Breads in the Philippines

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Bread is one of the staple food in most, if not many, parts of the world. Many Western countries make great bread that we know today like the Sourdough, Baguettes, Ciabatta, donuts among the few. In the Philippines, bread is more eaten as a snack or at breakfast. Rice is still the staple food in this country. 

Breads in the Philippines

Wheat doesn’t grow in the Philippines so there was no way that we have initiated the bread-making industry on our own. Filipinos preferred rice or corn. It was the Spanish people who brought their wheat down here when they arrived to occupy and colonize us some hundreds of years ago. Roman Catholic people use this “Christian host” or hostia in their service which is made of the purest and finest wheat.


If you chance a few bakeshops to where you will be coming to this country, you most likely will see these bread on the display:

  • PandesalBreads in the Philippines

Considered the most humble and most popular breakfast bread of all time. This is originally made with eggs, flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. For the curious, you can wake up at 5 am in the morning and stand by a local bakeshop just to watch people flock in for their breakfast bread.

  • SiopaoBreads in the Philippines

This is simply Chinese-inspired/influenced steamed buns (baozi in China) with meat fillings. This is usually sold in Chinese-Filipino restaurants or at the side streets.


    • Breads in the PhilippinesEnsaymada

This is a type of brioche bread that is again from the Spanish people. Typically a light, sweet yeast bread formed in a roll and topped with butter or margarine, sugar, and grated preserved cheese.



  • Buko PieBreads in the Philippines

This pie is most popular in the southern-Luzon province called Laguna. It is basically a young coconut (buko) custard pie. I love this pie, but sadly it is hard to get this treat in Palawan although you can see them here too. Just not the same as in Laguna.

  • Crema de FrutaCrema de Fruta

This is more a cream-filled dessert. They are either made with either graham crackers, local cookies or light cake. It is layered with choice of fruits which is usually canned. Crema de Fruta is popular during holidays or special occasions. 

  • HopiaHopia

This is a sweet bean-filled and flaky pastry that is inspired by Chinese people. Traditionally made with sweetened Monggo and candied pork fat. New fillings include ube and buko pandan. 


  • EmpanadaEmpanada

    Either fried or baked empanadas are turn-over pastry filled with savory ingredients like chicken or pork.


Other popular bread that Filipinos like for snack or ‘merienda’, include Pan de Coco (bread filled with sweetened coconut shreds), Monay, Spanish bread and Kabayan bread which is similar to a simple cake. 

Summing up, I hope this gives you a little idea of what to expect when buying pieces of bread here in the Philippines. Western tourists often look thrilled and excited by how the bread look like or how cheap they cost. They end up surprised or even disappointed. Philippine bread is not as filling as the main bread in the West.

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