Top 8 Dishes for Every Filipino Celebration

young asian man using smartphone taking selfie photo friends and sharing lifestyle on social media having fun on weekend celebration.

When it comes to Filipino gatherings, many individuals take extra lengths to prepare. Some people even consider an online loan Philippines lenders offer to ensure they have sufficient funds to throw a memorable celebration, whether it’s marking important milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries or celebrating events like holidays or reunions.

Regardless of the reason for the celebration, Filipinos consider food as one of the highlights of any event. Often, you’ll see an array of scrumptious dishes being served. The menu can include a range of different savory foods that are paired with rice, as well as delectable desserts to mark the end of the meal.

If you’re hosting a gathering soon, consider including these top eight Filipino dishes on the menu:


A Filipino celebration won’t be complete without lechon. Some people even consider it the star of the menu and is a traditional dish served on many different occasions such as birthdays, weddings, company parties, and holiday gatherings. At its core, lechon is simply a whole roast pig. What makes the difference is the stuffing, which can be made from ingredients like lemongrass, garlic, spring onions, ginger, and peppers. Then, the pig is cooked slowly over charcoal to achieve that extraordinary smokey flavor. It’s then served with a tasty dipping sauce.

While it’s a heaping serving of pork, the lechon’s crispy, golden-brown skin is deemed the prized part. Most of the time, guests and hosts alike would race to the buffet table to ensure they get a taste of the lechon skin. Nevertheless, everyone is equally fond of the tender meat that melts on one’s tongue.

Lumpiang Shanghai

Every Filipino celebration needs a delicious appetizer like the lumpiang Shanghai. Essentially, this dish is a fried spring roll filled with ground pork, onions, carrots, and other seasonings. The filling is then spread and wrapped in a thin egg crepe, and deep fried to perfection. Many Filipinos enjoy eating lumpiang Shanghai on its own but, it can also be dipped in banana ketchup or a special sauce for a hint of sweetness.


Another classic dish in every Filipino celebration is the pancit. This noodle dish is often served at many significant life milestones like weddings and birthdays, because it’s believed to help promote good health and long life. Even without this symbolic meaning, however, the pancit is a crowd favorite due simply because it’s delicious.

Depending on what region in the Philippines you’re from, you’ll find many varieties of the pancit including pancit Lucban, pancit bato, and pancit Cabagan. Also, there’s the famed pancit Malabon which features a distinct yellow-orange sauce made with annatto seeds. This pancit recipe has thick rice noodles and is loaded with different seafood and sliced boiled eggs on top.


Even if you’re hosting a simple celebration, one dish on the menu will probably be some sort of barbeque. That’s because this dish is very easy to prepare. Often, you can buy seasoned meat of chicken and pork in supermarkets for the dish so you only need to place the meat in skewers and cook them on the grill. Sometimes, hotdogs are also prepared this way, giving both adults and kids something to look forward to at every gathering.


When it comes to a soup dish, sinigang is a sure hit. The Filipino dish is a sour soup traditionally cooked with tamarind and various types of meat like pork, beef, fish, and prawns. However, you can also use other souring ingredients, like kamias, mango, or even guava. It also includes quite a selection of vegetables such as kangkong, string beans, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, and green chili. This thick and tangy stew is a great addition to any party.

Buko Pandan

If you want a sweet ending to your celebration, make sure to serve some delectable Filipino desserts like buko pandan. It’s a cold dessert that will immediately catch anyone’s attention, thanks to the vibrant green jelly cubes infused with tropical palm fruits and tapioca pearls. These ingredients are then mixed with shredded coconut and sweetened cream before serving.

Buko Salad

Another cold dessert that features coconut you’ll find in many Filipino celebrations is the popular buko salad. Every household has a different recipe in terms of the ingredients, but the most prominent ingredients you’ll find in buko salads are shredded coconut, canned fruit cocktails, jelly cubes, sugar palm, cream, and condensed milk. Some recipes include raisins, pineapples, and small cubes of cheddar cheese. The dessert can also be served chilled or frozen.

Leche Flan

Sometimes, Filipino celebrations include a variety of desserts, and one of the most common dishes is the leche flan. It’s a sweet custard topped with a layer of caramel, prepared using eggs, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. It’s then placed in metal containers and steamed to sweet, creamy perfection.


Whether you’ll be hosting a holiday gathering or throwing a birthday party for yourself or your loved ones, make sure you have a selection of delicious dishes to serve. If you’re looking for ideas, consider the Filipino dishes mentioned above. Serving these classic recipes at your next event will ensure all your guests come home with satisfied taste buds and tummies.