One of the many delicious food that we Filipinos are pretty proud of is our “Halo-Halo”. I remember that one of the Taiwanese F4, Ken, even said that it was one of the things he could never forget when he visited our country with his mom as a child. He said it was one of the most delicious concoctions he has ever tasted. Isn’t that cute? And yeah, I do know Taiwan’s F4. Who doesn’t? LOL! Mind you, that was not really verbatim, but you get the idea. Anyway, I have loved this dessert since I was a snot-nosed child of six with only a single 25-cent coin to my name. I remember that when our neighbor started selling this, it was a sure sign that it was the start of summer vacation, and the beginning of an informal “halo-halo” fiesta in our sitio. To those who do not know what a “halo-halo” is, this dessert consists of a delicious fusion of shaved ice, evaporated milk, sugar crystals, a small slice of leche flan, jello, or purple yam jam (if there are any available), some red-colored syrup (I suspect it’s cherry flavored), cornflakes, and any sliced fruits you can get your hands on. You cram all of these into a single cup or glass (yes, it can be done), and painstakingly mix all of these with a long-handled spoon. Voila! You have “halo-halo”.
I remember my siblings and I used to pester our parents to buy each of us a serving every day for the duration of summer, making our neighbor very happy for bringing her some business. My Mama never actually gave in every day, it was more like once every week. But if you were a penniless kid, that would feel like you have won the lottery. What else would you expect from a child?
Well, my siblings and I never actually grew up with Chowking. This chain was not yet around back in the 80’s, and so we contented ourselves with the “inato” version, which was very delicious nonetheless. However, now that we have Chowking, most people prefer their version more than anybody else’s. In fact, if you visit any of their branches, you are bound to see at least one person with a bowl of “halo-halo” in front of them. Unfortunately, I can only eat their halo-halo sans ice cream these days. They use Nestle ice cream and I’m not going to say any more than that. My friends know why though. Haha! Anyway, I took this picture when my little sister treated her three chikitings to Chowking months ago. I guess it wasn’t summer then but I will always associate this yummy concoction with summer and so it was only today that I remembered I had this picture. It looks scrumptious, doesn’t it? Simply scrumptious.