When in Surigao del Norte, go to Socorro’s local market or drop by their sari-sari stores to sample their native food. That’s how we discovered these curiously named treats.
Paowaw is their take on siopao, with sweet shredded coconut meat as filling in lieu of the usual pork, chicken, or tuna meat. The coconut meat is shredded, cooked with sugar, and then used as filling for the pao or steamed bread.
It can be quite heavy for a snack, though.
Another great find was the milledo.
Milledo is made from brown sugar, sweet potato that’s boiled then mashed, and coconut milk.
Mix all the ingredients then cook over low fire until the delight hardens, before slicing it into squares.
These sweet squares are best enjoyed with coffee.
Paowaw and milledo — do you have similar treats in your town? Or maybe they just take on different names in your place. One thing is sure, though — they’re worth tasting over and over again.
How to Get There:
Philippine Airlines has regular flights from Manila and Cebu to Surigao City and Butuan City.
From Surigao or Butuan, take a jeep/van to Claver, Surigao del Norte to the port of Hayanggabon.
From Hayanggabon, take a motorized boat to Socorro. This would take around an hour to an hour and 30 minutes.
You can also take the jeep to the port of Surigao and ride the cargo inter-island vessels to the port of Dapa in Siargao, before transferring to a smaller boat to Socorro.
Travel time from Surigao City to Dapa is 2 hours, plus another hour to Socorro.