4 Holiday Food Traditions in the Philippines

What's Christmas without a few traditions?


A good Filipino Christmas is always rooted in tradition. As soon as the air begins to hum with that unique kind of cheer and excitement, we bring out our parols and belens, and deck our homes with flickering lights.

In celebration of the season of joy and good food, we’ve compiled a list of some of our most beloved and cherished Filipino holiday food traditions. Grab a cup of hot tsokolate and take a look at the food that helps make our Christmas so special.

1 Bibingka and Puto Bumbong

There isn’t anything quite like the feeling of walking out of church the moment Simbang Gabi has just finished and being greeted by the warm, welcoming smell of bibingka and puto bumbong cooking over hot charcoal in the middle of the night.


2 Christmas Ham and Queso de Bola

A Filipino Christmas wouldn’t be a Filipino Christmas without ham and Queso de Bola. Whether they’re served together in a toasty pan de sal or as separate courses during Noche Buena, it doesn’t get any more Christmas-y than this pair.

ALSO READ: 5 Steps to the Perfect Holiday Ham

3 Castañas 

Once December rolls in, most everyone starts to buy freshly roasted chestnuts by the bagful. Sweet and a little bit smokey, castañas or chestnuts are best eaten warm, opened in the company of family.

ALSO READ: Chocolate Chestnut Tart Pie


4 Tsokolate and Ensaymada

Christmas is all about the sweet stuff, and nothing says “sweet Filipino Christmas” quite like a mug of tsokolate paired with fluffy, rich ensaymada. We love the pair so much that ensayamada has become the quintessential edible Christmas gift, while tablea tsokolate appears in practically every dessert come Christmastime. 


How to Make Ensaymada

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