Filipino Food At Its Finest
Filipinos like their food cooked just the way their mothers cook it, with a duo of rice and meat or vegetable viand. We eat three big meals a day and take snacks (or merienda, as we call it in the local tongue) whenever we feel the urge to eat a little something.
Food is relatively cheap but filling in the Philippines. At less than $20 per head, you can already have a hearty meal at a respectable restaurant in Manila.
Sometimes the dish is entirely unique, but at other times it’s just one or two ingredients or the cooking technique that’s different.
Either way, there’s a distinct and unmistakably regional flavor to the dish that makes it a worthwhile try.
You don’t have to worry about food sanitation because Filipinos are a rather finicky people in general. They may not cook using the most technologically advanced cooking implements, but their kitchens are places of pride and every dish is a work of love.
Should you tire of dining out or at your resort/hotel, you can always take a bite of what the locals are eating. There is a wide variety of eating places to choose from, depending on where you are staying, what you feel like trying and how much you’re willing to pay.
Don’t forget to try the adobo, a dish made with pork or chicken or both simmered in vinegar and soy sauce. Or the sinigang—the Filipino version of the French bouillabaisse—which can be made with pork, chicken, beef or shrimp.
You can drop by 24-hour fast food joints and convenience stores when you want to grab a quick meal at odd hours. And if you get invited to stay with a Filipino family, you can look forward to a meal that’s nutritious, plentiful and sumptuous.
For The More Adventurous Traveller:
There are street stalls that offer animal innards barbecued to a crisp and fish balls, squid balls and hotdogs; you can also find unbranded local ice cream on wheels and taho (sweetened soy milk with tapioca pearls) being peddled by vendors who walk all day. There are carinderias or small family-run roadside eateries that offer staple Filipino dishes for so much less than typical restaurant rates.
One final tip: If you have issues about food allergies or just a generally sensitive stomach, you might want to stick to what’s familiar and stay away from the more adventurous menus. You are definitely welcome to try as many of the local dishes as you want, but you also have to listen to what your stomach has to say on the matter.