Christmas Guide

Top 5 Filipino Noche Buena Favorites 2017

The Pinoy Noche Buena menu wouldn’t be complete without these dishes.

By: Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon | November 26, 2017
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With only a few days to go till December, it’s indeed beginning to look a lot like Christmas. For most Filipinos, one thing to look forward to in December is Noche Buena, where they can indulge in good food and fine wine with family and friends.

Last week, we asked our readers which Noche Buena dishes are their favorite. Check out the results of our poll below.

5. Barbeque

Pinoy Noche Buena menu

Barbeque is both a popular street food and Noche Buena favorite.

Starting off our list at number five is barbeque. A popular street food in the Philippines, Filipino-style barbeque consists of either chicken or pork marinated in soy sauce, calamansi (calamondin), spices, and sometimes even lemon-lime soft drinks. These are then grilled over charcoal or uling.

Filipinos also grill other parts of the animal, making creative names like Adidas for chicken feet, IUD for chicken intestines, Walkman for pig’s ears, and Betamax for cubed coagulated pig or chicken blood. Nowadays, there are even upscale barbeque joints and smokehouses in the metro which serve a gourmet take on grilled meat.

4. Queso de bola

Pinoy Noche Buena menu

Filipinos love this Dutch cheese like any local product. (Image: Ben Aveno Atanacio Jr.)

Queso de bola or Edam cheese originated from the Netherlands. However, Filipinos have come to love the semi-hard, slightly salty and nutty cheese. Come Noche Buena time, most Filipino dinner tables will likely have a ball of this cheese since it’s a popular Christmas giveaway for companies.

A classic way to enjoy queso de bola is with pan de sal (bread roll) and jamon de bola (baked, glazed ham). One can also try it as one of many wine-and-cheese pairings, or make it part of a holiday cheese platter with fruits and biscuits.

3. Hamonado

Pinoy Noche Buena menu

Hamonado, a sweet medley of pork in pineapple sauce (Image: Even Hindap)

Filipinos have a penchant for cooking savory food on the sweet side. And so, unlike the tart tomato-based Italian spaghetti for example, Filipino spaghetti tends to be sweet.

This is the same case with hamonado, which lands at number three in our list. This dish consists of marinated pork butt or tenderloin which is fried then simmered in sweet pineapple sauce. It’s simple to prepare and has ingredients which are easy to find, so it’s no wonder why it’s a popular dish for serving on Noche Buena.

2. Bibingka and puto bumbong

Pinoy Noche Buena menu

Eating bibingka and puto bumbong is part of the Filipino Christmas tradition. (Images: Via Mare)

The second spot is a tie between bibingka (rice cake) and puto bumbong (purple-colored sticky rice cake).

Bibingka is a flat, spongy cake made of rice flour, coconut milk or water, eggs, and milk. The batter is placed inside terra cotta pots lined with banana leaves, then baked on top of hot coals. It is then topped with butter or margarine, sugar, cheese, grated coconut, and slices of salted duck egg.

Puto bumbong is glutinous rice flour shaped into logs then steamed inside bamboo tubes. The addition of pirurutong (purple glutinous rice) gives the dish its distinct color. It is usually served in banana leaves then topped with grated coconut meat, brown sugar, and margarine or butter.

1. Fruit salad

Pinoy Noche Buena menu

Nothing beats Pinoy fruit salad in convenience and taste. (Image: Nestle Cream)

The number one dish in our poll is fruit salad. Preparing this dish requires nothing more than opening canned fruit cocktail and nata de coco (coconut sport) and mixing it with cream and condensed milk. Cubed apples, strips of young coconut, and fresh fruit which is in season can also be added. Fruit salad is convenient and easy to prepare. That’s why it’s not only a party food staple for birthdays and special occasions, but also a Noche Buena treat that everyone loves.

Did your favorite Noche Buena food make it to our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Results are based on the Filipino Noche Buena Favorites 2017 Poll posted at the home page of from November 13 to 19, 2017.
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About Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon
Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.
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