From swanky hotel lobbies to fast-food restaurants to informal street-side eateries, halo-halo is served and enjoyed especially when temperatures get too high for comfort.
Filipinos have their personal favorite “mix” of halo-halo, whether branded or homemade — which makes introducing a new brand a challenge.
“Most of the flavors are my childhood favorites,” said Duncan Yu, who opened Halo-Halo Story at SM Center Pasig almost a year ago and is set to launch its second outlet this weekend.
These flavors include Ubeng-Ubeng Ube which is loaded with ubeng halaya, artisanal ube ice cream, and has no added table sugar.
Yu made special mention of three Halo-Halo Story bestsellers: Buko Pie, Four Cheese, and Maja Blanca.
“I was always fascinated about how the buko pie chain in Tagaytay, which are just a few meters apart from each other, are doing well. Filipinos love buko pie, including me. I have it in my fridge every day,” said Yu.
“The Four Cheese is common nowadays on pizzas and pastas. The challenge was, which type of four-cheese do we put together that would work?”
As for Maja Blanca, Yu said: “I’ve been eating it since I was a child, even before I learned the word ‘crave.’ An ambulant vendor would pass by and offer different kakanin and I would always choose Maja Blanca.”
Why the name Halo-Halo Story?
“I wanted to bring back the vibe of how people used to go to dessert places to chat or catch up on each other’s lives. Like an alternative coffee hangout," Yu said.
"I wanted people to ‘chill’ more with our desserts—no pun intended—and talk about their day or anything under the sun over halo-halo, meeting in person instead of just chatting on social media. Hence, the hashtag #storiesoverhalohalo."
What makes Halo-Halo Story different from the rest?
“Halo-Halo Story will always be different since we are not afraid to explore new flavors, to change them once in a while. I, for one, am a big fan of the past… New ideas come from old ones,” Yu pointed out.
What does he want people to expect from Halo-Halo Story?
“Since we are barely one year in business, we are focused on improving our service and efficiency. We will also be working on our menu and we will be opening new branches, as well,” Yu said.
Hall-Halo Story just opened its first drive-thru branch along Quezon Avenue near Banawe St., and upcoming stores will be located at SM Sta. Mesa (Food Hall) and SM Southmall (SM Food Court). What else can Pinoys look forward to from this dessert brand? Says Yu: “Expect the unexpected.”
Photos from @halohalostory on Instagram