|Halo-halo in cups, waiting for ice and milk in Ilocos.|
|Colored gulaman (seaweed jelly) and sago pearls at the Alabang market.|
|Gulaman being molded in plastic cups in a kind of grody setting, Alabang market.|
I was fiending for something cold, and had been asking the locals about halo-halo for days. I got some free time and stopped by a stall with some friends along Paoay Lake.
|The stall, under a bamboo frame, with a curtain shading the owner from the harsh sun.|
So of course, Ilocanos being the resourceful and the tightwads that they are (local stereotypes are fun), supplement store-bought ingredients (colored jelly and sago balls) with cheaper (but better) ingredients such as freshly grated coconut, boiled and lightly sugared sweet potato, and my favorite thus far (in place of the usual canned or yellow sweet corn), nixtamalized corn (usually used in binatog). It sounds fancy, but nixtamalized corn is really creamy, alkalized white, glutinous corn that does not have skin. More on that later.
|Colored toasted rice, sweetened beans, sweetened sweet potato, sweetened banana, nixtamalized corn, and grated coconut.|
|Nixtamalized corn. Creamy and super delicious.|
Another super great thing is that the woman manning the stall (sounds funny doesn't it. What-- womanning?) had invented an apparatus to keep the ice (made from water frozen in plastic bags) from slipping while she shaves it. It was made from pieces of wood and bottle caps.
|Bottle caps nailed to a small piece of wood board.|
|The wood hold the ice while the vendor shaves, thus allowing her to exert maximum force.|
|Ice on bottle caps.|
|A nearly spent piece of ice. The board also has bottle caps as legs so it doesn't slip either.|
|Ice Man Ice Shaver.|