08 Apr2007


In High School I was the Class President and also the President of the Social Committee in my Senior Year. Not only did we have to plan the 3 or 4 major parties of the school calendar, we had to raise funds for the Senior Prom, which, of course, had to beat all eggs4previous Senior Proms, in a very early display of Marketman’s anal retentiveness and obsessive compulsive tendencies. We raised a phenomenal amount of funds in the run-up to our Senior Prom and Outing (a weekend away from the city), by setting up a really cool large Haunted House at Halloween, Bake Sales, selling roses at Valentine’s, Bike-a-thons, raffles and of course, the mother of all Easter Egg Hunts. The elementary school at my alma mater had roughly 600 kids, and as many as 300-400 signed up for an Easter Egg Hunt one year. In exchange for a fee (I don’t recall how much, maybe PHP100 a head?), they got to do the hunt, possibly win prizes, get goody bags, etc… All of these efforts usually yielded a net profit of say PHP10,000-15,000 per event, which sounds puny, but in today’s pesos probably felt more like PHP100,000 or so. And you have to realize there were no such things as sponsors or anything like that…we made our money the old-fashioned way…we had to EARN it.

With such a huge response to our event, the next step was to implement, implement, implement… And with 300 kids, you want to make sure there are a LOT of easter eggs to find… And in those days, there was no such thing as the colorful plastic eggs imported from China that you find so readily at all of the malls these days… so two days before the Egg Hunt, the organizers and volunteers started to boil up eggs…a lot of eggs… close to 200 dozen or 2,400 pieces of chicken eggs that we then had to color and eventually hide in the foliage for 300+ crazed munchkins to go searching for! So my fondness for colored Easter eggs goes back three decades or so… and I still look forward to it each and every year! There are all kinds of tips on the net or in books on how to color eggs and many are terrific. But in our house we have about three tried and tested techniques that we fall back to every single year. They can work for you too. This is an EXCELLENT activity if you have young kids in the house; it is a great way for the whole family to do something together, it isn’t much work at all, it doesn’t cost that much and you can actually eat the eggs if you do so soon after you make them. Ours tend to sit in a basket in our living room for a few days before Easter.

If you have never tried this activity with your kids, here are some tips. First, boil eggs2up several different sizes of eggs – I like the tiniest chicken eggs all the way to extra-large. To boil, stick the eggs in a pot (I tend to separate the sizes, but then again, I make dozens) with tap water to cover all of the eggs and then some. Turn on the stove and bring the eggs up to a boil. As soon as there is a rolling boil, turn the stove off and leave the eggs in the hot water for 15-18 minutes. If you keep the boil going, you will have a very large casualty rate to cracking…particularly with most local eggs that have terribly thin shells. Drain and dry and when cool you are ready to color… I find the easiest and most effective way to color is to get a zip-lock or similar plastic bag. Add several drops of food coloring and gently rub the color on the egg shell until fully covered. What you end up with is a very pure, bright and stunning colored egg. Many of the plain eggs in the photos here were made that way. This has absolutely the least fuss and tremendous results. I personally like single colored eggs the most. Experiment with mixing colors…say two yellow drops and one blue, etc. to get different hues.

If you want to get a little fancy or if you have a crowd over and will be eggs3making the coloring an “event,” set up several glass or ceramic containers with a cup of hot water and with lots of drops of food coloring and a teaspoon of distilled vinegar and soak the eggs in this colored bath for about 5-8 minutes to get gentle pastel colors that are also very Easter like. Extract the eggs with a spoon or small sieve and dry on paper towels or paper napkins. You can also write on boiled eggs with a crayon and then dip them in the colored bath for a little extra snazziness.

Finally, if you have mastered the two basic techniques above, you can also eggs5dot eggs with candle wax and dip them in the colored baths or do the plastic bag treatment version as a second layer of interest. These are the polka dot type eggs in the photos here. Once done, lay these on some shredded paper or hay and use them as a table centerpiece or coffee table décor. They are edible for about 24 hours after you make them though I wouldn’t recommend it much after that. Also, you may find the whites of the egg are colored due to cracks in the shell. This is definitely a great activity to be done with kids and the amount of effort required is minimal. I hope you all have a terrific Easter!!!



  1. wysgal says:

    Your eggs look great … and I know what you meant when you said in the previous post that no one in Manila seems to be bitten by the same Easter fever you’d see all over in the US. It’s strange, but I think we like to wallow (?) in our holy week laziness and funk for as long as we can.

    Happy Easter!

    Apr 8, 2007 | 8:24 am


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  3. Kieran says:

    I think your egss look great, too. I really like the plain ones, especially the brown ones!

    Apr 8, 2007 | 10:08 am

  4. peanut says:

    We had just come home from an Easter egg hunt.My youngest daughter got a lot of small and large chocolate Easter eggs.That will probably stay in the fridge till the next Easter holidays.She loves chocolates but she is very selective.She will only eat Lindt or a very select Cadbury ones.

    I was lazy this year.We did not do any Easter egg coloring.But we made up for it in the amount of chocolate ones we bought heheheheeheheh.

    Apr 8, 2007 | 1:22 pm

  5. suzette says:

    your eggs are cute!!! i mean the easter eggs… hehehe :) happy easter mm!

    Apr 8, 2007 | 4:03 pm

  6. chocolatesky says:

    are the eggs safe to eat? what if i use colored nail polish, acrylic paint or watercolors in egg coloring and decorating are the eggs still safe to eat?

    Apr 8, 2007 | 5:49 pm

  7. Marketman says:

    chocolatesky, these eggs are safe to eat as we only used food grade food coloring. I wouldn’t eat any eggs using nail polish, acrylic or watercolors as eggshells are highly porous and the chemicals in those color options might impact the egg within. Further, you must eat them within say a day of cooking them, even if you use food grade food coloring…that’s just to stay on the safe side. Otherwise, dump them…

    Apr 8, 2007 | 6:18 pm

  8. Dodi says:

    Happy Easter MM!

    Would like to get Erlinda to go to this website: http://www.buhiworldwide.com. The name of the Filipino aquaculturist is Bonifacio Comandante, Jr. Apparently, he was able to develop a technique which makes fish “sleep” for their transport abroad even without water.

    Apr 8, 2007 | 8:24 pm

  9. Franco says:

    Happy Easter MM!

    When the kids started coming the annual Easter Egg Hunt became important.

    However, what to do the eggs always became a problem.

    Apr 8, 2007 | 8:49 pm

  10. mia says:

    Have you heard of pysanky? Utterly gorgeous, but of course I doubt I’ll ever try making these. You might! :)


    Apr 9, 2007 | 9:25 am

  11. allen says:

    Cute! looks like giant M&Ms!

    Apr 9, 2007 | 10:15 am

  12. Erlinda says:

    Growing up in Manila, I don’t ever remember Easter being associated with Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. These symbols, as they say, are really of the “West”, not of the “East”. I only found out about them when I went abroad to study. Someone gave me a Ukrainian egg (Mia’s pysanka), and another friend, a Pennsylvania Dutch egg. The eggs have been emptied of their contents so they’d last indefinitely. Beautifully crafted, they were and are works of art. Amazing, what one can do to an egg!

    I miss Easter celebrations in Phillippines. In Manila, Easter to me meant a lot of church going with my friends or family…. church in Paco, Baklaran, Makati, Quiapo, etc. The Holy Week was long, and sacrifice and self-denial were the orders of the day.

    But I also remember a lot of singing, especially, in the chapel across the road at the end of our street. During Good Friday, there was a continuous singing of the “pasyon” in the chapel. The singing would start early on Friday, and would end in the early morning hours of Saturday. Although there was a “core” of singers, anyone who wanted to could just barge in and join in the singing.

    At first, there would be a lot of singers. But as night comes, many adults would leave for home, and mostly young people would be left behind. After the “pasyon” of Jesus Christ has been told and retold, the singing would cease, and there would be “salabat” and “kakanin” for all, but no eggs! I remember that as we drink “salabat”, and tried as we might to be solemm and serious, my friends and I would be joking at each other and pointing fingers at those who were singing out of tune or “sintunado”. Then, after a little bit more tomfoolery, we would turn off the chapel lights, and walk home quietly in dark, still whispering at each other, but feeling morally uplifted and somehow deeply satisfied. As they say, “those were the days, my friend”…. Would I were back home in the PI drinking salabat and exchanging pleasantries with my friends!

    Happy Easter everybody!

    (To Dodi: Thanks loads. I really appreciate the “link”.)

    Apr 9, 2007 | 1:08 pm

  13. currystrumpet says:

    we used to really take easter egg hunts seriously when i was a kid. my mom used to orchestrate these elaborate egg hunts where all the kids (me, my sister, kids of our family friends) were sure to get equal prizes para walang tampuhan.

    i remember one easter with plastic eggs that had “vouchers” inside (vouchers for things like a dozen munchkins from dunkin donuts haha), another easter with gold, silver and bronze eggs corresponding to different cash amounts, and another easter when we decorate our own eggs to hunt… and i tried to make a johnny depp egg by pasting cutout photos from a teenybopper magazine. haha.

    Apr 9, 2007 | 2:14 pm

  14. asunta says:

    MM, we add a teaspoon of oil and the result is a marble egg. it looks real colorful specially if you dip the eggs in two batches of color.

    Apr 9, 2007 | 2:49 pm

  15. stef says:

    very pretty, Marketman! we love making pysanky over here, usually on Holy/Black Saturday. next year I think I’ll try acid-etching.

    Apr 9, 2007 | 10:50 pm


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