The only thing missing at "Simbang Gabi" (Midnight Mass)--the theme of Pinoy Night Market in Scarborough--is the church service. From steamed bibingka, hot soups, sizzling barbecues, flashing parols, to live bands singing Tagalog songs, you'll feel like you've stepped right back in the Philippines, about to attend Simbang Gabi.

Except you're freezing, of course. This is Scarborough after all. No matter, there are plenty of new things to try and buy at the Pinoy Night Market that will warm your frigid, winter-weary heart (even though some of these items are best eaten cold).

Here are 5 best things to buy at the Pinoy Night Market:

1) Tito Parley's Silvanas

Tito Parley, owner of Tito Parley's Sans Rival and Silvanas, holds up two flavours of his famous Silvanas (Ube Latte and Pistachio) at the Pinoy Night Market in Scarborough, Ont. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

Silvanas are the baby cousins of Sans Rival: French buttercream filling layered with nutty meringue, it's a miniscule, cookie-sized cross between a French macaron and an ice cream sandwich. Best eaten straight out of the freezer.

Close-up of Silvanas by Tito Parley's Sans Rival and Silvanas. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

I met the owner "Tito Parley", who started the business during the pandemic. A lot of pivoting happened during the lockdown, and Tito Parley's career was no exception. We're certainly glad he made the switch, as the silvanas were heavenly: it's an ice cream sandwich elevated by an almost wafery crust, and a buttery filling oozing with flavour that's not too sweet. Caution: they're very, very addictive.

2) Parols

Parols for sale at the Pinoy Night Market in Scarborough, Ont. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

Christmas in the Philippines wouldn't be Christmas without a parol sighting. Parols are brightly-lit, flashing, star-shaped lanterns of various colours typically made of plastic, metal and capiz shells hung on windows and front porches.

Parols are brightly-lit, flashing, star-shaped lanterns of various colours typically made of plastic, metal and capiz shells hung on windows and front porches. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

At the Pinoy Market, they are sold from $280 and upwards. Steep, but worth it as a Filipino legacy Christmas item, as they last a long time. Hang them up with Pinoy pride every holiday season, which starts in September in the Philippines. True story.

3) Bibingkas

Bibingkas are made-to-order in metal steamers shown above by Kanto by Tita Flips. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

When you're purchasing something that's made right in front of your eyes, in a strange-looking metal contraption that steams and hisses, cooked over a propane stove--it's gotta be good, it's gotta be authentic, right? Kanto by Tita Flips sold made-to-order bibingka, and the line-up was long for their orders.

Bibingkas by Kanto by Tita Flips. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

Bibingkas are traditionally made with rice flour, water or coconut milk, and sugar. The sweet, and sometimes savoury treats (when topped with salted duck eggs) are perfect paired with a steaming cup of traditional Filipino hot cocoa.

4) Cookies from The Night Baker

Sans Rival cookies from The Night Baker are moist, chewy and bursting with flavour. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

I bet you've never seen green or purple cookies before. The Night Baker cookie flavours are unique: try the green "coco pandan" with coconut cream filling or the purple "Ooh Bae" with purple yam cheesecake and ube jam filling.

Green and purple cookies from The Night Baker. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

I munched on the Sans Rival cookie--almond cashew with cashew cream filling--and it was moist, gooey, with small bursts of flavour from the cashew filling. Other flavours include milk and Oreos, bibingka, puto bumbong and Food for the Gods.

5) Pinoy art by Merissa

Artist Merissa shows her pastel-coloured art at the Pinoy Night Market. Photo by Yona M. Harvey, Mabuhay Canada Media

Think of the colour palette of Sanrio characters such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Keroppi and Little Twin Stars: pastel greens, yellows and pinks. Artist Merissa handpaints drawings, molds pins, designs cards and stickers mostly on her Cricut machine.

Most of her designs have a Filipino theme or sayings: "You had me at halo-halo" or "I'm sorry for my bistek". She carries cards with drawings of ingredients for kare-kare or kaldereta.

I'm melting into a puddle of nostalgia as I relive my childhood days of collecting Sanrio stationery. Cute, sentimental, colourful and serotonin-inducing art: the Filipino twist is the cherry on top of an already lovely collection.