Summer started quite early for Filipinos, right? Around March, everyone can already feel the sweltering weather. But however we pray to the gods to give us a break, it just inevitable because, well, we’re in a tropical country and it’s summer!

While there’s nothing we could do with the weather, there are many things to help us keep our cool. And when the beach is not really an easy and immediate option, we have food.

Our country boasts with different desserts – whether our creation or a derived version from foreign ones. These sweet, delectable gifts from the heavens (well, sort of) is just one thing we need to enjoy this summer.

Here are the favourite Filipino desserts that you can easily find around the corner to help cool you down this hot, hot summer.

1. Halo-halo

The famous Pinoy halo-halo.
Image credit: Instagram | Marco Ebrada Reyes @seyerem

This dessert should be on the top of the list. And why not? It deserves to be. Halo-halo is one of the most famous and favorite Filipino desserts of all time. A serving of it can surely send the chill throughout your body.

So why do people love this dessert? From the name itself (which translate to ‘mix-mix’) is a mix of sweetened banana, jackfruit, gelatin, pearls, and beans covered with shaved ice and evaporated milk. You can also top it with ube (yam), pinipig (pounded rice flakes), flan, and ice cream! Then, you got to mix them all together!

Now, you have yourself a dessert with varied and interesting textures. And, most importantly, the shaved ice is cold enough to cool down your entire body.

Halo-halo can be served solo or you can share it with a big group. Some restaurants have a giant version of it that could be shared with 2-3 persons.

2. “Dirty” Ice Cream

Image credit: Instagram | Cherie Gozon @thecheriegozon
Baguio’s strawberry ice cream tastes just as good.

When you here that handbell ringing from the street, you know it’s your favorite sorbetero – or local ice cream man. You run out to get your favorite dirty ice cream.

Don’t worry. It’s not really dirty. Locally known as sorbetes, it’s called “dirty” because it’s sold on the streets rather than sold in tubs at the mall. But this local version of an ice cream is nothing short of taste.

What makes the sorbetes or dirty ice cream a dessert of choice is its texture that isn’t quite the same with those branded ones. They come in many flavors, too – mostly of local fruits – and can be served on wafer or sugar cones, or the vendor’s own version of an ice cream sandwich.

3. Iced Candy

You can make your own iced candy.
Image credit: Instagram | Cherie Gozon @thecheriegozon

Any Filipino kid knows and loves iced candy. It’s sold in the nearest neighborhood and comes in different flavors.

What makes iced candy popular is because it’s cheap. It’s made of water, milk, and any flavor you want it to be. Famous flavors are avocado, buko (coconut), mango, and even fruit salad. Another great thing about iced candy is you can make one on your own. You don’t need a fancy dessert recipe. As long as you have the ingredients, you can whip it up in a few minutes and just put it in the freezer.

For a more eco-friendly alternative, you can make one using popsicle mold or even put it in a glass for a huge helping!

4. Mais con Yelo

All the creamy and corny goodness of mais con yelo.
Image credit: Instagram | Michelle Morales @amazinglymj

If halo-halo is too fancy for you, you can have a (sort of) stripped-down version of it with mais con yelo. This dessert consists of steamed sweet corn, shaved ice, sugar, and milk. You can top it with cornflakes to add a little crunch to this dessert.

While it might not have a lot of ingredients, it doesn’t mean it lacks flavor. The sweetness of the corn and a bit of sugar blends well with the creaminess of milk. The cornflakes’ crunch compliments the smoothness of all that. And yes, still, the ice is a must to bring in some cold sensation all over your body.

5. Sago’t Gulaman

Something sweet and cool for summer? Sago at Gulaman gives you that!
Image credit: Instagram | Allysa Rivera @allysa_rivera52

It is named simply as it is. It is a mix of sago (pearls) and gulaman (gelatin) with crushed or shaved ice and a caramelized sugar or caramel syrup.

This is easily one of the famous coolers in the Philippine because it is cheap and you can easily find them sold almost everywhere!

6. Samalamig

All the yummy cooling beverages that you can find along the busy summer streets.
Image credit: Instagram | Berta the Explorer @bertatheexplorer

Basically, sago’t gulaman belongs to the samalamig category – but it deserved a special mention because it is, shall we say, the “mother” of samalamigs. Also known as palamig, its root word (lamig) means to cool down. And that’s already a giveaway for this list.

Samalamigs are flavored iced drinks with colorful gelatins; mostly matching the color of its flavor. For example, you have buko pandan, you’ll have green gelatin. For coffee, you’ll have brown jelly. Do you get the drift? Like sago’t gulaman, this has become a popular after-meal drink because of its sweet taste. And since it is served with the utmost coolness, it’s a perfect finish for your meal on a hot day.

7. Fresh Buko Juice

Philippines is rich with this fruit of life.
Image credit: Instagram | Igan dela Cruz @iamiganj

Technically, this is not a dessert. But since the Philippines is a tropical country blessed with the abundance of coconut, fresh coconut juice has become a staple. Let’s consider it a healthy dessert option for the warmer days.

You can find them in groceries, yes but nothing beats the fresh ones. Some would prefer to get more than one fruit, break the shell, pour the juice in a pitcher, scrape out the meat, put some ice and a bit of sugar, and share it with everyone!

8. Iced Scramble

Iced scramble a mix of sweet pleasure and cool fun.
Image credit: Instagram | Aaron Ramirez @ronramirez_

You might not be familiar with this. Or maybe you are. You’re just not really sure what is it that the vendor is selling – or if it tastes good.

Iced scramble is simply a mix of shaved ice, milk, banana or vanilla flavoring, and food color. The key is to mix them all together to get the right, smooth texture.  Add some mallows, powdered milk, and sprinkles on the top if you like. But the simplest one you’ll find only has a chocolate syrup swirled on top.

Which is your favourite Pinoy dessert? – Quiz


Now you can beat the heat of this summer with these desserts! You know you have many options like desserts in rests, but nothing beats our own Pinoy taste!