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Cooling the heat with streetside halo-halo


Tiwi’s famous halo-halo topped with grated cheese.

“Go to any place in the country and one is sure to find cheap streetside halo-halo.”It’s summer and the weather’s just too hot and humid. What better way than to cool the heat off with halo-halo? Go to any place within the country and one is sure to find streetside halo-halo in various forms with various ingredients. And these are very cheap compared with those found in malls and restaurants. Prices can range between P10 to just as high as P40 ($0.20 – $1) and one can already have a filling and enjoyable fare.

Tiwi in Albay is famous for its unique take on this native fare. Other than the usual ingredients of candied and sweetened fruits and preserves and an almost liquid leche flan, it is topped with grated cheese. Just imagine the opposing taste of sweet/salty and you have a one-of-a-kind halo-halo. When in town, just ask for directions to the street where a series of shops selling this fare can be found. It is just near the church.


Tabaco’s halo-halo is patterned after Tiwi

A few kilometers from Tiwi is Tabaco, also in Albay. Their halo-halo is patterned after Tiwi but not as delicious. No leche flan and the ingredients are fewer. Pair with empanada and it is filling too.


Lucban’s halo-halo is best with suman which is dunked into the glass and mixed.

Lucban in Quezon surely has one of the unique ways of eating halo-halo. After the Good Friday procession, the people usually troop to a small eatery just a few blocks from the church and have a cold snack. Other than the halo-halo, they also order a bundle of suman (native rice cake). One buy one, a suman is slowly opened, sliced into bite sized pieces and then dunked into the glass and is mixed with the cold dessert. The almost bland delicacy adds a unique texture.


Streetside Makati halo-halo in plastic cups

At the periphery of the country’s financial district where a series of residential apartments and houses (not the exclusive villages), almost every store a few meters apart from each other is selling halo-halo and fruit shake! Available usually in three sizes, the ingredients are just the same but one has to sample different kinds as the taste and quality are not the same.


Infanta’s simple halo-halo

In Infanta, Quezon, their halo-halo is nothing different. Just the usual and topped with a slice of leche flan. But it is satisfying just the same especially if paired with hot siopao or hamburger.


Romblon’s streetside turoturo’s halo-halo

In the town of Romblon just near the wharf are a series of eateries that also serve halo-halo. The ingredients are generous and just enough to cool off the summer heat. In the Cordilleras, like Banaue and Sagada, their halohalo has interesting ingredients: fresh fruits and elbow macaroni!

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

17 Comments

  1. aLiNe
    April 28, 2008 @ 8:07

    mmmm… YUMMY AND REFRESHING!

  2. donG hO
    April 28, 2008 @ 20:04

    i still go for Razons halo halo but all the other halo halos are also good as long as the ice are well crushed and i agree with you leche flan also makes it tastes better.

  3. estan
    May 1, 2008 @ 14:50

    aline, yup, especially in very hot, humid manila.

    dong ho, razons is one of the better halo halos. the crushed ice with milk is really very good compared to some where the texture is too granular however, the ingredients are a little bit too sweet for my taste and have that aftertaste that i always don’t like.

  4. dodong flores
    May 9, 2008 @ 9:59

    I also visited Razon’s Halo-halo in Araneta center to quench my thirst.
    Chowking halo-halo is also a favorite fare.
    It’s amazing that our country has the “regional” variety of halo-halo. But then, that’s interesting so every halo-halo coming from specific place can be distinguished from others…

  5. Christine
    September 7, 2008 @ 11:29

    Halo-Halo in Romblon sounds interesting.
    I tried the one in Tiwi, I like it better than Razon’s 🙂

    I love your blog. Congratulations!

  6. estan
    September 8, 2008 @ 15:38

    christine, thanx. i agree, Tiwi’s is much better. The one in Razon’s, while the shaved ice is really fine, I just find their sahog very sweet.

  7. gonli
    October 24, 2008 @ 6:22

    Yum-yum. Ginutom ako! Brings back delicious memories

  8. Top 10 things to do this summer, part 1 of 2 | langyaw
    March 16, 2009 @ 21:32

    […] is for sure: SUMMER IS HERE! It surely is a hot time and other than indulging oneself with cold halo halo or hitting the malls for the nth time, what better way to make these awaited vacation months […]

  9. Top 10 things to do this summer, part 2 of 2 | langyaw
    March 19, 2009 @ 17:33

    […] is for sure: SUMMER IS HERE! It surely is a hot time and other than indulging oneself with cold halo halo or hitting the malls for the nth time, what better way to make these awaited vacation months […]

  10. Uhm, there’s macaroni pasta in my halo halo | langyaw
    May 21, 2010 @ 8:46

    […] Check other halohalo versions in this post. […]

  11. Gonli
    May 22, 2010 @ 23:07

    Hey, estan!

    I was able to taste halohalo along the hiway in Z

  12. Gonli
    May 22, 2010 @ 23:07

    Hey, estan!

    I was able to taste halohalo along the hiway in Z

  13. Gonli
    May 22, 2010 @ 23:10

    Sorry abot the previous posts, estan. I wanted to say that I tasted halo-halo along the hi-way in Zambales that had melon as one of their ingredients.

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