Philippines/ Travel Stories

[Travel stories] The food scene in the Philippines

Travel location: Manila and Pampanga, Philippines
When I went: October 2014

When travelling, I love to notice how things differ from back home in Toronto, Canada.

Here are some interesting observations:

  • There were SO many fast food restaurants in the mall and what seems like every street corner, including Jollibee (JFC), ChowKing and KFC. The mall near my hotel had as many food establishments as stores!
Fast food restaurants

Fast food restaurants

Fast Food Manila (7)

  • At Robinsons Galleria Mall, Quezon City, the food court offered fried fish, fried crab and home cooked meals. Can we have food courts like this in Toronto?

Fast Food Manila (11)

Fast Food Manila (6)

  • Due to the traffic, fast food restaurants deliver. There were tons of delivery guys on motorbikes weaving their way through traffic with the meals.
  • In Pampanga, we encountered vendors that served a variety of street foods including skewered chicken butts, balut (duck embroyo), various BBQs meat over hot charcoal, and deep fried bananas.

Fast Food Manila (9)

  • We were able to bring food from outside restaurants into the movie theatres. My friends and I watched Fury as we chowed down a feast from various fast food establishments.
  • Many restaurants offer calamansi juice, a citrus fruit native to the Philippines which looks like a round lime.
  • There were lots of dessert places, including restaurants that serve the famous “halo-halo“.


  • Filipino’s LOVE their rice, often served with vinegar. Rice is a staple instead of fries in a many fast food meals. There was also lots of fried chicken offered at many fast food restaurants.
Jobilee's menu

Jobilee’s menu


KFC menu

KFC menu

  • At many restaurants, although the customer service was friendly, the service was slow. There is a such thing as “Filipino time”.
  • San Miguel and Red Horse beer are native to the Philippines.
Beer from the Philippines

Beer from the Philippines

  • Many Filipino’s eat lugaw (i.e congee) with  garlic rice, bagoong (shrimp paste) and a squeeze of calamansi juice.
  • The supermarkets have rows and rows of snacks like chocolate and chips! My stash to eat in the hotel room.


I did have a whole new appreciation for Filipino food after my trip, which I craved when I got back. Bland food does not exist!

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