Traditional Christmas Food in the Philippines

Dishes and drinks that are Filipino favorites during the holiday season of Pasko.

1. tsokolate
hot chocolate, the drink most enjoyed by Filipinos during Christmas

2. salabat
warm ginger tea, a traditional drink after early morning mass

3. puto bumbong
purple-colored rice treat cooked in upright bamboo tubes

Bibingka on Banana Leaves

4. bibingka
flat cake served on banana leaves and topped with a pat of butter and grated coconut

5. ensaymada
a soft, fluffy pastry topped with finely grated cheese and white sugar

6. leche flan (from the Spanish word for milk: leche)
velvety custard made with egg yolks, has a rich caramelized topping

Keso de Bola
Philippine Queso de Bola

7. imported keso de bola (from the Spanish queso de bola)
ball of Edam cheese usually with a red covering, a traditional Christmas food

8. macaroni salad, prepared with Lady’s Choice mayonnaise

Filipinos consider it stylish and classy to serve Western foods.

In recent years, carbonara (aka “white spaghetti”) has been in vogue for Christmas Day… And the pretentious insist it should be pasta carbonara on Christmas Day and traditional spaghetti with tomato sauce during New Year festivities.

* There’s a joke now that Christmas in the Philippines should be renamed Spaghetti Day because it’s become the national staple during the holidays… Everyone aims to to finish all the spaghetti on the 25th because otherwise the leftover will remain in the refrigerator for days. Throwing away food the way Westerners nonchalantly do after every meal, particularly during the holidays, is a habit that Filipinos have yet to develop.

Fruit Salad, Ham, Spaghetti
9. fruit salad from the can, almost always with a mix of sweet condensed milk and cream, served in a glass dish

10. roasted kastanyas
piping-hot chestnuts (from the Spanish castañas)

11. hamon, especially jamón dulce
sweet-cured Christmas ham (from the Spanish jamon)

12. lechon (litson)
whole suckling pig, roasted

* Spageti ang pambansang handa tuwing Pasko. 🙂