The Cost Of A Traditional Noche Buena In The Philippines

Filipino traditional food barely changes, and so, almost no one needs to ask what will be served on the evening of December 24. Given that, the cost of a traditional Noche Buena in the Philippines is a timely and interesting topic to dissect.

Traditional Noche Buena Cost Philippines

The Philippines has the longest Christmas season in the world, starting from September 1 to January 6, and this can result in huge expenses as families make their preparations for the holidays. Included in some of these expenses are ideal gifts for inaanaks (godchildren), Christmas décor, holiday getaways and parties, and, of course, Noche Buena.

Christmas Eve meals are traditionally shared by families and relatives, observing cultural traditions about its meaning. For a traditional Filipino family, it is the most worthwhile time to bond while celebrating Christ’s birth.

We made tables showing the ingredients with estimated prices.

NOTE: Only those purchased in huge amount or bundles are included. Calculations do not include spices, herbs, seasonings, and other small-quantity ingredients.

Here is the Filipino Christmas food list and their estimated costs*:

Filipino spaghetti

The good ol’ spaghetti is a staple at any Pinoy party. Foreigners may dislike the hotdog slices and sweetness, but local kids and adults alike won’t say no to a plate of it.

Why is Filipino spaghetti sweet? It’s because of banana ketchup mixed on its tomato-based sauce.

Ingredients Average cost
Spaghetti pasta (1 kg) P59 – P88
Filipino-style spaghetti sauce (1 kg) P72 – P74
Cheddar cheese (450 g) P120 – P205
Hotdogs (250 g) P65 – P188
Ground pork (1k) P180 – P265
Total average cost P496 – P820

Servings: 12 pax

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Fruit salad

Basic instructions on how to make fruit salad with condensed milk and cream comes in two steps: mix and chill.

Our version of salad comes with pineapple, palm fruits, nata de coco, and other chunks of fruit cocktails that give a sweet, tropical taste this holiday.

Ingredients Average cost
Fruit cocktail (822 g) P71 – P110
Mayonnaise (470 ml) P141 – P270
Condensed milk (300 ml) P42 – P56
Kaong/palm fruit (340 g; 2 bottles) P58 – P65 (x2)
Nata de coco (340 g; 2 bottles) P44 – P53 (X2)
Processed cheese (450 g) P120 – P205
Total average cost P578 – P877

Servings: 10 pax

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Macaroni salad

Another quintessential Pinoy Christmas food is this sweet pasta salad best served cold as a side dish to anything grilled such as barbeques.

The sweet macaroni salad can last three to five days if properly stored in the fridge.

Ingredients Average cost
Elbow macaroni (1 kg) P69 – P95
Mayonnaise (700 ml) P141 – P270
Eggs (1 dozen) P86 – P200
Pineapple chunks (432 g) P57 – P73
Condensed milk (300 ml; 3 cans) P42 – P56 (x3)
Processed cheese (450 g) P120 – P205
Chicken breast (1 kg) P200 – P300
Raisins (100 g) P41 – P45
Total average cost P840 – P1,356

Servings: 24 pax

Lumpiang shanghai

This Chinese-inspired spring roll makes a perfect pair for pancit. When served during the Christmas feast, it never stays on the platter for very long.

Ingredients Average cost
Ground pork P180 – P265
Lumpia wrappers (1 pack) P26 – P35
Total Average Cost P206 – P300

Servings: 100 rolls

Leche Flan

Also known as crème caramel or caramel custard, this golden dessert is a year-round favorite and a Christmas spread staple. It’s a sweet treat to cap off a night of binge eating and merry conversation.

Ingredients Average Cost
Condensed milk (300 ml) P42 – P56
Eggs (1 dozen) P86 – P200
Evaporated milk (370 ml) P25 – P40
Vanilla extract P20 – P60
Total average cost P173 – P356

Servings: 6 pax

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Queso de bola

Literally translated as “ball of cheese,” queso de bola originated from the Dutch on their brief and unpopular episode in our history.

The Edam cheese became a favorite addition amid the Spanish-influenced Noche Buena, to pair with leche flan or make the meal cheesier. The leftover can be used for equally delish food as toppings or flavor.

Quezo de Bola (1 kg): P589 – P1,025

Hamon de Bola

There’s no way hamon de bola won’t be included on the list. It’s a staple gift of companies to employees, although not necessarily round all the time. It can also be pear or brick in shape.

Hamon de Bola (1 kg): P350 – P555


This is the king of all Filipino occasions, much loved by Filipinos and foreigners alike—the legendary roasted suckling pig. The crispy skin, juicy meat, and the soft fat is so sinfully good on so many levels. Sinful, because it can cause a lot of health risks when you have too much of it.

Lechon (15 to 20 pax): P6,500 – P9,000

Stores are almost running out of stock, and that means prices of the Filipino noche buena surge is higher as Christmas day comes closer. Although it’s already too late to buy cheaper canned and packaged goods, it is best to know what to expect when you plan to do some grocery shopping.

*Prices are based on the ocular survey made by the team in November around Metro Manila and PSA Media Service market watch. The prices may change due to variables such as food servings, varieties of ingredients, holidays, stores, and locations.