What's For Noche Buena, Jose Mari Chan?

Noche Buena includes a popular kakanin in Iloilo!

IMAGE Sonny Thakur (Esquire) and Kervin Dr (flickr.com)
ILLUSTRATOR Mixi Ignacio

The most obvious tell-tale sign that the four-month-long Christmas season has already started in the Philippines is not the Christmas lights nor is it putting up the Christmas tree. Christmas in the Philippines starts with Jose Mari Chan memes and playing Jose Mari Chan's timeless "Christmas In Our Hearts" on repeat.

In a virtual interview we had with the icon himself, we got to talk to him about what Christmas is like for him. What food does he look forward to eating during the festive season (when he isn't eating his favorite dishes that use alugbati, kadyos, and monggo all year round)?  

Photo by Kervin Dr. on flickr.com, CC by 2.0
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Just in case you didn't know, Jose Mari Chan grew up in the province of Iloilo which is known for serving really good La Paz batchoy, pancit molo, biscocho, and creamhorns. This is the reason why during Christmas, he has always looked forward to eating a popular native delicacy in his hometown called ibos or ibus. 

Photo by Coleen Oliva
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Ibos is a popular rice cake (suman) made by cooking glutinous rice with coconut milk, salt, and water, then these are wrapped in buri palm.

The best way to eat this kakanin is to dip it in sugar, preferably muscovado, and then take sips of tsokalate in between bites. You can even add slices of sweet yellow mangoes with it, which we're sure is not hard to find in Iloilo, given that Iloilo is near Guimaras.

Photo by Pixabay
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You can find ibos almost anywhere when you're in Iloilo, whether it be in public markets, along the streets, inside malls, or even the restaurants. So, hopefully, in the future when we can safely travel again, make sure to book a trip to Iloilo and try this kakanin for yourself.

***

Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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