I am looking forward to my upcoming trip the land of 7000 islands, the Philippines. I have done my research: geography, people, attractions. The trip should be great and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts and experience. Sadly, my tast buds are going blind. I never stopped to learn about the cuisine of the Philippines! Not very In-The-Know of me. Fortunately, that’s what friends are for. The following is a palette-saving note I received from a fan with heritage to match. I have Elisa’s permission to present her culinary picks and helpful hints for enjoying every morsel of the Philippines. May we both enjoy them. -Devin Galaudet, ITKT Editor and enthusiastic traveler-

As promised, here are some tips to know for you upcoming trip to the Philippines :
First of all..here are a few words that might be helpful to know/use :
Kamusta ka ? (How are you?)
Mabuti (good –a response to kamusta ka)
Opo (yes)
Hindi (simply “no”)
Salamat (thank you)

Ethnic Foods to try :
1. Balut – almost hatched egg…well, don’t ask just try it. If you are not crazy about this idea, try “Penoy” instead. It’s the same preparation but the chicken is still in a yolk form. Just as good for you.
2. Green Mango shake – my favorite drink.
3. Tap-si-log or Lo-si-log – for breakfast. Filipinos eat a hearty breakfast. Here are two standard worth sampling.
4. Halo-Halo (pronounced “halow-halow”) – a dessert that is a must have with either “ube” or “mango” ice cream on top !
5. Pancit Lug-lug (pronounced “pansit loog loog”) – a noodles dish…really good 🙂
6. Kare-kare (pronounced “kahreh kahreh”) – a notable entree to the Filipino people.
7. Taho (pronounced “tah hoe”) – a healthy dessert made with soy. This cannot be ordered in a restaurant. You can buy this dessert from a street vendor. You can’t miss him, the dessert will be carried on his shoulders while he walks the streets and screaming, “Taho- Taho.” If you find one, ask for the works !
8. Puto bong-bong – a purple rice cake dessert that is usually served during the holidays. You may still find them in January. I ilike this one, it’s yummy 🙂
9. Sansrival cake – a decadent cake. Another must have, even just a slice. Good ones are made by either Goldilocks Bakery or Red Ribbon Bakery.
10. San Miguel Beer – famous Filipino beer (by the way, San Miguel was my maiden name…..unfortunately no connection to the owner of the brewery.)
11. Lumpia shanghai – My husband’s favorite eggroll

1. Lanzones – this is usually only available during January – March
2. Atis – one of my favorites
3. Santol – mostly sold from a walking vendor. They will peel it for you. It’s a sour kind of fruit usually eaten with rock salt.

Other things to do :
1. Ride a jeepney
2. Ride a tricycle (costs only pennys — they take you anywhere)
3. In the provincial area there is a cockfight called “sabong”. Filipinos love cockfights. See one if you have the opportunity.
4. Get a massage at the beach

Filipino people are hospitable in general. It will be easy for you to get around the island as they all understand English. They love Americans and many striving to be “western” as possible. I found it helpful on my last visit to bring a bag of hard candies. I gave it out to the local kids in the street and they became helpful tourist guides showing me places worth seeing — plus they enjoy the treat.
Have a great and safe time.

Written by Elisa (San Miguel) Krall


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