The “Magtatahos” Along The Road To Tagaytay, Philippines

The traffic to the city of Tagaytay in the Philippines was seriously heavy and the only way to prevent boredom from taking over was to take pictures along the way. This particular group of men caught my attention because they were all smiles while everyone was obviously frustrated with the traffic. What was inside those cans made me curious because I don’t see such objects in my travels to different parts of the world.

The three men were peddlers of “taho” a popular street food in the Philippines. Taho it seems is a concoction of processed soya beans topped with caramel and tapioca pearls which are known locally as “sago”. The peddlers of taho are called “magtataho” and they are required to announce their presence by shouting “tahoooo” on the top of their voice while they peddle the concoction along the streets of the city. It seems that the magtataho can be found all over the country because the people have a particular fondness of the healthy recipe.

drink

The aluminum buckets contain the taho and the caramelized mixture made from brown sugar and flavored with vanilla including the miniature tapioca pearls. The buckets would hang at each end of a sturdy bamboo pole and the peddler must be experienced enough in ensuring that it is well balanced to avoid a backache. The magtataho must walk in a leisurely pace and shout taho in a sing-song voice to gain the attention of customers. It is very likely to find these peddlers early in the morning because by lunchtime, their aluminum buckets have been emptied of its contents.

Indonesia has its own version of the taho which they call kembang tahu or tauhue. Similar to the magtataho in the Philippines, tauhue is also peddled on the streets. The kembang tahu is made from soft layers of tofu with a sauce of pandan leaves and palm sugar. It is normally sold hot making it the best refreshment on a cold rainy day. I guess the taho has another version in other countries except that it called a different name and probably with something else added to give flavor.

How To Make Taho