In this article, I will introduce to you some of the most popular dishes in my country, the Philippines. Some of the food items may already be familiar to you. Keep in mind that most of the foods I've listed here are very high in cholesterol. Do enjoy your visit in the Philippines, but do not eat the not-so-healthy foods in excess.

Lately, I've read some news about the mysterious deaths of some tourists in Asia. It has been reported that these tourists had exhibited symptoms of food poisoning before their unfortunate passing. It was possible that they had eaten unsanitary foods during their travels.

Fortunately, there have been no such incidents in the Philippines (none that I'm aware of), though it's still important to be careful in choosing the restaurants you're visiting. Use common sense before buying your food. If you happen to stroll around the streets of Manila, avoid buying those mouthwatering foods from the food stalls. I confess that sometimes, I cannot resist street foods, but they are not exactly clean. Do not risk your health or your life just for the sake of experiencing something.

Main Dishes


Adobo is a Spanish dish that has been introduced to the Filipinos centuries ago during the Spanish occupation. Adobo is basically chopped meat (usually chicken or pork) simmered in soy sauce, vinegar, paprika, and bay leaves. Every time my family has adobo for dinner, our plates would become empty within 15 minutes. That's how tasty it is. I prefer my adobo with banana blossoms.

The dish is well-loved by both Filipinos and foreigners alike. Most celebrities would always yearn for adobo when they visit the country.
Chicken AdoboCredit:

chicken adobo
Photo: stu_spivack | Flickr


Another dish originating from the Spain, lechon is roasted pork cooked a bit similarly with barbeque. A long pole is inserted through a whole butchered pig and is cooked over charcoal. The meat is occasionally turned until its skin turns brown. Lechon is undeniably a favorite dish of every Filipino. Most feasts and celebrations wouldn't be complete without a lechon on the table. Sometimes, an apple is placed into the mouth of the pig to make it look more mouthwatering.

ready to be chopped lechon
Photo: dbgg1979 | Flickr

Lechon Paksiw

Lechon Paksiw is one of my favorite Filipino dishes. Despite its delightful taste, it's very economical to make one! It's mainly made up of leftover lechon and lechon sauce. Mang Tomas is the most commonly used sauce for paksiw.

Lechon Kawali

Lechon Kawali is another pork dish that is made by boiling the pork before deep-frying it. It is very crispy outside and very tender inside. It is usually served with lechon sauce such as Mang Tomas.
Lechon KawaliCredit:

Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata is the pig's front knuckle (minus the toes) boiled and deep-fried. Like lechon kawali, the skin is very crunchy and the meat is very tender. A mere sight of this dish is enough to drive every Filipino mad.
Crispy PataCredit: Rainy Kua

the delicious crispy pata at Josehpine's, Tagaytay
Photo: Rainy Kua


Sisig is chopped pork's head, chicken liver, and pork belly mixed together. It is usually served on cast iron plate and sometimes, with uncooked egg yolk on top. The yolk is mixed with the meat as it sizzles. Most Filipinos prefer to squeeze calamansi over the dish. My sister loves this dish! There are healthier variations of sisig such as tuna, milk fish, and oyster, among others.

sisig with egg and calamansi
Photo: dbgg1979 | Flickr


Calamares are fried squid rings seasoned with salt and pepper. It is served with dipping sauce such as mayonnaise. This dish is quite versatile as it can be an appetizer, a main dish, or a snack.
CalamaresCredit: Rainy KuaCalamaresCredit: Rainy Kua

Photo: Rainy Kua


Dinuguan, or pork blood stew, is made up of pig's blood and its insides.
DinuguanCredit: Rainy Kua

Photo: Rainy Kua

Do you know that dinuguan is derived from the root word dugo which means blood in Filipino? If vampires exist, they will surely love dinuguan.

Philippine Longganisa

Longganisa is a native chorizo made from meat such as beef, chicken, and pork. It is mixed with spice and is very tasty. This is usually eaten in breakfast and is preferrably served with garlic rice and sunny-side up egg. Make sure to try the Vigan longganisa. Vigan City is well-known around the world for its unbeatable longganisa.
Philippine LongganisaCredit: Rainy Kua

This is my family's favorite breakfast meal at Mary Grace Cafe.
Photo: Rainy Kua

Notice how much Filipinos love pork!



Halo-halo is a mixture of different fruits and sweets such as banana chunks, sweetened beans, langka, ube, just to name a few. Crushed iced and evaporated milk are added to the mixture. Sometimes, halo-halo is topped with a small slice of leche flan or a scoop (or scoops) of ice cream. The more scoops of ice cream it has, the more mouthwatering it becomes. Filipinos always yearn for this dessert during summer. I prefer mine with ube (purple yam). Without ube, it doesn't feel like halo-halo even if it's topped with my favorite leche flan.
Halo-Halo with Ice CreamCredit: with Leche FlanCredit: Rainy Kua

1st photo: halo-halo with vanilla ice cream on top
2nd photo: my halo-halo with leche flan on top
Photo: wEnDaLicious | Flickr, Rainy Kua


Puto, or steamed muffin, is a very inexpensive Filipino delicacy and is available in different colors. It does not only taste good, but is also very nice to look at. It is usually topped with grated coconut.
Colorful PutoCredit: PutoCredit: with KutchintaCredit:

1st photo: the colorful puto
2nd photo: all white
3rd photo: puto with kutchinta
Photo: goodiesfirst, xurde, highlimitzz | Flickr


Bibingka is composed of rice, sugar, eggs, butter, and coconut milk. This delicacy is cooked and served with banana leaves underneath.

georgeparrilla | Flickr

You should take extra precaution when eating bibingka, as it is quite heavy in the stomach. Drink some fluids first before having bibingka, and avoid eating this before going to sleep.

Buko Tart/Buko Pie

 These sweets are made from coconut meat. Buko is the Filipino word for coconut.

Buko TartsCredit: Rainy Kua

the buko tarts we bought from Tagaytay
Photo: Rainy Kua

Leche Flan

Leche Flan is a mixture of eggs, milk, and sugar. It is soft and bouncy and is topped with a thin layer of soft caramel. I love leche flan, though I can only eat a small slice in one sitting.
Leche FlanCredit:

chazzvid | Flickr


Turon is basically fried banana covered with spring roll wrap. It's very filling and is comfortable in the stomach especially when eaten warm. It's a popular snack in my workplace.


clofresh | Flickr

Banana Cue

Banana Cue is another popular snack loved by Filipinos. It is fried banana covered with brown sugar and is served like a barbeque (thus the name banana cue).
Banana CueCredit:

Andrew Abogado | Flickr


Chicharon, or pork cracklings, is made with the pig's skin. The skin is boiled and dried under the sun. After it has become firm, the skin is deep fried. There are varieties of chicharon such as chicharon bulaklak, chicken skin, and chicken intestines. Chicharon is very fun to eat. It crackles with every bite.

MikeOcampo | Flickr

Dried Mangoes

You probably have these in your country, as dried mango made from our very own Cebu City is being sold worldwide.

In one of my visits to a grocery store, I saw two Koreans stocking their pushcart with dozens of dried mangoes! A foreign friend who visited here was also looking for these dried mangoes. They sure are popular.
Dried MangoesCredit:

wouldpkr | Flickr


Balut is a fertilized duck egg. It is usually eaten by sipping the juice from the egg before eating the embryo.

Maybe balut isn't for everyone. I myself am not the type of traveller who would eat anything just for the sake of tasting it. Balut isn't as revolting as cockroaches or other insect delicacies, but it still does make some foreigners squeamish. If you have the stomach for bizarre foods, balut is a must-try. Otherwise, you could just taste the juice or the yolk without eating the chick, or you could just skip this food item altogether.

Charles Haynes | Flickr

Ginataang Bilo-Bilo

It's a dessert similar to halo-halo. It contains rice balls (made of glutinous rice) usually mixed with pieces of bananas, jackfruit, and sweet potatoes cooked in coconut milk. I prefer mine with ube. Since bilo-bilo can either be served warm or cold, it makes a perfect snack all year round.

Ginataang Bilo BiloCredit: Rainy Kua

Photo: Rainy Kua


Panutsa, or peanut brittle, is a delicacy in Batanggas made of skinless peanunts, sugar, milk, and butter. It is round in shape and is brown in color.

PanutsaCredit: Rainy Kua

Photo: Rainy Kua

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