Los Baños Guide

Welcome to our new Living Los Banos Website. As you explore this site, I hope you can find many options for things to try and do around the Philippines. As you explore and find new areas, please send referrals for those amazing places. I would love to update this site with more treasures found around the Philippines!

Happenings in and around town - January 2020

Facts about the Philippines - January 2020

New Year's Day

Many Filipino people unite on New Year’s Eve, which is on December 31, to celebrate a midnight meal known as the Media Noche. It is also common to stay awake to greet the coming of the New Year. New Year’s Day is also characterized by Filipinos lighting fireworks and making a lot of noise to drive away evil spirits. This belief originated from the Chinese.

The elderly encourage children to jump at the stroke of midnight so that they would grow up tall. Many people display 12 circular fruits and wear clothing with polka dots to symbolize money. It is also a popular practice to open all the doors and windows at the stroke of midnight to let in the good luck. Many Filipino families also read the Christian bible and attend a church midnight mass. It is common for many Filipinos to blend religion and superstition in celebrating New Year’s Day.

Chinese New Year - January 25, 2020


Small Chinese communities existed in the Philippines since the Spanish regime, which lasted for more than 300 years dating back from the 16th century. As time progressed, the Chinese communities grew due to intermarriage among Filipino natives and other races, including the Chinese. As the population grew, so did the grandeur of the Chinese New Year celebration.


The mythological Chinese dragon is the main symbol of Chinese New Year. Other symbols include firecrackers that are believed to drive off bad luck and the Tikoy, a Chinese sticky sweet treat that symbolizes the attraction of good luck.

What Do People Do?

Filipino-Chinese communities in the Philippines celebrate Chinese New Year every year in hope of attracting prosperity, closer family ties and peace. Most Filipino-Chinese families usually clean their homes thoroughly, prepare lucky money in red envelopes, serve sweet foods and display various food and fruits on a table, which is believed to invite good fortune. People also participate in parades and dragon dances that are organized in China Towns in different cities in the Philippines.

Recipe for the Month of January 2020


  1. Combine water and brown sugar then mix well
  2. Combine glutinous rice flour with the water and brown sugar mixture then mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the pitted chopped dates then mix until every ingredient is well distributed.
  4. Grease a round cake pan and transfer the glutinous rice flour mixture then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
  5. Steam for 45 minutes. Make sure to cover the top part with cheesecloth to avoid water drippings.
  6. Remove the tikoy from the cake pan and transfer to a wax paper or cling wrap then refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Take the tikoy out of the refrigerator. Cook using your desired method.It can be re-steamed, microwaved, or fried after dipping in beaten egg mixture.

Sources: https://panlasangpinoy.com/tikoy-nian-gao-recip/


The Philippines was once considered as the melting pot of Asia. People of different origins call it home – including the Chinese. Chinese customs, traditions, and food were embraced by the Filipino’s and even made as part of their own.

The legend behind the Tikoy tells about a Kitchen God that observes the behavior of each family for a year. It was said the Kitchen God goes back to heaven before the Chinese New Year to report the findings; a depressing report would mean a year of bad luck for the family. According to the legend, feeding sticky rice cake to the Kitchen God will make it difficult for him to say anything against the family – it will be difficult to speak when his mouth is full and the sticky rice cake will keep his mouth shut.


  • 3 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup dates pitted and chopped

Filipiknow - Filipino Vocabulary

  1. Misa - Mass
  2. Parol - Christmas Lantern
  3. Handa - Food
  4. Pasko - Christmas
  5. Kanta - Sing
  6. Masaya - Happy
  7. Bagong Taon - New Year
  8. Dalaw - Visit
  9. Pamilya - Family
  10. Inaanak - Godson
  11. Ninong - Godfather
  12. Ninang - Godmother
  13. Aguinaldo - Giveaway
  14. Regalo - Gift
  15. Paputok - Firecrackers