They served polvoron at last night’s Obama state dinner

It wasn’t wearing terno or barong but it sure impressed guests at last night’s state dinner in honor of US President Barack Obama. We catch up with violinist and Casa San Miguel founder Coke Bolipata to talk about their now-famous polvoron (which was served together with coffee).

How did your polvoron end up in the historic state dinner for the US President? 
All by chance. Margarita Forés of Cibo happened to visit Casa San Miguel in Zambales, our arts foundation, that also runs a café, together with my cousin Doris Ho and my nephew Anton San Diego. During lunch they had a chance to taste the polvoron, and Margarita thought it would be perfect for the state dinner. She took the two pieces left back to her home, where her mom raved about it. That evening she called to confirm. We were asked to make 300.

What’s so special about your polvoron? 
The polvoron is layered with yema, pastillas, cashew tart, book-ended with two thin coats of mango leather. The candy has an inside sleeve with a description and a dream quote.

What does it say?
Julian’s Dream (A Taste of Sweet Zambales) is a line of dessert products created under the Community Livelihood Program of CASA San Miguel, an arts center that benefits rural communities in the province of Zambales.

Polvoron is a simple candy taught by the Spanish, traditionally made in the home with toasted flour, sugar, butter and dried milk. Our version layers other traditional Filipino sweets: dried mango, yema, pastillas, Choc-Nut, and cashew tart to create a nostalgic taste of Filipino heritage that is sure to delight the child in you.

Julian is a character from a local Zambales folktale who was cajoled by the mermaid to give-up his mortality and a life filled with pain and loss in exchange for her eternal love. But the boy’s humanity prevailed, dreaming constantly of his family and community, breaking her spell and returning to his mortal life.

The design of the logo is by Robert Alejandro, who contributed to the project when he learned the candies raise funds for the Visayas disasters and our own scholarship program. That was the impetus for the creation of the polvoron.

Where can we get Julian’s Dream polvoron?
Its only available at the café, but we are in negotiations with a local distributor. ​For now they can order through our site manager Arman Domingo (+63 905 4644928;

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on