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Bahalina Tuba: The Best Coconut Wine of Leyte and Samar

Bahalina Tuba: The Best Coconut Wine of Leyte and Samar

Bahalina tuba is a locally made coconut wine popular in Leyte and Samar. Tuba wine is created from the sap of species of palm trees, including coconut trees. (Photo via Facebook and Wiki Commons)

Bahalina Tuba is a Filipino-made beverage, and it is the best native wine you can find in Leyte and Samar. It is a beloved drink among the Waray locals, Visayans, and Mindanaoans, and it is commonly consumed during celebrations such as birthdays, fiestas, and other festivities in these regions.

If you are a foreign or local tourist visiting Leyte and Samar, you should not miss trying bahalina or tuba wine (also known as coconut red wine). It is often enjoyed with a chaser or soft drinks such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Waraynons prefer to pair it with sumsuman or food such as sisig, pork chop, or even lechon manok (roasted chicken).

Most tuba wines are made from the sap of various species of palm trees, including coconut trees. The method of making tuba wine has existed since pre-colonial times in the Philippines. It is a significant aspect of social drinking that continues to be an important part of Filipino social interactions, especially in the Waray-Waray region.

In Leyte, the best tuba makers can be found in the municipalities of Barugo, Jaro, and Dulag. There are also numerous fine tuba makers in Samar, including the municipality of Basey, a neighboring town of Tacloban City.

How to drink tuba wine?

If you want to try tuba wine, you can purchase it at a local store. It is available in small retail shops or sari-sari stores in barangays. Ask for bahalina since it is the best type of tuba.

After purchasing tuba wine, don't forget to prepare a sumsuman or food that you can enjoy while drinking. You can easily cook any type of food, or even open canned goods such as corned beef or sardines.

During festivities, tuba wine is often paired with lechon, sisig, fried chicken, and adobo. Make sure to have a chaser (any soft drink will do), which you should drink after taking a shot of tuba wine.

When you're ready to drink your tuba wine, the tanggero or drinking master will pour it into the center of a glass about an inch above the glass. Once poured, the tanggero will hand the glass to you. You can drink it in small sips to savor the flavor and then drink the chaser if available.

Health benefits of tuba

Drinking tuba in moderation can be surprisingly beneficial for your health. According to the National Nutrition Council, here are some of the known health benefits of coconut wine:

  • Improved digestion –  It contains probiotics that help improve digestion and absorption of nutrients.
  • Antimicrobial and antibiotic properties  Tuba wine has properties that can help prevent infections and diseases.
  • Source of protein – It is a good source of protein and essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair.
  • Rich in minerals – It contains minerals such as potassium, vitamin C, and phosphorus that help replenish electrolytes lost during physical activity.
  • Healthier option for active lifestyles – Tuba can be a more cost-effective and beneficial alternative to commercial sports drinks for those with active lifestyles.
  • Health benefits of coconut vinegar – Coconut vinegar, which is made from tuba, has been linked to a range of health benefits, including decreased body weight, decreased risk of diabetes, improved immune function, heart health, and digestion. However, more research is needed to fully understand these benefits and how they compare to other types of vinegar.

Note: While these health benefits are supported by scientific evidence, it is important to consume tuba and coconut vinegar in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Excessive alcohol consumption may have harmful effects on health.

What will happen after you drink tuba?

Tuba wine has similar effects to other wines but differs only in taste. A satire post suggests the "cycle of drinking tuba," which states that within the first 30 minutes of drinking, tuba drinkers will talk about common subjects such as love life. Later on, they will shift to discussing other people or their friends.

A satirical post depicting the effects of the locally made bahalina or tuba wine after drinking it.

After hours of drinking, the conversation may change from religion to politics and then back to love life again. While the post is satire, many Filipinos can relate since social drinking often involves lively conversations on various topics.

However, after drinking tuba wine, one may eventually feel dizzy, so it is important to drink it moderately.


Tuba wine originated in the Philippines and presents an opportunity for Filipinos to not only promote it locally but also export it to other countries. The Mexicans even adapted the method of making tuba to create their beloved drink, mezcal. They were introduced to the technique in the 16th and 17th centuries through the Manila Galleons to Acapulco and continue to enjoy it to this day.

If Mexicans were able to create an international brand using our methods, imagine the potential of introducing tuba to the world. Not only could it generate jobs, but the Philippines, particularly the Waray Region, could also become known as the best tuba winemakers in the world.

Moreover, tuba wine has many medical benefits, making it a great alternative to other wines. —AJ Yes

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