Cebu’s Cold Sweet Treats
While the Christmas season comes in the cold of December, it’s interesting to note that the craving for a cold treat does not really go away among Filipinos. It’s interesting because as the country is in the tropical hemisphere the change of seasons would have been more pronounced. Which means that at the first blow of the cold December breeze, the craving for gustatory delights would have supposedly shifted from cold to hot.
But, no, the popular penchant for cold refreshments in the country seems to defy the natural tendency. For instance, why is fruit salad even more prevalent in the Christmas fare? People cannot seem to contain their craving for the cold fruity sweet such that long before Christmas they’re already enjoying a closely similar treat – the halu-halo.
In Cebu, in fact, the halu-halo has given birth to a small community industry. Just a short jeepney ride from the city’s downtown, there’s this “taste of heaven” that’s been drawing regular patrons. Katipunan Street, in Barangay Labangon, is a popular destination for halu-halo lovers (which essentially mean everybody).
It’s easy to reach Labangon from any point in the city. The place is a true haven for the famished. Right after filling the stomach with the famous “Siomai sa Tisa,” in Sito Tisa, one may drop by any of the well-known halu-halo places along nearby Katipunan Street. There are at least four to choose from: Hans, Monbis, Sol’s, or Melton’s.
If looking for a unique halo-halo experience, one may not look any farther. The halu-halo experience at Hans is unique – the customer picks his or her own ingredients! One may choose six from the 11 ingredients offered, including leche flan, nata de coco, sago, gulaman, cornflakes, langka, and ube. The special ice used melts in the mouth, and one can feel the play of creaminess and sweetness in the mouth. The place is open from 3 to 11 p.m. daily.
What immediately impresses the taste buds with Monbis halu-halo is the fine ice, before one would even sense the corn chips, banana slices, and coconut strips. The shaved ice itself is special, something for the mouth to relish as it sort of tickles the taste buds. Only one flavor and one serving size are offered, sparing
USJR Intern the customer from the trouble of making a choice. Monbis is open from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight daily.
Among the four halu-halo places in the area, Sol’s arguably has the best-tasting house-blended ice. Sol’s must have really made it into the hearts of many Cebuanos as it has already a number of branches all over the city. Starting out in Tisa in 2016, Sol’s halu-halo quickly captured the patronage of its first customers with its simple yet delightful formula. A fusion of flavors from choice ingredients bursts in the mouth, a taste that’s quite memorable.
Whether it’s the “special” or “super special” version, Melton’s halu-halo does one thing – it makes one want for more. As the pioneer in the halu-halo business district, Melton’s has perfected the formula that make patrons come back over and over again, over the years. Its halu-halo is simple yet festive in the mouth as the ingredients combine: gulaman, sago, various fruits and sweetened beans.
If a cold sweet treat is characteristic of Christmas, then it’s Christmas all the time at Melton’s!