Here’s Why Carabao Milk is Really an Underrated Superdrink

From the first sip, there is a recognizable similarity in the flavor profile between cow and carabao’s milk, with the carabao’s milk being slightly creamier. While cow’s milk is still the go-to for everyday dairy intake, carabao milk has kept a firm place by making it a sought-after dairy ingredient. Just last March, the Inquirer reported that of 5 million kilograms of milk produced in the country, 63% came from cows, 36% came from carabaos, and 1% came from goats.


Interestingly, it has better nutritional benefits over cow’s milk—it is lower in cholesterol and higher in calcium and energy according to studies by The Philippine Carabao Centre. Because of this, it’s described as “the most complete food”, and is even used in local government health programs to prevent malnutrition. Even if you don’t drink carabao milk, there’s a high chance you have had more than you thought, from food such as ice cream, pastillas de leche, kesong puti, and even mozarella cheese. Local ice cream brand Arce Dairy boasts that the secret to their ice cream success is in the use of carabao milk to meet the required butter fat content to call themselves a “dairy ice cream”.



Even with these benefits, supply and support for the carabao remains limited. Among the challenges faced in raising carabao today, the biggest one is a decline in demand for them as more farmers favor hand tractors and other machinery. The farmer and his carabao are a recognizable pair in many classic Philippine paintings and postcards, but in reality, the use of the carabao is subject to the season and readiness of the crops. Over time, this beast of burden has been seen as the burden for farmers, as it has proven to be more costly in keeping over time. While carabao milk has been proven an excellent alternative source of income with the animal, there are few opportunities for more farmers to get the resources they need to develop carabao milk as their enterprise.


There is a glimmer of hope however, as carabao milk has its major investors and suppliers who found ways to make it more than pasalubong from the outskirts of Metro Manila. If you’re looking to support local and get healthier, here are a few major sources for carabao milk and carabao milk-based products:

DVF Dairy Farm’s Gatas ng Kalabaw
Available in major groceries, Market! Market!, and Tiendesitas

Mr. Moo’s
Branches in SM Megamall, Ortigas, Terrazo Mall in Quezon City, South Supermarket, Solenad Nuvali Sta. Rosa, Silang, and Tagaytay

PCC Center
University of the Philippines Los Baños

Milka Krem
3119 Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Do you like carabao milk? Where do you get your carabao milk? Leave a comment below.

2. Inquirer: Carabaos and Credit
3. Arce Dairy
4. UP Economics
5. Sun Star
6. ADB

13 Responses

  1. I love love milk but why is that when I drink cow’s milk my stomach will grumble leading me to the toilet? Just recently, I purchased carabao’s milk and products from Llano in Jala-jala, Rizal. I drank around 300 ml milk and another 300 ml yogurt and my tummy is fine. I also ate several pieces of yema and pastillas made also from carabao’s milk and still my stomach is okay, no growls. Does anyone here experienced the same thing?

  2. It is good to know that we Filipinos already started making income with what we have instead of importing goods outside.

    I never tried drinking fresh milk from Carabao, nor using a product with tag 100% Pure Carabao. But this time, I must try to really see its difference from cows and goats.

  3. I get my ice cream and dairy products at Karabella Dairy (karabelladairy.com), a social enterprise from Gawad Kalinga! Their ice cream is so yummy 🙂

  4. DVF dairy farm kiosk can also be located at SM north edsa ground floor. they also now offer home deliveries within metro manila.

  5. Home made yogurt made from Carabao’s milk is so so much better than those in supermarket.. As from South Asian decent, we make it regularly at our home.. Also good for diet

  6. It’s sad to learn that many farmers can’t start a business on carabao milk anymore 🙁

    But I’m glad some have made buying carabao milk easier. I buy Mr. Moo’s and DVF from the supermarket.

  7. The best pastillas de leche I’ve had (EVER) was made with gatas ng kalabaw. Thicker, richer, creamier… Just so much better than those made with cow’s milk.

    Now, if only I could remember where. I think it was at some place on Jupiter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More ↓