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May 8, 2015

One of the best Halo Halo is in Pagsanjan, Laguna

Aling Taleng Halo Halo
Aling Taleng's Halo Halo

There’s no doubt that the majority of Filipinos favorite summer cooler is Halo-Halo.  What makes it looks enticing to eat are its colorful combination of different ingredients, such as sweetened fruits and vegetables like red beans, saba banana, sweet potato, jack fruit,  kaong (sugar palm fruit), yam.  With jellies, jams, thinly shaved ice and condensed milk, that even the world renowned chef Anthony Bourdain calls it “oddly beautiful” when he had a first glimpse of it. 

Halo-Halo is easy to prepare that’s why during summer in the Philippines you would often see on every street corner a Halo-Halo seller.  When I was younger, I don’t recall having it in two options, the regular and the special.  And most often Halo-Halo is only available in the neighborhood store or just anybody in the neighborhood who would just set up their own Halo-Halo store in front of their house,  just a table, a manual ice shaver, stock of glasses and spoons and those ingredients contained in a glass jar and that’s it! But because of Halo-Halo’s popularity most Filipino restaurants have it in their menus.   

As I was saying a while ago about regular and special Halo-Halo, a regular halo halo has no topping and a special Halo-Halo has extra topping like Leche flan.  But in restaurants their offer is ice cream, which you can have in single or double scoop, whatever your choice is, and that comes with an extra cost of course.

Even though Halo-Halo has evolved with different flavoring and ingredient, for me, the perfect Halo-Halo should have pinipig crunch and leche flan, I don’t care if the rest of the ingredients are not available, but it’s a no-no  for me if those two ingredients are not included which makes my Halo-Halo complete.  And I must admit I am a big fan of it.

Aling Taleng Halo Halo signage

Last February, when my family and I visited Lucban, on our way back home we came across this old restaurant along Pagsanjan-Cavinti Road, which is probably the oldest Halo-Halo store in the Philippines, which started selling Halo-Halo since 1933. It was past 2 pm when we were travelling the road, the weather was hot, we were heading near the Pagsanjan river bridge but the signage of Aling Taleng’s Halo-Halo seems inviting us to stop over and taste their refreshing Halo-Halo cooler.  I didn’t think twice when my husband asked me if I would like to have a snack at Aling Taleng.

The dining tables were all occupied but were lucky to get seated immediately when one of the tables was vacated by the diners.  They have two separate dining areas, one with air conditioning and one without air con.  We preferred to stay inside the air conditioned area.  I thought we’ll only have snacks but decided to have late lunch instead, when we saw on their menu that they serve Filipino dishes.

Aling Taleng Bed & Breakfast restaurant facade

Aling Taleng is a bed and breakfast, restaurant which the ground floor serves as the restaurant, it was surprising that the tables are always occupied, when customers would vacate a table a new customer would immediately occupy the table, sometimes new customers would just stand there waiting for an available table to get vacated.  That was the scenario during our whole stay inside the restaurant.  The dining area comprised of about 10 to 12 tables at the air conditioned room that could accommodate an average of 6 persons each table.  I have no idea how many are there in the non air-conditioned area for I did not explore the adjacent room.

 Some of their Filipino food in the menu:

Aling Taleng Fried Lumpia
Fried Lumpia
Aling Taleng Sinigang na Baka
Sinigang na Baka

For our main entrée, we ordered Lumpiang Shanghai, for our main course Sinigang na Baka and for our dessert, none other than their famous Halo-Halo! It has the two ingredients which I am looking for in a perfect Halo Halo, and what’s unique about their Halo-Halo is the sweetened kundol or winter melon added which was so distinct from the other ingredients because it’s chewy and coated with caramelized sugar.

Aling Taleng winter melon
Winter Melon 

If you happen to be in Pagsanjan, Laguna, try to visit Aling Taleng and taste their refreshing Halo Halo and you will know why customers keep coming back to them since then and now.

Aling Taleng’s Halo Halo
Address:  169 General Luna Street, Barangay Maulawin, Pagsanjan, Laguna
Telephone No: (049) 821 0416
Store Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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