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Filipino Beverages

The Philippines is a tropical country, it is often hot and humid and therefore thirst quenchers like the “Halo-Halo” and “Sago’t Gulaman” are popular.

The most sought after drink by Filipinos come summer time. “Halo-Halo” has a literal translation of “Mix-Mix”. This drink is made by putting spoonfuls of different Filipino delicacies such as “Nata de coco”, “Macapuno”, “Gulaman”, “Sago” and others into a tall glass. A heap of finely shaved ice is then added. Then to “Top it off” slices of Leche flan, Ube Halaya, and Sweetened Langka (Jackfruit) slices are added. Prior to serving, a generous stream of evaporated milk is poured over the “Halo-Halo”. As you can see, most of ingredients of this concoction are popular Filipino desserts. No wonder most Filipinos also consider the “Halo-Halo” as a dessert.

Sago’t Gulaman
Undeniably the most common Filipino thirst quencher. Although the “Halo-Halo” is the most sought after refreshment, the humble Sago’t Gulaman (Sago is the Tagalog word for tapioca pearls, while Gulaman is Agar-Agar) is still the King of Filipino drinks. This thirst quenching delight is simply Tapioca Pearls and slivers of Agar-agar in water, flavored with vanilla and brown sugar and then served very cold. Unlike the Halo-halo that needs to be eaten with a spoon and commonly served only on restaurants, the Sago’t Gulaman can be seen on almost all sidewalks throughout the Philippines. Wherever street vendors and sidewalk food carts can be found, the Sago’t Gulaman can never be out of sight. Some people prepare the Sago’t Gulaman to look like the Halo-halo using shaved ice. I don’t really enjoy Sago’t Gulaman served that way since if I have to sit down and use a spoon, I’d rather go for the Halo-halo. Nothing still beats enjoying an ice cold Sago’t Gulaman on a plastic bag or plastic cup while walking in the hot and humid streets.

Buko Juice
Another popular Filipino refreshment treat is the Buko Juice. Fresh Coconut water is mixed with sugar and shredded coconut meat and lots of ice. The more popular variant which can be commonly seen sold side by side with the Sago’t Gulaman is the milky Buko Juice . Basically, evaporated milk and a bit of water is added to the Buko Juice.

Melon Juice
A drink similar to Buko juice, but instead of Buko, Melon is used.

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