No celebration is ever complete without food, and by food, we mean a grand feast. Festivals,
especially the ones as big and significant as Christmas, call for a large meal consisting of a great
variety of festive special dishes. When we talk about the Christmas menu of different countries,
Christmas food in the Philippines is worth mentioning because this is a country that celebrates
Christmas for the longest time – for nearly 4 months, from September to December (referred to
as ‘Ber’ months). Filipinos culminate their nine-day Masses called ‘Simbang Gabi’ on Christmas
Eve when they eat a large festive meal ‘Noche Buena’ at midnight. Below are some of the most
common dishes you’ll see at their dinner table!
Lechon, a roasted pig, is the staple Christmas food in the Philippines and the centerpiece of the
celebration as far as food is concerned. You can consider it the Filipino’s replacement for
Christmas turkey. It is served as a whole pig or sometimes chopped into slices. Eaten in
combination with some kind of sauce, say a liver sauce or a soy sauce or a vinegar dip, Lechon is
something everyone wants to dig into!
Delicate and sweet, Christmas Ham is the next common food item you would find on the dinner
table during Noche Buena celebrations in the Philippines. This Philippines’ Christmas food is so
popular that you’ll find every supermarket or grocery store selling this ham on a large scale
during the festival season. Caramelized with Pineapple and Brown Sugar Glaze, Christmas Ham
is deliciously sweet and succulent. Filipinos often enjoy it with pan de sal, a Pinoy bread roll.
Unlike the traditional red and tangy Italian spaghetti, Pinoy-style Spaghetti, which uses a sweet
sauce made from tomato sauce, brown sugar, and banana ketchup, is distinctively sweet and is
one of the favorite Filipino Christmas food items loved by the kids and adults alike. Pinoy-style
Spaghetti replaces the typical Italian meatballs with ground pork or beef and is generously
topped with hotdog slices and grated cheese.
‘Pancit’ is one of the beloved Filipino dishes, and how can it not be a part of Christmas food in
the Philippines? This traditional noodle dish is served on special days like birthdays, family
gatherings, and festivals as the long noodles are associated with a long life! Pancit Malabon is a
stir-fried noodle dish seasoned with a rich shrimp sauce and topped with a range of ingredients
like slices of boiled eggs, chicharron, shrimps, oysters, squid, fish flakes, etc.
Bibingka, a sweet delicacy made with rice and coconut milk, is one of the commonly served
Christmas food items in the Philippines. This delicious rice cake is traditionally cooked in clay
pots lined with banana leaves and is mouth-wateringly topped with a range of ingredients like
butter, cheddar cheese, brown sugar, grated coconut, and salted egg slices.
Queso de Bola:
It is impossible for a Noche Buena table to not have Queso de Bola! This yummy table cheese is
a classic Christmas food in the Philippines. Queso de Bola (also spelled Quezo de Bola or Keso
de Bola) is a localized term for Edam cheese. This semi-hard cheese has a colorful red paraffin
shell and tastes uniquely salty. It is mostly enjoyed together with bread, crackers, and hams!
Some other dishes that are commonly a part of Christmas food in the
Philippines include Fruit Salad, Macaroni salad, Leche flan (custard dessert), Lumpiang ubod
(spring roll), and Castañas (roasted chestnuts). Wish to experience Christmas in the Philippines?
Book cheap flights with iEagle and get a taste of the world’s longest Christmas celebrations!