Top 10 Fruits in the Philippines

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The Philippines has an abundant supply of tropical fruits, some of which are sought after by other countries for their taste and natural sweetness. They are available almost all-year round.


The mango is the national fruit of the Philippines and is considered the apple of the tropics. It is known worldwide and is a major export product. Ripe ones have yellow skin and flesh. This is when mangoes are at their sweetest. Two varieties are commonly grown, the sweeter manggang piko and the fleshier manggang kalabaw. Those from Guimaras is said to be the sweetest in the world. Other regions in the Philippines which produce large quantities of mangoes for export are Zambales, Davao and Cebu.

Rambutan is native to Southeast Asia and the Malay Archipelago and grown in Laguna, parts of Mindanao, Panay Island, Mindoro and Batangas. The name is a Malay word “rambut”, which means hair. The egg-size fruit has claret skin that resembles scaly leather covered with soft red-green spines. Rambutan has translucent, pearly-white meat covering brown seeds.


The avocado is a pear-shaped fruit with dark, shiny purple or green skin. The soft, creamy, thick flesh covers a single ovoid to round seed. The custard-like flesh tastes almost bland and said to lower cholesterol levels. Avocadoes are used in cooking, salads, ice cream and other desserts.


Lanzones grows in bunches resembling pale blonde grapes with bitter seeds. It is native to Western Malaysia. The tartly-sweet firm fruit has about five sections covered in cream-colored skin with white sap that can discolor your fingers. Lanzones from Camiguin in Mindanao is said to be the sweetest and holds an annual harvest festival. It also grows in Laguna, parts of Quezon, Batangas, Cagayan de Oro and Butuan.


Durian is the “king of all tropical fruits”, native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia and grown in Mindanao. It has dark khaki or dull green skin with thick, short, pointed spines and a very pungent odor. Its flesh is golden, sweet and butter-soft. Some consider this an aphrodisiac. Durian is made into candied sweets, ice cream and cakes. Local eaters wash off the taste by placing some water in the husk and drinking it. They also wash their hands on water-filled husks.


Langka or jackfruit comes from Southwestern India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines and also in Australia. It is the largest tree-born fruit in the world, growing up to 20 inches in diameter and weigh up to 40 kilos. The yellow flesh consists of sweet bulbs covering oblong seeds that are edible when boiled. It can be eaten raw or sliced and added to turon, guinatan and made into jam and added to halo-halo.

Atis or sugar apple or custard apple was introduced by the Spaniards around 1590. The round fruit is small with lumpy dull-green scales. Atis has sweet, creamy flesh with numerous black seeds. It has a very short shelf life and should be eaten as soon as it ripens but is sweeter when left to ripen on the tree.

The chico originated from Mexico. This smallish brown fruit is almost round in shape. The sugary-sweet flesh is caramel-colored, with a few flat, black seeds and granular texture near the rind. A seedless variety called pineras is more hardy and bigger than the native one.


Watermelons are juicy, sweet and crunchy, with plenty of pits. Watermelon grows on ground-crawling vines, its fruit round or oblong, with green skin and with or without dark green wavy stripes. The flesh is either red or yellow. They can be eaten fresh or scooped into balls and added to summer fruit compote.


Santol is a popular summer fruit in the Philippines but is native to Malaysia. This yellowish fuzzy round fruits has five to six white juicy pulps covering big seeds. It can be eaten raw or made into marmalade.