By the end of my 6-day visit to the Philippines, I’ve somewhat aligned the expectations of my stomach and mind to accept the menu offered at every dining place – PORK. It’s almost impossible for anyone to be able to find a dining place that does not sell pork at all. One would need a magnifying glass to perhaps find one that’s purely Halal.
Having said that, most Singaporean Muslims would probably find it difficult to dine there and would perhaps resort to bread instead simply because here in Singapore, almost every outlet is Halal certified, even the Muslim stalls which don’t require a Halal certificate get themselves a certificate. (That’s probably how ‘kiasu’ Singaporeans can be)
And that’s also probably the reason why I’m so easy to dine at places that serve pork, even in Singapore. I understand there’s a whole list of criteria to be looked into for a certain dish to be considered Halal – from how the poultry is slaughtered to the preparation of the dish, but most Singapoean Muslims are just too pampered and take Halal outlets here for granted and thus, when faced with a situation whereby no Halal food is served, they usually feel uncomfortable and lose their appetite to eat.
I know I’m going to get some flak from Muslims reading this but to each his own. My opinions are as such and probably wouldn’t change. I’m quite sure a Filipino Muslim would probably have a similar mindset because of the circumstances that they live under. Nonetheless, anyone going to Philippines must dine at every Pinoys pride and joy, Jollibee!
When in the Philippines, one also should not be alarmed to see that every shop comes complete with security personnel, fully armed yet ready to be of service to you. They’ll open the door for you like a doorman with their pistol on their waist.
There are several types of food that one should try when there.
One of which is their dessert called ‘Halo Halo’. It’s much akin to Singapore’s ice kachang but it’s very much different as it comes in a glass.
I’ve been told that the best cooks in Philippines come from a place called Cabalen and in Cebu, there is a restaurant with the exact same name found in SM Mall. I can’t recall what SM means but it’s definitely not Sado-Machonist.
Also, don’t be alarmed that every shopping mall you enter, you will be searched. Your bags will be checked and you may be subjected to a body search and hence, don’t carry dangerous weapons with you when travelling or they might think otherwise.
Some of the dishes that can only be found in Philippines are items such as ‘adobo’. I didn’t manage to try it but I’ve been informed that adobo is a dish that is cooked differently in different parts of the country.
Food prices are relatively cheap in comparison to Singapore and one should not cut down on food because food is also part of the culture in the country that you travel to.
Even the McDonald’s will serve you differently. They don’t have tea there, instead they’ll serve you hot chocolate and value meals comes with rice instead of fries – similar to Indonesia. Servings are slightly smaller in my opinion though compared to Singapore. But comparing Singapore’s serving to Australia’s, ours is smaller as well.
One of the few restaurants I enjoyed eating at is ‘Chow King’ (if you are Singaporean, this has an uncanny resemblance to Chao Keng). Chow King serves ‘slow food’ at extremely great prices and I’d imagine myself a character in the movies who’d order Chow King if he wanted to eat Chinese food – very Hollywood? I also imagined how it’d be like if Chow King opened a store here in Singapore, employees would be able to smokescreen their employees just by saying “I’m going to Chow King” (under full pretense of going somewhere to Chao Keng and your bosses would believe you).
But what else is interesting about food in the Philippines?
They have one of the most exotic food and here’s the video to that – the one that I’ve been keeping for the last entry!
I’ll definitely be back and this time to conquer more on Philippines!