The Pinoy Christmas Is Not Complete Without Bibingka

Step inside the kitchen of Ferino’s and learn all about their 80-year old bibingka recipe.

Ferino’s 80-year old bibingka recipe tastes like Christmas.


One of the telltale signs that it’s Christmas season in the Philippines is when radio stations start to blast “Christmas In Our Hearts” by Jose Marie Chan (admit it, we know the lyrics by heart!) and when establishments get adorned with vibrant lights and decorations.



As we inch closer and closer to December, we finally see stalls and stores peddling bibingka. This festive Filipino delicacy we’ve come to crave during the holidays are usually offered early in the morning or late at night—especially after simbang gabi and misa de gallo. Eighty years ago, this is exactly how Ferino’s Bibingka started out. 

Ferino’s Bibingka started in October 1938 with Ceferino Francisco, or Ferino, whom the business is named after. Ferino is a businessman who loved to make kakanin during the holidays. Together with his wife, Cristina Francisco, they would sell freshly-baked bibingka using their own secret galapong concoction and cooked it using three clay stoves on a 1-meter bench and two small tables. This secret recipe of the Franciscos became famous through word of mouth.


It was no surprise that Ferino’s Bibingka became famous, but the business slowly died down as one branch closed down after the other when Ceferino passed away and Cristina retired. Around 1981, Ceferino’s son, Alfredo Francisco, brought the bibingka business back to life with the help of his wife and children. The secret and delicious recipe of Ferino’s Bibingka was then passed on to Alfredo’s son after Alfredo passed away, making Sonny Francisco the third generation and current owner of Ferino’s Bibingka.

Sonny learned the recipe by watching his father make it during the holidays. “Kapag naiisip natin na Christmas, ‘Uy. bibingka!’ That’s why tayong mga Filipinos, naging tradition na sa atin eh. Pag sinabing Pasko, it’s bibingka time!” (When we think of Christmas, ‘Uy, bibingka!’ That’s why Filipinos like us, it’s become our tradition. When you mention Christmas, it’s bibingka time!), Sonny Francisco shared.


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But what is it about Ferino’s bibingka that makes it special? Besides existing for 80 years, the clay pot process of cooking and the classic taste of the bibingka remained the same throughout the eight decades and three generations of
Franciscos . The legacy and popularity of Ferino’s Bibingka led to multiple franchises that use electric stoves, instead of the traditional clay pot. They both have a similar taste from one another, but as Sonny puts it, “Usually ang gusto talaga ng mga customer, naiisip nila na ‘Uy, parang mas mabango yung sa uling!’” (Usually, this is what customers like. They think, ‘Uy, the bibingka cooked with charcoal smells more appetizing!’). True enough, when you visit Ferino’s Bibingka’s Granada, Quezon City and Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City branches (the only branches that still use the clay pots), you’ll notice that most customers watch and wait in anticipation as the galapong mixture magically turns into a golden brown bibingka in their open kitchen.

There are three ways to enjoy Ferino’s Bibingka, namely the Bibingcute, Bibingka Super, and the Bibingka Extra Super! The Bibingka Super is your classic soft bibingka with slices of salted egg on top, while the Bibingcute is just a smaller version of it. It’s perfect for sharing and pasalubong to friends and family who are abroad and missing the taste of good bibingka.


If you’re up for a different bibingka experience, the Bibingka Extra Super will win your heart and your stomach. The Extra Super is extra special and super delicious! It still has the familiar comfort you get from a classic bibingka, but it’s made even more special because of the slices of quality kesong puti (white cheese made from carabao’s milk). The mildly-salty kesong puti is added into the galapong mixture right after the salted egg, and are both submerged in galapong mixture until it cooks.

What’s bibingka without a generous slathering of butter and sprinkle of freshly grated coconut on top of the freshly-cooked bibingka? When you dine in Ferino’s Bibingka, you will be asked if you want these two toppings. These last touches to bibingka are not crucial, but it is highly encouraged to bring out more flavors and textures you wouldn’t usually get if you skip it. Most of the time, Filipinos would even ask for extra servings of butter and a sprinkle of sugar! 

Although bibingka is arguably best eaten when it’s fresh out of the oven, Ferino’s Bibingka’s secret bibingka recipe challenges that idea. “Anything na mainit, masarap. But this bibingka, yung sa amin, pag lumamig siya, it stays the same na malambot pa siya, kahit kinabukasan mo [pa] makain (Anything served hot is delicious, but this bibingka, the one we’re offering, when it cools down, the softness of it remains the same – even if you eat it the next day),” Sonny shares.

With Ferino’s Bibingka’s delicious track record of making delicious bibingka for 80 years or so, one begins to ponder what the future holds for the Franciscos. “One of our missions and goals is that Ferino’s Bibingka will [continue] for more generations to come. I hope that customers remember Ferino’s Bibingka during Christmas. Balik-balikan nila yung lasa from 1938.” (One of our mission and goal is that Ferino’s Bibingka will continue for more generations to come. I hope that customers remember Ferino’s Bibingka during Christmas, and that they always return for the same tasty bibingka from 1938.) 


Ferino’s Bibingka is located at 4 Granada Street, Lungsod Quezon, 1112 Kalakhang Maynila. For the full list of branches and more information about Ferino’s Bibingka, please visit Ferino’s Bibingka’s official website.

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