Filipino Street Foods Worth Drooling Over

Admit it, you love trying new food. Everyone from Food Network toBloomberg claims 2017 is the year Filipino flavors will explode onto the food scene. Bon Appétit named the D.C.-based Filipino restaurant “Bad Saint” the second best new restaurant of 2016, providing evidence for the claims that Filipino flavor is about to find fame.

While eating his way through food-friendly cities around the world for television audiences (since 2002), Anthony Bourdain has shown some serious love for Filipino street foods. He claims his favorite street food in the Philippines, sisig, is “possibly the best thing you could ever eat with a cold beer.”

It’s time for you to let your taste buds join the adventure and get to munching as you travel through the streets of the Philippines. The endless choices from street vendors will get your stomach rumbling. Some of the foods you’ll find may test the limits of your palate, but if your’re craving adventure, you can find it among the stalls of Filipino food markets.

However, if eating from a stall in the street seems too extreme, choose these items from a menu in a bar or restaurant. Many places offer wine or local craft beer pairings with these traditional street foods.

Savory Snack Foods in the Philippines

You can find a variety of grilled, barbecued, and roasted savory dishes on Filipino streets. Don’t forget, as you snag your street food, it is proper to stop at the sauce station and add salt, vinegar, onions, chilies, and various sauces as the Filipinos do.

Sisig

One of the single most popular dishes in the Philippines, Sisig, is made from pork. It’s created by cooking the delicious parts of a pig’s head and is often seasoned with golden limes, also known as calamansi, and chili peppers. The go-to add-ins are coarsely chopped onions with a runny egg on top. It’s most often served on a sizzling plate–like fajitas.

If you visit during the right time of year, you could find yourself at the Sisig Fiesta held in Angeles City.

Lechón

You won’t want to miss trying the national dish of the Philippines, roasted suckling pig known as Lechón. It is prepared throughout the year for special occasions, celebrations, and holidays. After removing the insides of the pig, it is seasoned and skewered by a large stick. The skewer is then placed in a large rotisserie and the entire pig is cooked over a charcoal pit for several hours.

The Lechón is usually crispy on the outside due to the method of basting and the hours on top of the coals. During his visit, chef Anthony Bourdain claimed Cebu had the most delicious version of the dish, but Skyscanner claims they know the nine best places to grub down on some Lechón.

Lumpia

Lumpia looks like a spring roll but is found in the Philippines and Indonesia. Inside a thin pastry skin, you’ll find filling of the savory sort, including carrots, cabbage, green beans, bamboo shoots, and leeks (or some combination of those). You often find meat–chicken, shrimp or beef, but most often pork – as well. The whole roll is often deep fried but can be prepared in other ways. Try dipping them in banana ketchup or sweet chili sauce.

Lumpia is incredibly popular during celebrations, on the street, and in restaurants. If you’re interested in learning more about Lumpia recipes, you can check out Pinterest’s board for “25+ best ideas about Lumpia.”

Balut

Walking around a local market is one of the best ways to try the adventurous and famous street food snack, Balut. The partially developed duck egg embryo is often referred to as the king of Filipino street foods.

You eat it by first cracking open the top of the boiled egg and drinking out the broth or the soup. Then you peel the rest of the egg and season it with vinegar and salt before finish eating the snack. See how Americans react to the dish in this Buzzfeed video.

Isaw

A famous Filipino street food, isaw is the barbecued intestines of a pig or a chicken coiled on a skewer and grilled until smoky and crispy. Of course, the intestines are cleaned, then turned inside-out and cleaned again, with this process occurring multiple times before cooking.

During the afternoons, you can find vendors selling isaw on street corners across the islands. While visiting an isaw vendor, pork barbecue, atay (liver), and adidas (grilled or barbecued chicken feet) are usually available for your culinary pleasure.

Isaw is popular across the country, but comic book artist Maniz Abrera’s “KikoMachine” comic strip made the food a staple at the University of the Philippines Diliman. The comic strip featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer began with many scenes featured on the campus around the isaw vendor’s stall. Abrera’s comic is now a daily find in the newspaper and even though it deals with weightier topics most days, people still visit the university as homage to the origins of the comic strip.

Kwek Kwek

Kwek Kwek is a tempura-like battered and deep fried street food. The batter is dyed orange and when you bite through the batter you find a soft-boiled quail’s egg. It’s much like a corn dog, only with egg inside instead of a hot dog. Sounds like a perfect street snack, doesn’t it?

Get psyched for your Filipino food tour with a virtual tour alongside Mark Wiens of Migrationologythrough the Quaipo Market in Manila.

Sweet Treats You Need

Savory isn’t the only flavor you’ll find when trekking through the streets in the Philippines. Sweets are often flavored with the abundant fruits of the islands including ube (also known as purple yam), coconuts, and mango.

Binatog

A favorite local merienda snack (a light meal, sort of like afternoon tea), Binatog is made by soaking and boiling white corn sliced off the cob. This dish is often seasoned with freshly grated coconut and salt.

If you’re interested in trying binatog before visiting the Philippines, there are many recipes available online, like this one from blogger Lalaine of Kawaling Pinoy, a blog dedicated to Filipino and Asian-inspired recipes.

Halo–Halo

Halo-Halo is one of the most popular and inexpensive summertime sweets you’ll find when visiting the Philippines. Halo-Halo is made from shaved ice and evaporated milk. Vendors mix in sweet fruits or other sweet ingredients like corn, coconut, or sweet beans.

The dessert is served in a tall glass or bowl and has been featured in multiple travel and food television shows, including Bizarre Foods and Top Chef.

Ube Halaya

While there are lots of different desserts which feature ube, from ice cream to cakes, ube halaya is most common on the street. Ube halaya is ube boiled, grated, and combined with other ingredients like sugar or milk until it thickens. You can then add it to halo-halo or ice cream, or you can eat it like pudding.

This recipe from the blog 196 flavors will awaken your sweet tooth in no time. “Ube halaya was a blissful and unexpected discovery for me, as we featured Filipino last June,” said Mike Benayoun of 196 flavors. “I especially loved making latik, this crunchy residual of coconut milk that adds a beautiful sweet and crunchy note to this dessert.”

Buko Juice

The Philippines is made up of more than 7,000 islands, which means that coconuts, also known as buko, are never far away. In the street markets, you can find buko juice, or coconut water, almost everywhere you go.

Buko juice not only tastes good and helps with hydration, but it is often heralded for its health benefits. The juice has been known to help prevent kidney stones, reduce sugar levels, regulate blood pressure, and improve digestion.

Plan Your Culinary Adventure

Explosive flavors and generous portions await your arrival in the Philippines. Whether these flavors seem exciting or extreme, you are bound to find something in the Filipino culinary world which will light your flame.

Let us help plan your next trip! We have great ideas and can help you find experts so you’re never overwhelmed with options. We can’t wait to shout magandang araw–or beautiful da –to you across a market full of Filipino street food.

Why an out-of-country trip is the best gift for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to spoil your mom and give her something extraordinary. While sales and discounts on high-end bags and luxury perfumes can be enticing, ditch the material things and look for something irreplaceable. Here are five reasons why you should consider traveling with your mom on her special day.

  1. Spending quality time with your mom can be redundant if you go to the same places. Try looking for new destinations outside the state where you can get lost and score an unforgettable experience that only you and your mother can share. This could also be the perfect story you can share on your next family reunion!
  2. Sometimes moms just want to flaunt on social media after days of constant struggle and stress. Help her unwind by adding more selfies and photos on her profile from visits to iconic tourist spots and must-try restaurants.
  3. If you haven’t traveled overseas with your mother before, this could be the start of a new tradition! Help her tick off bullets on her bucket list as she finds home at a different country, or better yet different continent. It can be one of the best gifts you could offer as she may need to leave a piece of her heart there just like how she left a big chunk for you.
  4. It may be cliché but not all superheroes wear capes, moms are known to be the epitome of all superheroes. Wonder woman needs a break from time to time and this is the perfect chance to it. Sometimes all she needs is an adventurous vacation to remind herself of the beautiful life she is living. Give your all in creating a fun but relaxing itinerary for your mom as she de-stresses from all realities of her work life and even family life itself.
  5. Material things can be tempting to buy at first but these could also mean you barely have the time to think your gift through. Planning the best tropical vacation with all the activities your mom could possibly enjoy is intangible and would make her  feel even more special than what you intend to. Travelling is known to bring out the genuine personality of a person. This trip may also be an eye-opener on how much you really know about your mom.

You can arrange it for just the two of you, or even for the entire family. What’s important is to spend the meaningful holiday doing something she’ll enjoy immensely. Create an unforgettable bonding experience with your Mother and immerse yourselves on the beauty of the Philippines. Book through our travel partners for an affordable vacation and score an invaluable experience for you and your mom!

Learn more about the different destinations in the Philippines and see some of the latest ongoing travel promos and tour packages here.

5 Gadgets to Bring to Your Tropical Island Adventure

Contrary to popular belief, packing for a vacation can be easy with the right gadgets. There’s a certain satisfaction in thinking you’ve brought everything you need after being restricted with your luggage allowance. Bounded by the rules and the baggage load you have acquired, you just can’t bring everything you have. Besides, you wouldn’t really want to go island hopping with so many things in hand. At the same time, traveling isn’t just about self-improvement, sometimes you may want to brag about it once a while to your peers. Here are 5 gadgets that would make your friends and fellow travelers die of envy on your tropical island adventure.

Wireless Portable Speaker

To make the most of your tropical adventure, a portable speaker is something you can’t not bring. Ideally, it allows people to chill and relax at their own room while listening to their preferred music. It can also connect people together to create a more enthusiastic atmosphere where everyone can have fun. With two 40mm speakers, a built-in microphone, a 10-hour rechargeable battery and being one of the most versatile portable speakers in its category, Scosche’s boomBottle is highly praised for its remarkable mix of high-quality audio and rough waterproof abilities.

Water Purifier Bottle

Unprepared travelers often find themselves in pain after consuming contaminated water, which means they didn’t invest in a water purification system before travelling. Getting yourself, one will be useful in many ways as you travel in destinations such as the Middle East, Central America and even Asia. Rather than a straw or a pumping mechanism, go for the Grayl as it works more like a coffee press. You ought to fill the lower part with water, attach its upper and press down. In 30 seconds or less, you’ve made yourself a 16 oz of purified water in a sophisticated container. It’s simple to use, reliable, safely eliminates unwanted viruses and bacteria.

Solar-Powered Inflatable Light

While checking for your stay in a remote island by yourself, you may want to bring necessary equipment to ensure that your dream-like wishful thinking doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Secure your trip by bringing a solar-powered inflatable light like Luci’s MPOWERED. Luci has produced an inflatable LED light which is ultra-compact, waterproof, solar-powered, has multiple functions and the most important of all, inexpensive! Before going back to your home, you could opt to leave it to the locals to aid a community with little to no electricity.

Scuba Mask Camera

Discovering the diverse marine life underwater is too surreal and sometimes you simply want to capture the whole experience with ease. While mounting action cameras on scuba masks is possible, it just doesn’t help you enjoy and interact with the magnificent life under the sea. Scuba underwater HD recorder masks are now must-haves for people who are basically mermaids and mermans at heart. Liquid Image HD movie mask features a 720p HD quality with 30 frames per second, and also has a light attachment to help you record movie in dark waters. Swimming with schools of fishes will be something you can boast to your friends and family without you worrying about showing proof to support your claim.

Scrubba Wash Bag

To fully experience immersion among locals, one must explore further to rural areas to get the sense and feel of their genuine culture. It would be hard to do this unless you’re open to do lots of physical activities like trekking or walking and packing light. Packing less is actually quite easy but the problem lies on where you could do your laundry. Of course, living in the 21st century, everything is possible! And that includes packing your own washing machine without breaking your back. Scrubba Wash Bag effectively cleans your clothes with the help of hundreds of internal Scrubba ‘nobules’. Simultaneously, you could also use it as a dry-bag which makes it cost-efficient and worth more than you pay for. At the same time, by lessening your luggage allowance, you could allot more of your money into travelling further.

Getting ready for your next tropical adventure? Check out these Top Destinations in the Philippines where you could fully utilize these gadgets to their greatest extent.

5 Travel hacks when travelling to Southeast Asia

Sunny days, white sand beaches, diverse marine life, interesting culture, accommodating locals and delectable food! Southeast Asia is the paradise on Earth where many tourists flock each year to the thousand islands searching for the ultimate Asian adventure. No matter how much you search for flights and accommodations, you’ll always be behind in preparation until you get there. Here are some of the best travel hacks to save you the trouble as you explore South East Asia.

1. Pack as light as possible

Travelling as light as possible not only saves you money on luggage fees but also lightens your actual travelling process. Frequent travelers tend to carry two bags – one for clothes and a slightly smaller one for airport essentials and toiletries. Before starting your journey, make a list of the things you’ve brought so you could check everything before you return home. Everyone knows the rolling clothing trick, but don’t forget to use vacuum seal bags or ziplock bags. It would allow to use every nick and cranny of your suitcase and at the same time, make your things more organized.

2. Travel during the Shoulder season

The monsoon season, usually from June to October, are most commonly avoided by rookie traveler. Little did they know that during that season, you could easily haggle for lower prices on accommodation, transport, and activities. It will certainly rain from time to time during the monsoon season but it won’t hinder the experience to seeing the astonishing beauty present throughout Southeast Asia, plus you’ll get to save some bucks along the way.

3. Book Flight connections wisely

One of the most common mistakes first-time travelers make is that they add too much on their itinerary leaving no time for unprecedented events. Southeast Asia is full of islands, mostly reachable through diverse modes of transportations such as airplanes, buses or boats but it doesn’t mean it can be easily accessed. It will take hours and hours before you can get to your uninhabited destination. And you also have to factor out schedule delays which is very common in Southeast Asia.

4. Bring skin protection

Take note that you are travelling to a tropical destination, surrounded by lush forests, rice fields, rivers, and mountains.  Protect your skin from the sun as well possible insect bites by buying a good and efficient sunscreen and insect repellent.

5. Take your time

Spending more time in a foreign country may require bigger budget. But it doesn’t need to be expensive if you research and plan well. Inquire with tourism information offices or check with travel websites and blogs for tips and recommendations. Make sure to spend enough time to immerse yourself with a culture you could only search about on the internet before. Learning more about the locals and savoring the beauty found nowhere else is undoubtedly priceless.

Ready to embark on a new tropical vacation? Choose among our 7,641 islands – from our multi-awarded destinations like Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu to the best-kept hidden gems such as Banaue, Albay, or Vigan.

Contact our travel experts to help you plan your adventure!