. It's intense -- sweet and rich.
Chicken Ati-Atihan's Buko Halo
Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental
The one and only buko halo that can make me forget about the wars and all the hullabaloos in Mindanao. I first tried it in Ozamis City, and later in Iligan City. But to my delight, a former colleague opened a franchise of Chicken Ati-Atihan in Cagayan de Oro which makes it more easily accessible. Served in a coconut shell that includes soft coconut meat, this halo-halo version has fresh Cavendish bananas, jellies, sweetened beans and cornflakes generously drizzled with milk. It is indeed delicious!!!
|Chicken Ati-Atiha's Buko Halo|