Spend sweet summer on Boracay Island
First Class

Spend sweet summer on Boracay Island

Sweet summer on Boracay Island

Dear Happy binatog —Photos by Margaux Salcedo

If you are heading to Boracay this summer, just know that it is a place not only to enjoy the beach but also a haven to binge! Here are two more places that you need to check out to make it a sweet summer:

Dear Happy

Happy Ongpauco-Tiu, restaurateur extraordinaire, recently opened her latest venture in Boracay, endearingly called “Dear Happy.”


No, this is not an advice column. It is a uniquely Filipino dessert bar that—as the name implies—will certainly make you happy! In her own words, Happy says that “this is the first ever Pinoy dessert bar that serves gourmet versions of your favorite Filipino desserts with a Happy Twist!”


You may know Happy as the gorgeous chef behind restaurant hits like Pamana, which serves excellent Filipino food, or from her other ventures such as Lèchon or Hawaiian BBQ. This time, she zones in on desserts.

Dear Happy features classics such as ube and suman but with a fun, refreshing, international twist. For instance, palitaw—a Filipino flat, sweet, rice cake made from glutinous rice flour and topped with grated coconut, sesame seeds and sugar—is converted into a mochi ball using the palitaw as the mochi wrap, then filled with ice cream inside. The result is a melding of two great desserts into an exciting Asian fusion creation.

The binatog, a Pinoy street food composed of boiled corn kernels topped with freshly grated coconut, is made fancy by Dear Happy and renamed the Binatog Surprise as it is served in a coconut shell with the addition of coconut sorbetes. It is not just filling but refreshing … and very Instagram-worthy!

Their turon is made extra special by an accompanying serving of “dirty ice cream” and sweet banana chips!

Spend sweet summer on Boracay Island

Dear Happy halo-halo

There are way too many selections but what I would most recommend, aside from the palitaw mochi, is their halo-halo. Aside from the very fine ice—as they even imported an ice machine that can make ice fine enough for bingsu or the milk-based Korean shaved ice dessert—each element of the halo-halo is also really delicious, even on its own, such as the leche flan and ube.

With all its selections, Dear Happy is certainly a stop you must not miss when in Bora!


Cha Cha’s Beach Cafe

Another good vibes resto is Cha Cha’s Beach Cafe at Coast Boracay (Station 2).

I had always known about the ube champorado of Cha Cha’s Beach Cafe, but on my last trip, I was so happy to find their artisanal gelato. The range of flavors include the classics: hazelnut and chocolate, pistachio, salted caramel. They also have a creamy coconut and passion fruit gelato. But what I liked is their mango sorbet. It is so perfect for the beach!

But don’t limit yourself to the gelato. Have the whole breakfast buffet spread. They have generous heaping so it’s perfect if you are in Boracay with a bunch of friends or family. Their French toast is thick, the adobo—though the pork and chicken are separate—is hearty, and their crispy bacon is a great anti-hangover!

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The weather is so hot now; it is really the best time to go on a beach trip. Even if there are many other options now — Palawan, Bohol, Siargao and many more to love in the Philippines — Boracay, with its pristine sand and clear waters is still unbeatable! All the more with Dear Happy and Cha Cha!

TAGS: Boracay, first class

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