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This is one of the most awaited celebrations every year. Noche Buena is the Spanish-term for Christmas Eve and a term being used by Spain, Latin America and Philippines. It is believed that this tradition has started during the 15th century. Noche Buena is being celebrated by most Filipinos on the evening of the 24th of December. The main reason as to why people gather on this joyous occasion is because of the great family bonding and, of course, the feast! Here is a list of the most requested, mouthwatering dishes for our Noche Buena this Christmas!
- Lechon Baboy (Roasted Pig)
This dish has always been a part of almost every celebration in Philippine History. This dish also took part in the history of Noche Buena. During the 15th century, Caribbean colonists hunted down pigs and roasted them whole as the family gathered for Christmas Eve. This certain tradition has been adopted by Filipinos because of the influence of Spanish colonization. Well of course, Lechon is still the Filipino favorite because of its crispy & tasty skin and juicy meat inside. I’ve heard that the best part are the ribs.
- Christmas Ham
Christmas Ham is another Filipino favorite. It is a must have dish on your table during Noche Buena. There are a lot of ways on how to cook this dish but the most common way of cooking this is by glazing it with honey. This dish is best partnered with Queso de Bola or Edam Cheese. A lot of stores this season offers free Queso de Bola every time you purchase grocery packages.
This dish is the all-time favorite of everyone in every party. Whenever you go to any celebration in the Philippines, expect that there will be a pan of meaty spaghetti on the table. Filipinos like Spaghetti in a curiously unique way. We like it sweet style. Filipinos are a big fan of sweet stuff that even on non-dessert dishes we add sweetness, literally.
- Beef Caldereta (Beef Stew)
A Filipino dish inspired by the Spanish cuisine. Originally, Caldereta is Goat Meat Stew, but not everyone eats goat meat. The most common way to cook this is by using beef, which is another variation of this dish. The word Caldereta originated from the Spanish word caldera which is translated as cauldron.
- Arroz Valenciana
A sticky rice dish which is originally a Latin American dish and is considered as a part of the Philippine cuisine. The dish is part glutinous rice and part regular rice with coconut milk, chicken, chorizo de bilbao, sliced hardboiled eggs, bell pepper, tomatoes and of course, spices. It looks similar with paella but is different in way of cooking and special ingredient. Arroz Valenciana is more of a stove-top cooking while Paella is more of baking. Paella also uses white wine for a more Spanish taste with a lot of seafood ingredients.
- Crispy Pata
Whenever you mention the name of this dish to any Filipino, you’ll always see a smile on their faces as they imagine the crunchiness of the skin and the tenderness of the meat inside. This dish originated in the 1950’s when Sixta Evangelista Ongpauco, the owner of Barrio Fiesta Eatery, now a famous restaurant with branches nationwide, and her son, Rodolfo Ongpauco discovered this very special dish. Rod was on his way home, bringing pork legs which were unused in lechon houses and started deep frying it at home. That is when this amazing discovery turned out to be one of the original Filipino dishes. This dish is best partnered with a vinegar-based sauce.
If you’re thinking right now that this dish originated in Italy, well you’re wrong. This dish originated in Ancient Greece and has an Italian-like taste because the Lasagna that we know nowadays has traditional Italian ingredients. Lasagna’s name was derived from the Greek word Laganon which is a flat sheet pasta dough sliced in strips. Originally, Lasagna are just layers of pasta strips and sauce. This dish has also been a part of the menu of Filipino families today and include it in celebrations and events.
- Buko Pandan
One of the most famous desserts in the Philippines which originated in Bohol. This dessert is a combination of grated fresh coconut and pandan leaves, mixed with gelatin, cream, condensed milk, sugar and pinipig.
- Crema de Fruta
This is one of the Noche Buena favorites and has always been on the table of most Filipinos on Christmas Eve. This dessert is made with sponge cake, layered with custard filling and topped with fruit cocktail and unflavored gelatin. Nowadays, there are a lot of ways on how to make this dessert, even ways to make it without baking it anymore.
These are some of the Noche Buena favorites of most Filipino and now is the right time to start preparing for YOUR Christmas Eve feast. BayanMall Online Shopping, the best online grocery shopping store in the Philippines offers its new Noche Buena Packages for as low as 999 pesos! You can choose from pre-arranged packages or you can even combine items with our Combo Packages with prices starting at 280 pesos only! We also offer the most-delicious Lechon Baboy this Christmas! So, what are you waiting for? ORDER NOW and avail of our 10% OFF when you purchase Noche Buena and Grocery Packages only until December 17, 2016.
As Filipinos, we always look forward for Balikbayan boxes or care packages from our loved ones abroad. Because of the internet and social media, we became more acquainted with famous imported products. The unique fragrance you smell as soon as you open the box makes us so excited to rummage inside it. I asked a few people on Facebook what they expect or want to see inside their Balikbayan boxes when they receive one. These are the common answers I got:
Chocolates and Candies
When I asked them the question, the first thing they all answered were either chocolates or candies. This is the all-time favorite of Filipinos. You can never say it’s a Balikbayan box without chocolates inside. That is how Filipinos love sweets so much, especially kids. Chocolates from other countries are way cheaper compared here, that’s why it is in demand. Aside from the sweet chocolates, some Filipinos also like the sour candies and gummy candies which are not found locally.
Clothing and Shoes
Normally, OFWs would send branded clothes because it can be purchased in a much cheaper price abroad. It wouldn’t matter if it’s brand new or slightly used as long as it’s been sent by their loved ones and has value. Some forms of clothing they would send are shirts, jackets, coats (even though it’s hot in the Philippines), shorts and more.
Filipinos are such big fans of shoes from abroad. The most common shoes we normally ask from our loved ones abroad are either running shoes, basketball shoes or casual shoes. We like shoes abroad, especially from the US, because we think that shoes and other products in US are of excellent quality.
Whenever we send care packages to our families, kids would always look for the toys. If you are receiving Balikbayan boxes from USA, you might have seen Ty™, the small-sized stuff toys brand, which is commonly found inside the boxes. I’ve always heard from kids that they wanted either Lego, Barbie or Gundam toys. Can you imagine the excitement and joy they would feel as soon as they open the box and see the toys they’ve always wished to have.
Having the latest electronic gadget these days, especially for younger generation, is such a big deal. When OFWs would ask their children what they wanted, they would either request for video game consoles, smart phones, or tablets. As technology speedily upgrades, there are lots of new electronic devices in the market.
Canned Goods and Other Food Products
This is where everyone becomes happy. It’ll never be a Balikbayan box without Spam. Food products in some countries are not that expensive so families would prefer all of these in the boxes. Be careful with packing too much because cans contribute a lot on the weight of the box and it could cost you a lot. Also, be aware that we are not allowed to send perishable goods and fluids.
The fear of Balikbayan boxes going through the customs can already be laid to rest because there are lots of online grocery shopping stores where you can buy groceries online for your family without sending them overseas.
There are more unique things you can put inside your box. The most important thing here is, you try to make them happy and make up for the years that you weren’t physically there for your family. Sending care packages to your families is a great way to show love to them. Not because of the material things found inside that box, but because you’ve given every strength and effort to support and love them.
BayanMall.com, the best online grocery shopping store in the Philippines, offers a wide variety of imported grocery items, electronic gadgets, and clothing just for your family. We can even prepare your Balikbayan box for your family.
We’d like to help you make your lives better even though you’re far from your loved ones. We help connect families together through the products and services that we offer, as if you’re the one shopping for them.