Uhm, there’s macaroni pasta in my halo halo

Halohalo in Banaue, Sagada and perhaps the rest of the Cordillera region is interesting with macaroni and fresh fruits included

Lateral view showing the ingredients of Banaue’s halohalo. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Halohalo, that Pinoy iced dessert popular during the hot summer months take on an interesting form in the highlands of the Cordilleras, even when it’s cold. The clincher? Interesting ingredients used that set it apart from the rest of the concoction in the lowlands.

A casual walk in the streets of Banaue and Sagada proved to be amusing as I just found out that the halohalo stalls in these areas, and perhaps in most of the Cordillera region, uses rather not so familiar ingredients. Where else can you find fresh fruit in lieu of fruit preserves in syrup popular “down there?” But what really piqued my interest was the inclusion of elbow macaroni. Unusual? Yes!

According to an account told to me by a woman in Sagada, locals used to prepare macaroni and fruit salad and when the halohalo was introduced, they simply added ice and other ingredients to it drizzled with Liberty evaporada (evaporated milk).

A small plastic cup costs P20 ($0.40) in Banaue and P25 in Sagada with almost similar ingredients but the fresh fruit may vary.

A halohalo vendor in Sagada with her ingredients

In Banaue, the ingredients include boiled camote (sweet potato), coconut strips, cooked saba banana in syrup, crushed peanuts, gulaman (jelly), sago and boiled, unsweetened ube (purple yam).

In Sagada: pinipig (rice crispies), melon strips, boiled and slightly sweetened ube, apple, avocado, boiled camote, banana, and red and green gulaman. Brown sugar is used. Here, I really liked the crunch of the apple and the textures of the different ingredients makes this a sating snack. Compared to Banaue, I liked this which is available across the street from Ganduyan Inn.

By the way, be informed that these vendors, unless you destroy the plastic cups, recycle these.

Check other halohalo versions in this post.

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.


  1. Titanium Runner
    May 21, 2010 @ 9:56

    That’s what I love about the Philippines! So many things to discover! Our food alone is worth remembering! You ought to have asked and tasted their version of the Phakbet!

  2. journeyingjames
    May 21, 2010 @ 12:27

    kakaiba nga, spag sauce nalang ang kulang.

  3. » Cooling off in cool Banaue with halohalo + ESTAN CABIGAS PHOTOGRAPHY +
    May 21, 2010 @ 12:59

    […] of elbow macaroni as one of the ingredients which was kind of interesting. Check my blog post at langyaw.com for more on this […]

  4. estan
    May 21, 2010 @ 13:03

    @blas, yep, dami talaga pwede discover even the littlest of things πŸ™‚

    @james, hahaha… sauce talaga? :p

  5. Robbie
    May 22, 2010 @ 15:12

    I’ve been to Sagada twice and I haven’t seen that halo-halo stand! πŸ™

    Thanks for the info, though. Next time I’m there, I’ll definitely look for it. πŸ˜€

  6. reena
    May 22, 2010 @ 21:41

    haha. i’ve experienced eating halo-halo with macaroni noodles in ilocos when we were kids. we found it weird. we still find it funny til today. but i think it’s a standard ingredient na nga for the northerners. πŸ˜€

  7. witsandnuts
    May 23, 2010 @ 0:56

    Cool, the first time I’ve heard of mixing in the halo halo a macaroni shell.

  8. Cooling the heat with streetside halo-halo | langyaw
    May 23, 2010 @ 9:01

    […] 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! […]

  9. estan
    May 23, 2010 @ 9:11

    @robbie, baka summer lang available as they don’t sell it during the rainy season. you have nice work pala πŸ™‚

    @reena, meron din pala sa ilocos πŸ™‚

    @witsandnuts, really interesting πŸ™‚

  10. Kristine
    May 25, 2010 @ 13:13

    Amazing noh? πŸ™‚ Filipinos can mix anything up and it will still taste good! πŸ™‚

  11. estan
    May 25, 2010 @ 22:36

    @kristine, yep, anything goes for the pinoy πŸ™‚

  12. gaye
    May 29, 2010 @ 4:31

    I remember trying this about 8 years ago when we first went to Bontoc, P10 for a plastic cup. I was so surprised too but I oddly liked it! I even ordered a second serving. Refreshing and filling snack πŸ™‚

  13. estan
    May 29, 2010 @ 22:47

    gaye, I had 3 servings: 1 in Banaue and 2 in Sagada πŸ™‚

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