Binignit: Cebu’s Favorite Lenten Season Delicacy

Binignit is a vegetable stew that is popularly served during Holy Week.

The Lenten Season is very important to many Filipinos. With the majority of them being Catholics, there are a number of traditions that they have come to observe and follow, some of which include fasting and abstinence.

One of the Filipino traditions during Lent is trying to find good dishes that are devoid of any meat. One of the most famous is a vegetable stew which makes a perfect snack for an observant follower.

The said dish is called binignit.

It is basically porridge that you will find in many Cebuano households during Holy Week. Its popularity has spanned many years and would be a great dessert for vegans and non-vegans alike.

Regardless of the tradition where Filipinos don’t eat meat during Holy Week, binignit is a great dish to have. Aside from no single animal involved in the process of preparing this dish, the ingredients make it a healthy and sumptuous option.

It’s also pretty easy to make, and the ingredients aren’t so hard to find.

This famous Filipino comfort food is sometimes called Ginataang Halo-Halo in other regions due to its hodgepodge of healthy food items. Its usage of tubers and coconut milk stays the same despite the many iterations all over the country.

Not sure what to eat during Lenten Season? Be sure to give this vegetable stew a try!

Popular Binignit Ingredients​

  • Coconut Milk (You can make your own version)
  • Water
  • Glutinous Rice (Sticky rice)
  • Tubers (Taro, purple yam, banana plantains, or sweet potatoes)
  • Cooked Sago Pearls
  • Jackfruit Strips
  • Landang
  • Coconut Cream
  • Brown Sugar

Most of these ingredients will come down to personal preference or what is available at the market. There are different recipes online you can search for to determine how much you will need.


The base of this vegetable stew is coconut milk.

You can buy cans in supermarkets or make your own at home. Place the coconut shavings into a bowl and pour in some water. Squeeze the milk out of the coconut with your bare hands (make sure to wash them first).

You will have to press multiple times to maximize the amount of milk extracted.

Tubers are also a big factor in the anatomy of a good stew.

Banana plantains, sweet potatoes, taro, and purple yams are present in many versions of this dish. They’re commonly sold in public markets and street corners. They also make for other delicious street food you can find throughout the country, like banana cue.

These need to be cut into small cubes to make them more tasteful and to make the cooking time faster.

Tubers like kamote (sweet potatoes), gabi (taro), ube (purple yam), and banana plantains are essential in creating this Lenten Season favorite.

The famous dessert also gets its sweetness from a whole lot of brown sugar.

There are recipes online that suggest using muscovado if you want something sweeter than usual.

It is also very colorful. One of the factors that makes it so is the addition of sago pearls. These go hand in hand with many of the stew’s other ingredients and are even sold together. This is optional, though, so you can leave it out if you’re not a fan.

Instead of using sago, there are some dishes that use a local tapioca called landang.

This is taken from the Buri tree, which flowers once and then dies. The palm of the tree is extracted and turned into flour, which will then harden to form a more solid shape.

These look like flattened sago or small pink tree branches and are also sold together with other classic binignit ingredients.

To add some color to this Lenten Season delicacy, locals usually add their choice of tapioca, sago, or landang.

The cooking process takes some time, but it’s fairly easy to get done.

After boiling the coconut milk with some water, just slowly add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and leave the pot to cook until the soup thickens.

Now you know what to eat during Holy Week whenever you plan on visiting the Queen City of the South.

The Carbon Public Market is one of the best places to get the ingredients for your vegetable stew. Considered the biggest public market in the city, it is also one of the busiest places during Holy Week because of the volume of people buying the best ingredients for their soup.

One of the many Holy Week traditions includes going to the market to get ingredients for this famous dish.

Many stalls have the complete package of tubers, landang, and sago. Some stalls also sell coconut shavings if you want to make your own coconut milk at home.

You won’t find this dish in many fancy restaurants, especially since it is more popular as an alternative for a meal during Holy Week. Luckily, there is a small eatery near the Basilica del Sto. Niño and Magellan’s Cross that cooks a big bowl of this sweet snack for churchgoers and passersby to enjoy.

Jorie’s Carinderia is located across Philippine National Bank behind Cebu City Hall. You can try out their version of one of the best native delicacies in the Visayas for 40Php.

To make their binignit stand out, they add sticky rice balls. These are very chewy and fun to eat, and the servings are quite hefty. Plus, considering their location, they wouldn’t be that hard to find.

While there are many native delicacies in the Visayas region alone, this is one dish you should absolutely try!

Not eating meat is one of those Holy Week traditions that many Catholics have come to follow. Two days of eating fruits and vegetables isn’t that hard to endure, especially if this sweet dessert is on the table. You can serve it to the whole family or save it up for the next few days as a snack.

Binignit will always have a place among Cebuanos when Holy Week comes around. The ease of cooking and finding its ingredients make it a suitable recommendation for the season of Lent. This dessert may be more popular during a particular time of the year, but it’s a delicacy that can be enjoyed whenever one desires.

Share this:

Other posts

Charlie's Cup, the Newest Balamban Tourist Spot

Charlie’s Cup, the Newest Balamban Tourist Spot to Visit!

Charlie’s Cup is a cafe in Cebu that offers a cool and refreshing vibe thanks to its cliffside location. The Cebu Transcentral Highway (TCH) has become one of the island’s best spots to check out the newest and most interesting cafes and restaurants with breathtaking views. The long, winding road makes it an ideal expedition

Read More
SM Seaside shopping mall’s famous cube

Where to Go for the Ultimate Shopping Experience in Cebu

Enjoy shopping in Cebu on your next visit. Shopping in Cebu is at another level. Anywhere you are in the metropolis, make no mistake that a shopping mall is just around the corner. Whether you are looking to buy souvenirs, shirts, accessories, or food, shopping malls in Cebu have it all. Cebu is a prime

Read More
The Cebu City Hall, the venue for the celebration of the Cebu City Charter Day

Cebu City Charter Day

Cebu City Charter Day commemorates another year of Cebu being considered a city. While the world recognizes February for Valentine’s Day and different concepts of love, Cebu City, the Visayan region’s Queen City of the South, embraces its cityhood, heritage, people, and economic growth within the same month. The 24th of February calls for a

Read More
Sinigang, a popular Filipino comfort food

Discovering Filipino Comfort Food

Try any of these Filipino comfort food when you’re feeling under the weather. When you’re feeling down in the dumps or a little under the weather, there is always that one dish that your mother makes that would always perk you up. There are also those types of meals and delicacies in Philippine food culture.

Read More
Bisaya phrases

Bisaya Phrases You Should Learn and Know

There are many Bisaya phrases you can use when traveling to Cebu. You may have plans to go to Cebu for a trip. A local comes up to you and asks for help. You barely know any Cebuano, what do you do? You may speak to them in English since most Cebuanos understand the English

Read More
Places to visit in Cebu for jogging enthusiasts

Places to Visit in Cebu for Health Junkies on a Budget

These are the best places in Cebu to jog in a budget! Gym memberships can be expensive. The equipment, the trainer, and maybe the diet plan you invested in can all leave a big dent in your wallet. However, you don’t really need a treadmill or thousands of pounds in weights to get ripped. Just

Read More

Best of Cebu Videos

Seeking to learn more about Cebuano culture, or wanting to know what to do once you arrive, Cebu Insights is the travel guide for you in Cebu!

Contact Us

See other Articles

Mactan Cheers for the Garbo sa Lapu-Lapu Festival 2022

Contingents from Lapu-Lapu City celebrated their pride and culture at the Mactan Newtown. For two years, the Garbo sa Lapu-Lapu festival was canceled. The 2020 event was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the 2021 celebration broadcasted a pre-recorded show online. However, in 2022, the Historic Resort City finally

Sophisticated ESL Schools in Cebu | CIA Mactan

Most ESL schools in Cebu are not as high-end as the Cebu International Academy. Want to learn English as a second language (ESL)? There are many ESL schools in Cebu because of the proficiency in English among Cebuanos. While most ESL teachers hold lessons online, a few allow face-to-face classes

Enjoy the Soothing Garden and Outdoor Setup at Nimo Brew

This coffee shop in Cebu has an impressive outdoor setup. Welcome to Nimo Brew, a coffee shop that entices customers with its relaxing outdoor atmosphere. This cabin-style cafe radiates a peaceful aura through its cleverly hidden location and spacious outdoor garden. Nimo Brew is more than just a place for

How to Get a Philippine Passport in Cebu

Take note of the requirements for a passport application and book a schedule ahead of time. A passport is a document issued by a government to its citizens for the purpose of international travel and identification. It’s the most reliable document accepted by airlines, immigration officials, and airport authorities. If

Museums in Cebu Light up the Night | Gabii sa Kabilin

Cebuanos flocked to the museums of Cebu for the yearly heritage walk known as Gabii sa Kabilin. Gabii sa Kabilin is the perfect way to learn more about the history of Cebu. Every year, this heritage walk promotes some of the top landmarks and museums in Cebu by giving participants

Ride-Hailing Apps in Cebu You Should Have On Your Phone

Travel around Cebu with ease by using these helpful ride-hailing apps. If you don’t know it already, ride-hailing apps are a must-have on your smartphone. When regular transportation disappoints, these software programs will come to the rescue, allowing you to book a ride to your desired destination. For years these

Scroll to Top