I had a photo shoot over the weekend for ice cream in the Philippines. With a couple of models in tow we went in search of this summer confection.
A hundred meters from the house we hit our first ice cream opportunity. A street vendor with his colourful cart was headed in our direction. These guys ply the streets either with hand carts or on bicycles, ringing their bells or playing the same 6 to 8 bars of music ad nauseam.
Selling what is colloquially known as dirty ice cream they have a range of 4 flavours. The best explanation to the dirty reference I have been able to find is that this ice cream is made by hand often by the vendors themselves as opposed to the store brought variety which is made in automated factories. The flavours available are the purple ube, the orange mango, the off white with dark brown chunks chocolate and the off white cheese ice cream. For 10 pesos you can get a cone with a combination of 3 flavours.
Charlene and Grace attacked their cones with gusto little realizing, as this was their first food shoot, that by the end of afternoon the mere mention of ice cream would have them heading in the opposite direction. Once finished, a jeepney ride took us into the heart of Makati City to the hallowed halls of the Glorietta Mall.
Our first stop was at “Dippin Dots” which touts itself as being “Ice cream for the future”. Here the girls purchased a regular (small) tub of what looked like Hundreds and Thousands on steroids. But, instead of being hard candy that sticks between your teeth it was melt in the mouth ice cream. This was gone in a matter of minutes with a spoon full or two for Kuya Henry.
A short stroll along the avenues of shops and eateries that is the Glorietta Mall saw us arrive at the ‘Food Place’ within whose confines resides the Ice Monster. Apart from selling ice cream and iced fruits they also sell the Filipino delicacy of iced confection delicacies Halo, Halo. It is basically a mixture of sweet preserved beans (red beans and chick peas), coconut meat, jackfruit, pounded dried rice, sweet yam (ube), leche flan, shreds of sweetened plantain, filled with crushed ice, milk or coconut milk and topped with ice cream.
The Ice monsters version left something to be desired and after a few spoons full and a couple of shots it was consigned to the trash, much to the horror of the girls at the Kano’s sayang. Another stroll through the crowds of the mall and after a couple of wrong turns we found ourselves at the fast food Mecca of Glorietta adjacent to the central atrium.
Passing the Mc Do’s, the KFC’s et al we headed for Chow King. A subsidiary fast food franchise of the big daddy of Filipino fast food franchises, Jollibee. At Chow King one can get, if not the best, the most photogenic examples of halo, halo. It arrives, a mouth watering treat in a fluted plastic bowl big enough to satisfy a man sized hunger.
Grace and Charlene did their best but were forced to concede defeat a third of the way through. With some 80 odd shots on the disc I was happy to call it a day and the alacrity with which the girls agreed indicated that ice cream was off the menu for the next few days.