Filipino Desserts – 2 Delicious Reasons To Visit Bucas Grande Island, Philippines

Filipino Desserts – What Are They?

Filipino desserts, generally considered as delicious desserts, are courses that typically comes at the end of Philippine family meals or during snack time usually consisting of awesome sweet foods considered favorite foods among island vacations and island getaways buffs and other foodies  usually served during special occasions involving family members, real friends and other guests.

Filipino Desserts – What Bucas Grande Island Can Offer?

Visitors, guests and tourists visiting Bucas Grande Island in Socorro, Surigao del Norte, Philippines kept coming back not only due to  their awesome travel experiences on its majestic ecotourism destinations but becaue of their awesome food experiences involving  two Filipino desserts considered as food delicacies of the island, the first being the conical-shaped steamed rice cake named “sayongsong” and the other being a rice stew  cooked with coconut milk locally termed “harug.”

The Sayongsong

To expose such Filipino desserts to my readers who have not yet visited the place, I requested some expert sayongsong makers to do the actual cooking demonstration. After gathering the ingredients, sheets of coconut leaves were formed into cones while grated coconut were pressed for  coconut cream and milk. The 3 cups coconut cream, produced by the first pressing, was mixed with ¼ kilo margarine and ¼ kilo brown sugar and cooked in medium heat with constant stirring for 15 minutes . . .

Filipino Desserts

Sheets of banana leaves were formed into cones while the grated coconut being pressed for coco cream and milk.

Filipino Desserts

Coconut caramel was made out of the mixture of coconut cream with margarine and sugar cooked in medium fire. . .

The other ingredients then were made ready . . . 1 kilo ground rice; 1 can Alpine Evaporated Milk (big); 1/4 kilo Brown Sugar; 3 pcs. Eggs; ¼ kilo salted peanuts; ½ tablespoon salt; 10 cups coconut milk – 2nd Press and the Coconut Caramel. . .

Filipino Desserts

The ingedients for Sayongsong . . .

The conical-shaped banana leaf sheets were then fitted into the flat basket slats of split bamboo sticks positioned at the bottom of a kettle atop tin cans. The ingredients were then mixed in a bowl, poured over the arranged banana leaf sheets and steamed for 30 minutes. . .

Filipino Desserts

Arranging the conical-shaped banana leaf sheets . . .

Filipino Desserts

Mixing the ingredients . . .

Filipino Desserts

Pouring the ingredients into the conical banan sheets . . .

Filipino Desserts

Steamed in raging fire for 30 minutes . . .

And voila! the sweet and delicious sayongsong are ready for serving . . .

Filipino Desserts

The ready-to-serve sayongsong.

The Harug

The Harug, which is also among the popular Filipino desserts, is a variation of the ginataan and binignit. Its ingredients are composed of:

1 kilo Glutinous Rice – Tapol; 3 cups cubed camote; 3 cups cubed cassave; 3 cups cubes squash; 3 cups cubed squash; 3 cups Mongo; 3 cups diced ripe cardaba banana; 5 cups coconut cream (2nd press); 20 cups coconut milk (2nd press); 3 cups young coconut meat strips; 1 kilo brown sugar; 1 tablespoon salt.

The Harug is prepared by putting the mongo into a kettle with boiling water and allow it to continously boil for one hour or until it’s grains can already be mashed. Pour the cubed camote, casava and squash as well as the glutinous rice and let it boil for another hour. Mix the coconut milk and let it boil for 10 minutes. Do not stir from the start as it could affect the taste. Mix the cubed banana, brown sugar, salt, young coconut meat strips and coconut cream. Afterwards, stir constantly  for 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

The Harug Festival is the most awaited event, the climax at that, during one of the special occasions in the island town of Socorro which is the annual Tinabangay Festival  held every 22nd of February, wherein, the elementary pupils, high school and college students, barangays, government agencies and people’s organizations simultaneously prepare the stew and serve it to the festival revelers for free.

Filipino Desserts

Secondary students making final touches of their harug being prepared along the street. . .

Filipino Desserts

Harug containers being lined along the major town throughfare for the much-awaited Harug Festival

With the sound of the siren signalling the official start of the Harug Festival, the kettles and harug containers are opened with its stew contents served to the public for free . . .

Filipino Desserts

The cooked harug ready for serving to the revelers . . .

Filipino Desserts

The beauteous Accounting Office staff serving harug with a smile . . .

Filipino Desserts

I and my family members always make sure not to miss the festivity . . .

Filipino Desserts

The lady town Mayor and Vice-Mayor acknowledging . . .

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... the Socorro constituents including the tourists enjoying the Harug Festival . . .

Filipino Desserts – Final Thoughts

The Filipino desserts  popularized in the island town of Socorro are undoubtedly among the awesome foods in Bucas Grande Island. As you test the Sayongsong and Harug, you could really feel the taste of a perfect blend of rice with the other ingredients and the sweetness here and there would truly tease your tongue and encourage you to come back to Bucas Grande Island for purposes, among others, to savor the Filipino desserts prepared by the hands of the islanders not only for their satisfaction but for the tourists and visitors as well.


Filipino Desserts

This Filipino Desserts blog post is my 2nd entry to the  Blog Carnival of the Pinoy Travel Bloggers with the theme Awesome Food Experience While Traveling in the Philippines hosted by Anton Diaz  of Our Awesome Planet.


  1. Nice one- cool to see photos of the whole process! I don’t think I’ve ever tried this. Are they called something else in the Luzon or Manila area?

    • The “Sayongsong” is a variation of the “puto,” I have no idea on how they call it in other places. The “harug” is the variation of the “ginataan” or “binignit” only that rice in the former is mixed in whole grains unlike the latter that ground rice is the main ingredient.

  2. It looks simple enough to cook…but i bet nothing beats the real thing from the very place. I should try this! Thank you for sharing this. Nice read!

    • I agree, there must be something special that the expert makers could offer. The expert sayongsong makers in the island town are coming from a single barangay out of the 14 barangays. They got their skills from their grandmothers who told them also that they acquired their own from their great great grandmothers.

  3. Sayongsong looks like our very own balisongsong in Bicol, same ingredients and ways of cooking. I wanna try the harug, well i kinda love anything with coconut milk 🙂

    • Nice knowing we share the same delicacy with only a little variation of the name. I have yet to receive comments on the harug if it’s also
      a delicacy in a certain place. Candidly, it’s my most favorite dessert and snack food, I can consume double the quantity in harug compared to the biko and other
      sweet foods.

  4. I thought its like suman in Manila.. puto pala siya… I was hoping to visit Bucas Grande Island in Socorro soon. sna magmaterialize lahat ng plans ko… I want to try sayongsong too…. Sana hindi ako busy by February.. Thanks for sharing this. Ilearned something new again..

    • It’s great that you are planning to visit here by February. We will be opening the Island Vacations Country Inn this July 28th. It’s located just 50 meters from the Socorro Port. I would be very glad to be your host for your upcoming visit.

  5. The sayongsong looks very rich in taste with all the eggs and milk and…looks yummy too!

    • You’re right Ding, sayongsong really tastes so good such that first timers would really long for a return trip to Bucas Grande Island to savor such delicacy. Hope you can squeeze your time and visit our place this coming February 22 for the Annual Tinabangay Festival.

  6. that just looks sooo delicious. 🙂 wonder if there is anywhere in manila that they’re selling this…

    • Thanks for dropping by. I have yet to check if there’s an outlet in Manila for this delicacy. If there be, I need to check on how delicious their products are compared to the ones prepared here in Bucas Grande.

  7. Xanti Gonzalez

    Hi sir! The sayongsong look very delicious! I would just like to know whether it will be possible to ask for contact details of the people who cooked the sayongsong. Please feel free to email me at or call/text me at 0906-550-2389. Thank you very much!

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