It’s been half a century since New Zealand established friendly ties with the Philippines—and its relationship as two nations have continued to grow ever since.

15 years ago, not many Filipinos knew about New Zealand. Many only knew of the place because of Anchor butter—something they immediately associated with NZ’s snow-capped mountains, meadows, green fields and dairy industry. On the other hand, many Kiwis don’t know much about their Asian neighbour, either.

Today, with stronger ties, it’s no secret that New Zealand benefits greatly from the Philippines and vice versa. One of the best things the Philippines can offer those living in New Zealand comes in the form of a cold dessert perfect for the summer—a sweet and icy concoction known as halo-halo.

Halo Halo What?


Haluhalo or Halo halo (literally “mix-mix”) is a popular Filipino dessert that consists of shaved or crushed ice and evaporated milk. You can also add various ingredients, such as boiled sweet beans, agar jelly, sago (little balls of starch), coconut, tubers and fruits.


The basic recipe also includes shreds of sweetened plantains (saba), cream caramel flan (leche flan) and sweet purple yam (ube).

Some people spell the dessert as “halo-halo,” while others insist it’s spelled as “haluhalo”. But whatever the spelling is, it’s no secret that halo-halo has a growing following around the world, including New Zealand.

The Secret to Great Halo-Halo

The key to creating the best halo-halo doesn’t just depend on the ingredients (although you have to make sure you have a fresh batch). No matter what you throw into the mix, the shaved or crushed ice will always be the star.

Shave it right and the ice melts in your mouth like snow. When mixed with the other ingredients and the evaporated milk, everything combines into cold slurry of multi-coloured deliciousness.

Here’s how you can make one:


  • 2 tbsp. Palm nuts
  • Crushed or shaved ice
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp. coconut gel
  • 2 tbsp. preserved shredded young coconut
  • 2 tbsp. diced cantaloupe
  • Vanilla ice cream


In a tall glass, add the first five ingredients, layer by layer. Cover the mixture with enough ice to fill the glass. Top everything off with an evaporated milk and your favourite scoop of ice cream.

Halo-halo is a convenient and easy dessert to make. As the name implies, all you have to do is mix the ingredients. Apart from its easy preparation, it is also a delectable treat that will surely surprise. This array of ingredients form an all-in-one snack that comes with almost everything.

Embrace the Philippines’s halo-halo with open arms today. Just have some shaved ice and a handful of ingredients and you’re good to go.

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