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4 Filipino Foods You Can’t Miss When Visiting The Philippines

Months ago, I was able to watch this episode on Nas Daily where he was asked what his favorite country was. Nas answered that of all the countries he had visited; the Philippines was his most favorite one. Since then, the Philippines has always been one of my dream travel destinations. Luckily, I recently had the chance to spend a month-long vacation in that country.

I can say that my stay was superb! The people and places from the Philippines are already known to be wonderful. Hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals have mentioned how great the folks and views are in that country. However, when it comes to eats, I have heard a ton saying its foods are disgusting.

I don’t know how their taste buds work, but for me what I ate for a month was nothing but delicious. What even surprised me is that all the meals I tried were just everyday Filipino foods! I honestly would love to go back and stay longer if given the chance!

For the people who are planning to travel to the Philippines, I’ve listed below some suggestions of my favourite Filipino foods. I can honestly say you won’t want to miss them on your visit!

Bicol Express

If you are fond of eating spicy foods, then you should try this meal. Bicol Express is a pork dish cooked with coconut milk, shrimp paste, and a whole lot of chili. What’s great about it is that you can get it in different levels of spiciness. Nonetheless, I suggest testing the waters first so you’ll find the taste that’s just right for you.

It won’t be hard to find this dish. I was able to know this through my lovely tourist guide. He gave me a serving with rice cooked by his wife. I loved it so much I asked him where I could buy more. According to him, it is commonly homemade, but a lot of eateries also serve it, either for dine in or take out. And yes, I had Bicol Expres again, not just twice but thrice!

Pancit

Home-Cooked Filipino Pancit Bihon

Una publicación compartida de Rebecca (@arakay) el

I think this is the Philippines’ version of noodles. I’ve eaten a lot of Chinese ramen, but the Philippine’s Pancit is a lot different!

TAKEAWAY: According to locals, if you eat Pancit, you will have a long life. All because of the long strands of the noodles. I actually filled my stomach with this meal, not to have a long life though, but because it’s super delicious and absolutely a must-try.

The country has several varieties of Pancit but the one I’ve tried is the most common one called Pancit Bihon or Pancit Guisado. It is mostly served in a bilao (circular wooden basket) of different sizes. This family-favorite dish is made of rice sticks mixed with meat, either chicken or pork (or both), and vegetables like carrots and cabbages. This dish can be seen served during birthday parties, feasts, and other special occasions. Nonetheless, Filipinos also love it as breakfast and/or afternoon snack.

Laing

Laing’s recipe is somewhat similar to that of Bicol Express, except that it uses vegetable leaves as the main ingredient instead of pork. Along with the leaves are coconut milk, shrimp paste, and chili peppers. What I’ve eaten is topped with shrimps, yet it can also be served meatless or with dried fish. The leaves used for Laing are first dried out under the sun before cooking. That’s because if left raw or fresh, it will leave an itchy sensation in the mouth.

Judging by the looks, I never thought it would actually taste like heaven. I’ve always been a meat lover, but with Laing, I can’t say no! I will always give this Filipino meal a go!

Bulalo

If you love soups, you’ll love this meal! Bulalo is said to be among the most loved dishes in the Philippines. They even had a Bulalo flavor in their instant cup noodles. I’ve actually tried that too, and though it tastes fine, it is always best to enjoy the authentic one.

It has a light color stock made rich by cooking beef shanks and marrow bones for hours until collagens and fats are melted into the broth. Once you’ve had your first scoop, you simply cannot stop until you’ve finished it all!

In my opinion, Bulalo is perfect for chilly weather. In fact, I still find it surprising that this dish is from a country with high temperatures. But maybe that’s just how warm the Philippines are. They warmly welcome visitors with a warm bowl of soup, too!

What I observed in the Philippines is that they won’t let you leave the dining table hungry. This country is perfect for foodies and people with huge appetites! All the servings will surely make your stomach full. Most of all, dishes are also inexpensive. With just a few dollars, you’ll get to enjoy a heavenly gastronomy! So who would not want to experience great food in a fantastic place full of wonderful people? Guess it’s true that, after all, “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”

About Angelo Castelda

Angelo Castelda works as a contributor for a news magazine in Singapore. He has a refined interest in food and beverages and loves to seek varieties of food experiences around the world.

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