What is more heartwarming than a bowl of Guinataang Halo-Halo for merienda! There is nothing like this warm afternoon delight. There are versions of this in Chinese or Thai cuisine, but like they say it’s chalk and cheese.


  • 8 cups cold water
  • 4 mature coconuts – grated
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch (corn flour)
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • 2 cups diced (1/2-inch) sweet potato (kamote); yellow or purple – blanched in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup cooked sago
  • 6 ripe saba bananas – cooked with skin and diced 1/2-inch
  • 1/2 cup fresh, ripe jackfruit (langka) – sliced into 1/2-inch squares
  • 400 grams malagkit flour paste – make into 1-inch marble sized balls (to make your own paste, use 300 grams malagkit flour (sticky rice flour) and slowly add 1/2 cup water more or less. It must make a very dense paste looking like clay)


  1. Place the grated coconut in large bowl.
  2. Pour in 2 cups of water on coconut and with hands, squeeze out the juice onto another clean bowl with strainer.
  3. Set this aside.
  4. Add another 4 cups of water and do the same but use another bowl for the second squeeze.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Add another 2 cups of water and do the same; place in the same bowl of the second squeeze.
  7. In a measuring cup, place cornstarch and add 1/2 cup of coconut milk from second-third squeeze and dissolve cornstarch.
  8. In a large porcelain or ceramic coated pot, or glass cooking pot, pour in the second-third squeeze of coconut milk and dissolved cornstarch.
  9. Place pot over medium flame and bring the mixture to a boil; stirring frequently.
  10. When boiling, add sugar and mix thoroughly; continue boiling.
  11. Add the sweet potato, rice flour balls, sago, bananas, and jackfruit.
  12. When mixture is slightly thick, about 5 to 10 minutes, add the first squeeze of coconut milk.
  13. Bring to a slow boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat.
  14. Do not overcook or the fruits will be mushy.


  • Because of the coconut milk, this dish does not keep well. It’s good until the next day, kept in the refrigerator.