10 Local Foods to Try When Visiting the Philippines

Filipino food can be considered an underdog when it comes to internationally-acclaimed cuisines, but according to an article by Vice, it’s been slowly gaining traction and charming palates from around the world.

The slow rise of the global popularity of Filipino cuisine might be due to its complexity, with its various elements and the wide variety of culinary traditions in the archipelago alone. Food website Pepper.ph says that the food traditions of the more than 80 ethno-linguistic groups in the Philippines can be hard to capture. Add the fact that most ingredients that are staples in Filipino cuisine can be hard to come by internationally, which makes authentic Filipino cuisine difficult to achieve in other countries.

This only proves the fact that the only place to enjoy the best Filipino food is in the Philippines itself. Here’s a list of local food dishes you definitely have to try.

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Wineries and Wine Culture in the Philippines

Although the Philippines might not be well-known as a wine region, Filipinos don’t fall behind when it comes to enjoying a good glass of red or white. With quite a number of wine bars carrying only the best European wines, you don’t have to be afraid of missing out on your wine of choice. The Philippines is also home to varieties of wine cultivated from locally-grown crops and fruit, with flavor profiles distinct to each region. Whether you call yourself a true connoisseur, or if you simply enjoy having a glass after a long day, here are different ways to enjoy your favorite nightcap.

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The Best Items on Starbucks’ Secret Menu

When you’re working in the city, there’s no more familiar sight than that of the local Starbucks. True, there are probably a thousand different coffee spots in and around the Metro, with all sorts of offerings. But when it comes to Starbucks, at least you can be sure what you’re getting into. When you need to grab a quick caffeine fix before work, or recharge in between meetings, this is one place where you can get your old favorites with no fuss.

However, sometimes your usual coffee order won’t cut it, and that’s when the Secret Menu comes in. These are “off” the menu drinks, and need a bit of digging around to find. Starbucks’ secret menu has been well-popularized, to the point that fans have even curated a website guide to the Secret Menu items. If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous on your next coffee run, here are some of the items you might want to try.

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The Best Non-Meat Food Options for Lent

Living in a predominantly Catholic country like the Philippines means that a lot of your daily life is influenced by religion. The Christmas season in this country famously lasts several months, big events like the Translacion can derail an entire workday or two, and every Friday of Lent means no meat or chicken anywhere.

According to this article in Crosswalk, Lent for Roman Catholics is a period of fasting in preparation for the sacrifice of Easter, when Jesus Christ finally gave up his life for humankind. The forty days correspond to the forty days Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by the devil. To symbolize his sacrifice, people tend to give up specific things during the Lenten period. There’s also a rule about fasting every Friday, which means less than three meals and no meat.

Exercising your faith is a human right, but it can be pretty tough to keep thinking of meals without meat for a whole forty days. Here’s a short list of restaurants that have what you can eat, and where to find them.

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Best Cafés to Work and Study in Metro Manila

Staying productive is pretty important, but sometimes tried and tested strategies just won’t cut it. Construction work outside your house, an office going through pest control issues, or loud voices in the library— any one of these things is enough to throw anybody off their groove.

And even if your usual place has the best set-up, sometimes it’s good to check out what other places are good in case of an emergency. Luckily, cafés-come-co-working spaces are the new rage in the Metro, and you won’t find a shortage of affordable places to get your to-do list done. Here are some of our favorites.

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Where to Get the Best Fried Chicken in Manila

The best comfort food in the world is what’s most familiar to us. Sure, you can talk about the artistry in gourmet food until you’re blue in the face, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but there are still some gastronomical Old Faithfuls out there that aren’t too fancy but somehow keep you wanting more anyway.

Human beings are creatures of comfort, and there’s a reason why they call some dishes out there “soul food.” A dish of piping hot breaded chicken can bring out a reaction unlike any other, and sometimes all you really need to get you through the day is a thigh part and some fluffy white rice. While there are fastfood chains out there that are fantastic and need no frills, here’s a list of the five best fried chicken places that add their own spins on a classic dish.

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Everything You Need to Know About Poblacion, Makati

If you’ve been out and about in the Metro, you’ve definitely heard of Poblacion. This barangay is the old downtown area of Makati, and also houses the city’s government, historical and cultural sites. Given all the history and culture crammed into one area, it’s no wonder that this district is full of little gems for anybody who’s willing to take a look. But with so much to see and do, it can be tough to get a handle on everything that’s going on in Poblacion— which is why we’ve put together this handy list of some spots that we think you should definitely consider on your night out.

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