Our Food Tells Something About Our Society

Filipino butthurt again raged over an article titled “I would rather go hungry than eat Filipino food again,” where a tourist described her experience trying various types of Filipino food. The tourist’s opinions focused on some negative aspects (of course she would, she got sick), and that invited butthurt reactions from Filipino commenters. Many pointed out that the tourist was led to street food rather than proper Filipino restaurants. So the blogger was forced to change the title to “I would rather go hungry than eat Filipino STREET food again.” Which I believe was a sad cop-out to the pressure from butthurt commenters (considering that not everything she consumed was street food).

Philippine_Food

To quote Richard Gordon again, “The problem with Filipinos is we do not think; we just react.”

The raging Filipinos basically say: “don’t generalize us Filipinos because of our street food.”

But it’s futile to say that.

Because… what the title of this article says.

First, let’s understand that this person comes from a developed country. What they usually throw out to the trash grinders, we Filipinos turn into skewered roasts, or part of a stew – isaw, soup number 5 or mata ng baka (eye of the cow), anyone?

Next, I believe the assessment of the blogger was accurate in some points.

The Filipino cuisine embraces all the common elements of Asian cuisine – sweet, salty, spicy and sour. Ingredients commonly used include garlic, vinegar and soy sauce, all of which are used in chicken adobo – easily one of the most recognisable Filipino dishes.

I’d say this is mostly true. Nothing derogatory here.

What shocked us the most was the poor quality of food. Most of dishes were left on the table without being covered with a lid, or without a fan to get rid of the flies, as it’s a common practice in other Asian countries. Fish and meat were mixed up together in the same bowl, sausages were displayed on a plate surrounded by flies and bugs…

Go to most open markets, carinderias at the poor (squatter) areas or the talipapa, isn’t this what you see?

4 days of stomachache, dizziness and feeling overtired and bloated….

and diarrhea.

I know fellow Filipinos who experienced this after eating at a certain carinderia. Also, don’t we often get news of food poisoning, where a whole family died or something like that, every now and then?

Street food already tells a lot about our society, that we are a dysfunctional society. But it’s not just the nature of the food. It’s the conditions surrounding the food.

Firstly, some Filipino commenters on the article posit that the guides were probably hoodwinking the blogger. For example, the blogger did say that after asking about longganisa, they were given a hotdog sandwich from 7-11. OK, given that’s the case…. Is that what Filipinos do when foreigners are around? They hoodwink people? Can’t we have a matinong (decent) guide for these people? If we are going to have tourists, are we going to force them to have stomachaches, diarrhea and cholera? What’s that, the classic fault of “naghahanap ng karamay” (looking for someone to share the suffering with)?” Think about it – when a tourist comes in, the first food they are likely to see is the street food. Is that what we want to show them?

Secondly, the condition of people preparing our street food and other food highlights our poverty. As fellow blogger Paul Farol quoted from a friend, poverty porn is one of the marketing ploys of our country. It’s as if the country wants to highlight that it is poor – and wants to stay that way. Now food porn joins the mix. Food porn + poverty porn = food poverty porn (well, the blogger probably hasn’t seen pagpag yet).

As the blogger said, the food we eat often has oil, sugar and salt – because they are cheap and easy to prepare. Go to restaurants where you have safer food – they cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes, even the carinderias you expect to be clean might have their own hidden risks.

Of course, people need to sell food to earn a living. But at times, because of their poverty and lack of education, or even because of hard-headedness they are unable to provide proper sanitation for their products. Not to mention the types of recipes are high in fat and other substances that increase our risk for cardiac disease and other such illnesses.

Make no mistake, I still like our food. I also eat some street food. But food safety is certainly at risk here in the Philippines. For example, tap water is undrinkable because the illegal tapping by squatter areas soils the water supply. I’m sure that there are other cases… like the donations by other countries during Yolanda getting rotten because of non-distribution (and reportedly still getting sold in markets?). In the end, it’s just not the food itself. It’s how the people around it behave.

I wonder…. is the blogger’s observation one of the reasons for Filipino cuisine not being a big hit abroad, which some Filipinos lament?

Before reacting at another negative review of our food, it’s better to think first from that person’s point of view, and ask ourselves, it this what our food tells about us?

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About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

111 Comments on “Our Food Tells Something About Our Society”

  1. Butthurt Filipinos can’t take criticism. May point naman yung blogger eh, sa totoo lang marumi talaga ang mga pagkaing karinderia ni hindi natin alam kung paano nila ito prini-pare. Sa office lagi akong pinupuna ng ibang officemates ko kapag ang lunch ko inorder ko pa sa Jollibee or Chowking, kesyo ang sosyal ko daw, kesyo raw hindi healthy, bakit daw hindi ako gumaya sa kanila na masustansya at murang lutong-bahay ang kinakain (where in fact sa carinderia lang nila ito pinabili). No thanks. Hindi na baleng unhealthy ang fast food, alam ko naman na mas malinis pa rin yun kesa sa pagkaing carinderia.

  2. She knows what she’s looking, why settle for what the worst of our country can offer her? Street foods can be defined as dirty and lesser dirty, malls do serve street foods too and they are less of an unhealthy as the blogger said but they insisted because that’s how they do this travel blogging thing, but in fact we as filipinos considered and know that eating street foods along streets with all the polution and the classification of people that preparing it was the most unlikely, unhealthy thing.

    I can offer her Taho, Nilagang Mais and Barbeque for a variety of good authentic filipino street food… She hit a carenderia she should have tried Dinuguan with Puto, I doubt it when she says she didn’t find an Adobo..
    She’s looking for authenticity? Why buy a so called fresh pineapple juice? She should have hit the street at night cause Taho vendors only showed up during those hours and most of the best street foods like those in Banchetos were ony available at night (to satisfy our need to get drunk and have some pulutan)..

    that blogger was lacking with courage, they came in our streets? Better deal with it, if not, go to a place where their appetite get the lesser of their choosy stomach.

  3. I acknowledge that what those two bloggers experienced was unfortunate, but what enrages so many people is not that they had a bad experience but rather their illogical assumption. There are so many towns, provinces, and cities in the Philippines — we are a nation of 7,107 islands after all! And how many areas did these two travel to? From one I can tell from their vague and poor writing, only one. Or at least very few. Why should they then assume that the street food in those few areaa they went to define the entire country’s street food? I don’t think it’s fair for them to say that our whole country has horrible street food. Second, the bloggers claimed to have done research — on our cuisine and popular dishes, not WHERE to eat. Of course I understand that great street food often implies that travellers can simply choose any stall or stand in the street and the food will be delicious. But shouldn’t that still be up to one’s judgment and discernment? I’ve been to Singapore and malaysia and both countries have amazing street food, but they are not without their hits are not without misses. Lastly, as an individual living in a “developing” country, their usage of the expression that they would rather starve than eat our street food is offensive. I understand they are wary of getting stomach problems and it may be just an expression, but overall their blog post seems ill informed and misinterpreted. So perhaps, yes, our reaction to this blog does say something about our societ. To me, it says Filipinos are smart enough to notice these misinformed, fallacious statements made by these “travel bloggers”. Your post, on the other hand.. 🙂

    1. Agree and agree. The reason for the rant was the “illogical assumption”, plain and simple. And I hope this getrealphilippines site will take note of this and will not make the situation worse.

  4. I’d also like to add that they seemed to highlight getting ripped off in the Philippines, as if to say that the it only happens in the Philippines– and that is not the case. Perhaps it is the first time rhey experienced getting ripped off but jt is certainly not happening only in the Philippines. They have a right to complain about their experience here. But do it responsibly, at least. Don’t go creating overgeneralizations and misleading assumptions about your bad experiences.

  5. As the blogger said, the food we eat often has oil, sugar and salt – because they are cheap and easy to prepare. Go to restaurants where you have safer food – they cost ANA ARM AND A LEG. Sometimes, even the carinderias you expect to be clean might have their own hidden risks.

    An Arm and A Leg? Seriously? Mind you, I’ve been to more than 10 tourist-friendly places in our country, and I can get a let’s say Pancit Habhab in Lucban, Quezon for only 50 pesos which is good for 4 persons already. I can get a decent Tapsilog (Authentic Filfood) for only 100 pesos in a regular tapsihan.
    I can get a Tsokolate de Batirol in Baguio for 80 pesos and it’s the best hot choco I’ve had. I can get a 3 buko pies from Laguna for only 200 pesos. That’s enough to fill 6 persons’ tummies. Oh, I can get a fabulous empanada form Vigan for only 49 pesos. I can get a very delicious halo-halo (which can be bought in the streets) for only 25-50 pesos.
    This list could get longer and go on for days.

    They were looking for TRADITIONAL AND AUTHENTIC Filipino Cuisine. Why would a person with a working normal brain look for that in a freaking carenderia? HELLO??

    I don’t mind if they published their own opinion on Filipino food, but please, try not to generalize because you have not experienced the Philippines in whole.

  6. Some people commented that yes, the goal of the e-Tramping blogger was unrealistic, and yes, that’s what they get for cheaping out. So cheaping out on food is risky in the Philippines. Yes, that’s true.

    OK, think about it… Filipinos seem to approve of cheap food causing disease? There’s something there.

    1. Help me with this. Fishball vendors that often cross really busy intersections like Edsa and Pasay Road DIAGONALLY, do they undergo any permit process?

      1. The short answer is ‘yes.’ Executive Order 452 was passed in 1997 as part of the national government’s social reform agenda to legalise and regulate street vendors. This was supposed to protect their rights as workers in the informal economy as well as address the problem of traffic congestion and garbage caused by this segment of society. It was left to the individual cities and municipalities to develop their own implementing rules and regulations for vendor registration and supervision within their jurisdiction. You’d have to refer to the local government and the DILG for the specific laws governing street and ambulant vendors where you live.

      2. Haha, that’s another thing, though. But on fishballs, I remember my dad telling me he and my sisters stopped by a street one time, and watched a fishball vendor wash his pan and tools in the dirty sidewalk canal water. That was enough to convince my sisters to STOP buying fishballs at all. I hope today though, fishball vendors realize this and wash their tools in the proper way (I would rather buy from those with permanent posts, not the roving vendors), although I am sometimes adventurous enough to still buy a few at times. hehe

    2. Agreed, and compare that to other countries even in Southeast Asia where “cheaping out” may not be as risky…if you come from a western nation, the standards would shock and appall in some cases.

  7. lol

    The Filipino masa’s inability to take any form of criticism is laughable.

    Relax, it’s just food. Food preferences are subjective. Why argue over the blogger’s experience of Filipino food? It’s HER experience.

    1. you’re missing a point here. Street food is NOT an authentic FILIPINO FOOD. The blogger generalized the Filipino food is bad where in fact she only ate street foods. Filipino culture is almost synonymous with their food therefore insulting our cuisine is also an insult to our culture.

      1. Problem, is when they leave the airport and try to look for the “local cuisine,” that’s the first thing that meets them. When you go abroad, even in other countries, the street food does reflect the character of the country.

        And what Miss Call said.

      2. Not every Filipino can afford “authentic” food from Antonio’s. lol. As I said, it’s just food and one person’s bad experience with it. Get a grip.

      3. There is no point being missed unless you step into her shoes. If she just came from other Southeast Asian countries, ate their street food and enjoyed it immensely without any internal digestion problems, can you blame her for drawing these conclusions of Filipino food? It’s not as if she came to this country hoping to be disappointed and perhaps when it comes to “cheaping out,” other countries in the region may offer better value and a better experience for foreigners.

  8. Someone said our street food is pretty inferior to other south east Asian countries that are well travelled by foreigners. Maybe the fact that we don’t as many foreigner traffic, our street food wasn’t able to evolve.

    1. I’m sorry, but what? You’re telling me that one of the most accessible and populous hubs in Southeast Asia “don’t get as many foreigner traffic”? Maybe you should try to get out of your house a bit more often and visit the countless foreigner enclaves nearby.

      On the subject of this article, Philippine food is a funny case. Most of it is pretty mild which is very different from the rest of its neighbor’s cuisine which are heavy in spices and sauces. Also, with the heavy Spanish influence comes a lot of variations of already existing dishes. No wonder when outsiders think of Filipino food the really odd balut and dinuguan stand out more, but in general it isn’t very exotic. I consider it a subtype of Asian-Fusion.

    2. Wish people got my point. It seems Filipinos don’t give a shit (pun not intended) about cleanliness where it counts. For example, our public bathrooms. I would say our street food is not inferior, but less clean. If Agness had been going around getting the street food in other countries, and it was only in the Philippines where she got sick, that says something.

      I don’t know, but I’m inclined to think street food should be considered part of a nation’s cuisine. Perhaps if you research the history of some other traditional cuisine, you will find that some of them started from street food.

      1. I got your point Chino and I completely agree with it. There is indeed an underlying issue here and whether people like it or not, it is a consequence of practices and policies in this country. Anything that happens in this nation is a reflection of the Philippines and the Filipino. You shouldn’t need to eat “rich” to have a good time. From a foreigner’s view point, eating cheap or eating rich should make no difference because where they come from the health standards are in place.

  9. It’s a guilty pleasure to indulge in carinderia, local food places and street foods. It’s the exact same thing as the food places in Mexico, with questionable food prep and safety… yet people keep coming back to them because they’re delicious!

    The reason there are very few Filipino restaurants abroad is not because of food safety – it’s because there’s nobody making Filipino restaurants outside the country. Most Filipinos go overseas to work, and those who do business overseas would rarely (if ever) dabble into the highly competitive food business. The closest would be franchising something like Jollibee, but that’s Filipino fast food, not Filipino food.

    As for how we treat our tourists, poor people would lead tourists to poor food places. It’ll be all too similar to going to another country’s poor place, where in the US, you get greasy diners and cheap fast food. But if we invite them to a legit homecooked meal, watch them change their tune and say Filipino food is crazy delicious.

    It’s a shame that this one tourist did not have a homecooked Filipino meal, but whatever – there are plenty of other tourists who do know about it, to the point where they would visit just to pig out in our fiestas and celebrations.

    1. That’s the thing. Filipinos limit themselves to the home when it comes to making their food. It’s all fine and dandy when you’re just inviting friends and family, but word of mouth can only go so far.

      One of the fundamentals of establishing ethnic cuisine overseas is to develop a dedicated foreigner fanbase who delight in the food. When this group grows, other people would want to check to see what all the buzz is about. Modify the dishes to suit the country of origin’s palate is a plus. Don’t serve them unorthodox foods right off the bat until they’re ready to venture into it. Most of all, create an atmosphere that’s aesthetically pleasing. I’ve been to Filipino restaurants in other countries and the best way I can describe most of them is they have as much class as a high school cafeteria. Forgot to add, but keep the establishment clean and sanitary at all times. That should be a given. All these require a bit of advertisement, business sense and luck.

      Filipino cuisine has the potential to move out of its relatively obscure status limbo. Just spruce up the presentation and add some pizazz (no pun intended) to it and it can easily go toe to toe with the likes of Thai, Viet and Korean restaurants.

  10. The blogger is essentially right, filipino food regrettably ranks as one of the worst in the world – street food or otherwise.
    If you say to someone – ‘ how about a filipino tonight’ – it does not conjure up going out to eat!
    The reason has little to do with poverty.
    In so many countries i visit it was the poverty which drove the initial creativity to maximise variety and flavor from very basic choices and to experiment with ingredients.

    It seems more to do with a generic culture of laziness and lack of creativity which extends to the kitchen.
    It is also that few learn to cook or take on board a passion for food, and unlike the curiosity of foreigners, filipinos do not explore a wide range of cuisines but stick to what they know and suffer withdrawal symptoms if no rice.

    Food is predominantly basic rice 3 times a day ( good luck with the diabetes), and anything thrown in oil and overcooked ( good luck with heart disease) creating one brown mess on the plate ( a forerunner of things to come!) and often served/eaten lukewarm. One’s tastebuds soon go on strike.
    For the bone-idle there is the fallback which is the abomination and rip off called Jollibee – cruelty to the palate

    The philippines is the land which cooking forgot and which gourmands will never remember. A blank in the Michelin guide – no surprise there.
    It is regrettable because as with many areas it represents lost opportunity. Fusion cuisine has great potential and a natural affinity.

    Fortunately the rest of asia produces excellent food, with subtle and surprising combinations, beautiful and colorful presentation, all garnished with excellent service.

    The joke for travellers used to be getting the delhi belly, now it is the manila killa.

    visitors should just consider the philippines as a culinary desert, with the schools providing assembly line ‘chefs’ for the cruise ships. Masterchef it ain’t.

    A few ex-pat chefs such as billy king can muster a decent spread on a good day, and sofitel remains consistently good, thanks to french flair and an excellent GM.
    Chef pengson at the goose station may be pretentious but tries, and your wallet will remember the experience. But apart from high end restaurants, overall there is a need to improve, particularly if tourists are going to have an enjoyable and memorable stay ( for the right reasons) and recommend the country, and also to improve the health of all.

    And unlike the food, which is often as tough as old boots, filipinos are emotional souls incapable of taking constructive criticism so food critics can expect to be ‘persona non grata’ if you have higher standards than a chinese take-away or an american throwaway.

    Gordon ramsay would be on expletive overdrive, but andrew zimmern in 7th heaven, and dan brown in hell’s kitchen

    And if tourists have those views then people can either be butthurt and adopt an ostrich approach or be open, proactive and improve standards and change the reputation, or tourists can simply visit other countries in asia.

  11. It’s natural that tourists want to try street food, regardless of whether they can afford to eat better – check out any travel forum or list of travel dos and don’ts, and you’ll see street food being praised as an essential part of the trip. People who avoid it are often labelled as snobs or not having an interest in local cultures.

    Unfortunately, this is where the Philippines fails, as many people (like me) who backpacked around the rest of South East Asia enjoying a mix of local food stalls and restaurants are shocked to see what passes for street food here.

    It’s also true that Philippines is more expensive than mainland South East Asia for travelling in general. Sure, you can travel quite cheap, but only if you’re prepared to sacrifice quality – that isn’t the case in the likes of Thailand or even Malaysia, despite those countries being better developed. Then you visit a convenience store or supermarket and see basics like bread and vegetables costing so much more than in developed countries.

    Honestly, there’s so much that lets the Philippines down as a tourist destination.

  12. Hi,

    I’m the author of this article. Thank you for the mention. I have noticed that Filipinos can’t take the criticism here. I’m referring to my bad experience with street food I tried in several Filipino cities and towns. I am not an ignorant traveler, but an experienced and respectful travel nomad who has been living and travelling in various Asian countries since 2011. I have tried a lot of different street dishes from Thailand to Sri Lanka and I felt disappointed with the Philippines cuisine the most. It’s my personal experience, but it seems like Filipinos hate everyone who has a different opinion. I’m so disappointed reading all of these mean comments.

    1. Enjoy your travels as you go “into the wild”

      The very predictable response just adds another dimension to “food being a window on society”

      If congress was not on one of its many holidays they would discuss it over rice and booger king and consider you ‘persona non grata’!

      One filipinos meat is a tourists nightmare

    2. Welcome to the world of the Pinoy . Where they act in stereotypical fashion and look down on people who do not think and behave the way they do, Not the most literate or refined culture in the world or elsewhere. This is a place that defends drug mules but wanted to ban Justin Bieber for a meme in Instagram. Claire Danes gave an accurate description and they wanted to ban her too. Be yourself , be honest and be candid and ignore the people. They after all thought an unaccomplished man deserves to be their president solely because his mother died. Look at the bright side, you ain’t them .

      1. A president whose favorite food is hot dogs and chinese take-away, who attends jollibee ribbon cutting ceremonies, and who can’t stand the heat of the kitchen but won’t leave, and who gets his kitchen cabinet to give maggot ridden food to typhoon survivors.
        ‘Let them eat leftovers – they are alive aren’t they’

        Pnoy aquino is a peasant of the first order. Culture and cuisine is lost on such an ignoramus.

        Chefs spit in his food, critics sh!t on his hypocricy, and women p!ss themselves laughing at his peculiarity.

        Pnoy aquino is a recipe for disaster

    3. Pinoy pride makes it hard for us to take criticism, which is both a good and a bad thing – but at this point, it’s mostly a bad thing. I reckon you would have a better experience with homecooked meals instead, as I mentioned in a comment here but hey, I don’t have much to say against someone who’s been all over the world.

    4. Agness, welcome aboard. I wrote about your experience simply because of this recurring unnecessary defensiveness that fellow Filipinos take online. Like I said above, many Filipinos simply could not take criticism, even if they need it. I’m sure you can see that is our theme here in Get Real Philippines. Hopefully, you might get a better experience next time you come, but I hope others don’t lose my real point in this article: that Filipino food safety is in question. It’s not the quality, Filipino food tastes great indeed when you know where to look. But taste does not guarantee safety.

      Cheers, and thank you for coming over.

    5. And that would also be an eye opener for you. Street food in the Philippines is a no-no and never authentic. And what people are ranting is not about your bad experience but how you generalize the whole food cuisine and your illogical assumption.

      1. If Filipinos are going to get defensive and argue any time a tourist has an opinion, that will certainly drive people away. The number one rule in hospitality is that the customer is always right and never educate your guest.

    6. By the way, Agness, if you’ve seen Paul Farol’s response to my article, he has good points to consider. Perhaps your method of just dropping by a country and doing a hit-and-miss run of food choices is risky and does bring you to the dangerous food. I will still agree with others who commented on your article, it’s better to do a lot of research before going to the country, or have someone trustworthy to have as a guide. Yet for me, your post highlighted the issue of food safety indeed.

    7. Seriously girl ” i would rather go hungry than eat filipino streets food again! First, u only go to luzun right? i assumed u only tried streets foods in manila, not the entire streets foods in Philippines! So u made s stereotyped comments about filipino street foods in general, thats what were angered about, and about ur getting hurt about all the “”mean comments here? Well read what u write! Second, as the golden saying goes dont do to others what u dnt want others will do unto u..so whats the so much fuss about i was hurt? Shut the fact up! As what is there in Poland that u need to be proud off anyway? Hmmm now i kbw why british dnt like polish! Because they are the most IGNORANT people i knw!

    8. Seriously girl ” i would rather go hungry than eat filipino streets food again! First, u only go to luzun right? i assumed u only tried streets foods in manila, not the entire streets foods in Philippines! So u made s stereotyped comments about filipino street foods in general, thats what were angry about, and being disappointed about all the “”mean comments here? Well read what u write! Second, as the golden saying goes dont do to others what u dnt want others will do unto u..so what the so much fuss about filipino cant take criticism? U started it we jst answered back so now whos cant take criticism? Shut the fact up! As what is there in Poland that u need to be proud off anyway? Hmmm now i kbw why british dnt like polish! Because they are the most IGNORANT people i knw!Ps, that is also my opinion about u!

  13. Philippine street food reflects just how the pinoy is. Cheap, quick and easy, convenient. This should be good if it doesn’t translate to “katamaran” – laziness. Which it does in fact. This is evident not only in street food.

    To change how the world sees the filipino dishes then a major change should be done first with the pinoy character. This would be reflected, later on, on their food, e. i. japanese food – attention to details.

    I cannot blame the author of the said article, as street food is really the gateway to a nation’s cuisine.

    A good starting point for the real filipino dishes is this:

    https://www.facebook.com/ilokanofoods

  14. Ironic as it is, we filpinos actually take no pride in what we do (well, mostly low income businesses). Public transport is crap because people still ride it, communication companies provide the worst service with no competition and food of course, made with the cheapest ingredients just to earn an extra centavo. I read the comments and I don’t get why filipinos need to redeem ourselves like offering to treat them when they come back. It’s like we’re trying to protect an image. Folks, try living abroad and you’ll know, we don’t have any reputation to protect. So just chill.

  15. But I do have to concede that when it comes to desserts, Filipinos seem to have it mostly right especially the pastries. Yes, they’re still derived from the Spanish, but if you have a craving for anything mildly sweet then you really can’t go wrong with something like ensaymada or polvoron

    1. I share your opinion that those things taste great but it’s a familiarity thing. If we try to be objective about it, can they really compare with something like a panna cotta?

      1. In essence, tastes are essentially subjective like opinions. Unless it’s literally inedible or poisonous, one can’t really trump over the other although I have to try that now that I’ve looked that up. The German Baumkuchen is another delicious dessert that sadly isn’t very popular in the Philippines.

  16. Lets compare the Philippines with one of your neighbours, Thailand. In 2013 Thailand was fortunate to get over 22 Million tourists visiting the country. This was despite the political instability that still continues. The Philippines in comparison received a paltry 4.6 Million in comparison in 2013. Why? Filipino food is without hesitation the worst food in the world – everything is fried in fat and is flavourless apart from the addition of sour vinegar! To the proud and patriotic Pinays that don’t like what I’ve just said, please take your head out of the sand and realise that its not just that old adage, ‘the corruption in government’, its the attitude that Filipino culinary expertise is superb! I’ve travelled and the Philippines is the only country out of 76 that I have been to so far that has balut as a culinary icon! Filipino food is an absolute disgrace – flavourless, greasy Pancit and tough ‘Beef’ Adobe with fat and gristle – YUK! I’m sorry to say this to the proud Filipinos but your food is awful and may be a contributing factor as to why there is such a disparity between the numbers of visitors to Thailand in comparison to the Philippines. There’s MORE to see in the Philippines with your amazing rice terraces in Banaue and Chocolate Hills in Bohol, the food unfortunately most certainly does not match the amazing vistas!

    1. Hmm. I think this is a bit harsh. Filipino food is not that bad for me. But the problem is the cleanliness. While it’s an issue everywhere, it’s probably worse here. But yes, if you say “Filipino is superb everywhere” is a ridiculous claim, that I agree with. Filipinos are unnecessarily defensive.

    2. FYI. Food is NOT the major factor for the paltry tourism figures. The major factors are 1) Poor Infrastructure 2) Lack of direct flights 3) negative publicity/lack of awareness 4) Lack of government vision for tourism

  17. Obviously, those folks where not trying to get the food listed on

    http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/eat/40-delicious-filipino-dishes-157035

    Instead, they are aiming for the street food. No, those on the CNN list are not mostly street food and would certainly cost more than the $25 budget they put on.

    No offense taken on that blog, i know for one it was hoping to get a lot of traffic from us,lol. I just do not think street food is what traditional Filipino Food is.

  18. Can she explain to me why was she looking for a longganisa in a 7-11 convenience store and then complain that she was given a hotdog and claimed that she wanted something “authentic”?

    She could have gone to Jollibee for a Longsilog.

    The offense here is, she did not do a research except for a street food list on CNN…

  19. To the author of this blog, seriously that idiot is from Poland and poland is not a developed country (EU standard! )Basically one if the poorest country in europe! I understand about her dilema with filipino streets food, but even the food in resto she still complaints! Nothing wrong with that but if she want to taste the authentic filipino dishes then she better go to barrio fiesta! But budget traveller like her dnt have budget for a small luxery like that! I knw coz im a backpacker myself but our difference is, i dnt do harsh/rude comments about every country ive visited u knw y? Because hell its u who go there so be thankful that u have that chance to see their world! Btw about filipino loves sweet? What the hell is wrong with that go to belguim and u will see how belgians luvs waffles and chocolates and other sweets too! Its her opinion but as saying goes if u have nothing good to say better zip your mouth! Same as i would say that basically theres nothing in poland that polish should ge proud off because what is polish food anyway? Boiled rotten potatoes!

        1. Please write your words properly because I can’t understand what the hell you’re saying. Otherwise, go back to elementary you lazy jejebiatch.

        2. I can see the error in what I said. But I also know you are more of an idiot since you can’t even type legibly and your poor spelling…

      1. Are you really defending her? She comes from a better place than us? Home is where the heart is, and there is no better place than the Philippines because it is home. You accept, the good, the bad and the ugly. Its just natural to defend what you love.

        1. So defend everything and improve nothing? Many Pinoys really believe that to justify the ugliness that exists in Pinoy society.

        2. Defend what you “love,” even if you see wrong in it? No way. I don’t love what is wrong. Anyway, Poland seems to be in better shape than the Philippines.

        3. So what if I can’t blame that Polish’ criticisms because I undestand her disgust you pinoy praydist? I’m still a Filipino. Your victim mentality about Filipino food is like defending pagpag even if it causes food poisoning. Just admit the fact that you hate progress dahil isa kang dakilang inutil, balat-sibuyas at isip bata.

        1. Is there pagpag in Poland? That’s the standard I use. Poverty in the Philippines is likely worse than poverty in Poland. And the culture is very different.

        2. This is kinda true. Poles go to the UK, France and Germany to clean toilets or any other unskilled work. Doesn’t that sort of flight sound familiar to you bunch?

        3. Also, as much as I support your arguments Chino, I think you’re being a tad narrow-minded in regards to your scope of poverty. Yes, the pagpag situation is bad, but what about those people in the countries of Africa where the people starve to death? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come to the realization they are far worse of than the Philippines. Try not to fall into the same Pinoy-centric trap that you’ve been going against all this time.

      2. What better place than us???!!! You must be out of your friggin’ mind! Well, what kinds of food does America and Poland offer? Nothing but simple dishes even my youngest kid could make!!! JUNK FOOD THEM ALL!!!!

        1. Wow, there is so much butthurt in your post that you’ve made a fool of yourself.

          Troll somewhere else since you are now a laughing stock.

  20. Filipinos are onion skinned and ultra defensive – natural reaction for narcissists, the emotionally immature , and those with an inferiority complex.
    Filipinos are not well-travelled tourists – island mentality prevails rather than that of a world traveller.
    Filipinos are not bon vivands, gourmands, and do not have a rich food culture. And as far as appreciation of wine – a non starter.
    Filipinos do not understand the concepts of ‘the customer is king’, and that perception is reality, especially when it comes to food which is a personal preference but should at least be clean, safe, and edible at every price level.
    Filipinos like to sound off and focus on trivia but apathetic to major issues
    Filipinos often miss the point/big picture.
    Filipinos are not natural restauranteurs.
    Filipinos need to have individual opinions and avoid group think.
    Filipinos are defensive to criticism and consequently do not try to learn from it.
    Filipinos need to realise why the philippines is a tourism backwater relative to neighbours, and do more about it.
    Filipinos do not understand how you turn a negative perception into a positive opportunity.
    Filipinos have hubristic pride and closed minds
    Filipinos need to check out tourist web sites and read the comments regarding food standards in the philippines – not good!
    Filipinos should try russian food – then they can complain about a country having worst food than the philippines
    Filipinos need to get real.

    1. I left Cebu City for Australia when I was 12 years old and have since seen a lot of the world. Although a proud bisaya, I must say that the reaction to this blog “I would rather go hungry than eat Filipino food again,” is a typical filipino reaction. It’s defensive and hysterical.

      Most of what she said was fair and true.

      – the standard of cleanliness is woeful – especially with street food which (in other countries) often define the locals and are a huge drawcard for tourists.

      Why is it that instead of taking on the negative feedback and using that to make things better, filipinos instead turn on the messsenger?

      Don’t filipinos like to hear the truth? Is it because it is a visitor to the country that have dared to speak out against what the locals tolerate?

      Perhaps, it is because filipinos like to bury their heads in the sand and sweep things under the rug instead of facing the problems and fixing them?

      Don’t shoot the messenger, look around you and open your eyes and see what visitors see.

      1. What the blogger said about Filipino street foods are true. But it is never wise to generalize. I live in Norway now but when my boyfriend and i visited my country, he loved the food. Not because we ate at expensive restaurants but because my family cooked for him. So yeah, again, what the blogger said about filipino street foods are true because she chose to focus only on street foods but not real filipino dishes.

        And yeah, the standard of cleanliness is just awful in street foods. But an inexpensive filipino restaurant could be different. not all, but some are clean too. So when i started reading from the title itself, it is already wrong, and she knows it that is why she changed it.

      1. Huh? Pinoy street food is proof we are not polluted? You ever see a Manila street? Epitome of pollution. Also how unpolluted could pinoys be? They elected a fearless leader who is neither just because his mom died . Sorry Pinoy street food is hepatitis waiting to happen.

      2. Hey, I am a Filipino, and I hate Manila for all its grime! You may accept it, dirt and all, but I won’t, I never will, and I’m going to use my smarts to have that Riften formatted!

      3. Not polluted pala ha. Then what do you call those indiots especially the squatters living beside rivers who are just throwing their garbage there without giving a fuck about the river’s cleanliness? Panis naman pala ang depensa mo ulol!

      4. Not polluted?
        Have you looked at the state of the pasig river lately?
        If you still insist that we are not polluted then clearly you need to have yourself examined by a doctor for mental health

    2. I’ve been to Russia myself (two years ago). Despite the relative lack of rice (of which I as a Pinoy can’t go more than a week without), I still found their dishes pretty good. In my opinion, if you want SHIT FOOD, go to Malaysia! The shit taste of food there (barring Penang – the one place in Malaysia where I can actually eat the local dishes) is one of the things my family can agree on!

  21. Someone criticizes Filipino food and Filipinos go berserk.

    Politicians steal billions of dollars from you year in year out, subjecting you and your families to a lifetime of poverty and desperation and you do not say or do anything about it.

    Truly more fun….

  22. The only thing lower than the quality of filipino cuisine is flight 370.
    The only thing that stinks more than filipino cuisine is the PDAF/DAP scam ( or, so i am told, a 500 peso hooker)

      1. Maraming importanteng issue ang kailangan tutukan (pork barrel) etong criticism about Filipino food pa ang inaatake mo indio de trapo. And cry me more a river because your impotent whinefest is at full force you affectfag.

  23. Hi Chino,

    Thank you for your post it was really enlightening especially the part where you mentioned about the poverty porn. I have always had this theory that there really are marketing schemes that brainwash the people.

    I grew up in Europe, so like every Filipino coming back home from a country that is so different from ours experiences a major culture shock. The local food here really have no health standards and I am ashamed that a lot our countrymen just shove it off and say that it is the way it has always been, so why change it?

    Well, the Greeks would have never invented democracy if they said that ‘it has always been this way, leave it to fate’. I am truly hurt of the reactions and replies of our fellow Filipinos because instead of finding a way to help make our beloved Philippines better, we shame it by acting butthurt and pretend that we need no change and everyone else should just accept us as we are.

    But then my dear friend, it is true when they say, a message won’t be understood by the receiver if the receiver chooses not to understand it. So don’t be discouraged by the hostile comments, keep writing about the truth, there are still those who can understand the words you want to convey.

    1. Thank you for the comment. I think Filipino food is fine, and living in the Philippines is fine, but there are just problems that some people would like to turn a blind eye on. You point the problems out to them, but then they rage and call you negative or a traitor. That’s life, I guess. Cheers.

      1. Cheers,

        You’re welcome 🙂

        If that is how life is, it.should change. Don’t be discouraged, true change won’t come in a second but you should demand for it, never leave it as it is. Everyone should.be aware of their consumer rights, especially about safety so when you see a restaurant and pay for food that is not as you see it, you should complain. You see drivers driving worse than your grandma, let them know that they are hazardous to the community.

        If everyone just start utilizing the rights they are given as a consumer, I’m sure ripples of changes will show.

    2. Hi mister, or madame?
      Saying that you are a Filipino has somewhat made me thought a bit that it’s like you’re comparing my country to wherever you’ve been from. Philippines doesn’t impose one-strike or jail-penalty policy for unsanitized food businesses. The local government and its enforcers are too considerate when it comes to selling street foods and even meeting kitchenette’s sanitary/safety standards. The blame game is rampant in the LGUs here. Inefficiency to do their monitoring duties so to speak.

  24. ChinoF:
    5xthumps up !!!!! Stay cool, my friend!
    From a foreigner who lives in this beautiful but also crazy country.

  25. Being a Pinoy, I’d be very wary of eating street foods in the cities – unless they are something along the lines of Bancheto in Mandaluyong. I usually prefer doing that in the provinces as the surroundings are much cleaner!

  26. wow.. Naghahanap ako ng lunas hinggil sa sakit ko sa sikmura. Sobrang sakit talaga. Bumili ako ng tinapay sa kabilang kanto, pagkatapos sumakit na sikmura ko. Dumumi na ko, pero masakit parin. Ginoogle ko kung ano ang dapat gawin, hayun, dito ako napadpad. Napansin ko lang, ‘yung karamay sa pagkakaalam ko “confidant/e” ‘yun diba? Hmm.. Filipina ako na mukhang Chinese (¼ lahi ko). Hindi naman kami mayaman pero marami naman kami pwedeng pagpilian ‘pagdating sa kainan. Summer pa man din ngayon kaya… cont.

  27. ..cont. madali lang masira kaagad ang mga pagkain. Ako ang nagkamali. Ako ang hindi nag-ingat. At dahil wala akong pampagamot, ginawa ko uminom ako ng 1500mg na Vitamin C. Nakaka-diarrhea ‘yun, pero mabisa naman sa’kin. Habang tine-text ko ‘to, wala nang sakit. =) Maayos nang pakiramdam ko. Tingin ko kaya nagpapaawa ang mga Pilipino na nakikilala n’yo ay para maturuan at magabayan sila kung paano umasenso. Hindi rin kasi maganda ang sistema ng edukasyon dito. At importante rin tuluy-tuloy na programa..cont.

  28. ..Cont. para sa kalinisan. Simulan halimbawa sa kabahayan. Ngunit sa kasamaang palad, hindi lahat ng bahay ay may sariling palikuran. At kasabay din ang mga hindi planadong pagbubuntis sa mga lugar na mataas ang bilang ng mahihirap. Kaya’t imbes na tugunan ang kalinisan na s’yang pinaka-pangunahing dapat isaalang-alang, ay napipilitan na lamang na magtiis at magpatuloy sa buhay.. At ‘yun ay ang pagiging mahirap. Salamat sa espasyong inilaan dito.
    Ruthanne Suarez, environmentalist and social entrepreneur

  29. ..cont. But when someone who is powerful/influencial/celebrity that became victims or dozens of people or somebody have died, the government will be strict (for a day, a week) to implement the law and then business as usual. We call it “ningas cogon” here.
    It’s been a tradition (-al politics) or culture.
    We Filipinos are tired of it really. It’s like fooling ourselves but still continue to patronize these goods. I don’t eat street foods. Unless my mom made it, and it’s homemade. At the end of the day,..cont

  30. ..cont. Your judgment (just by looking at the place and how it were presented) you have the choice if you’re gonna buy it or not. And yeah that’s one of the basic rights of consumers/customers in accordance to the law. It encourages every Juan to be (very) meticulous before buying. No coercion, no grave threats, no death penalty if you’re not going to buy it. Unless there’s been a set up just to drain your wallet. Well it’s called extortion/fraud which are naturally prohibited here.
    Filipinos know these.

    1. Yes so tough to beat no one cares outside of the Filipino culture . Locally , we import so many delicacies look at the thriving international chains here. Nice blanket statement there, so full of substance.

  31. i had some hot cake today from a streetvendor, vendor said it was gipahid sa puday…dunno wat he meant but it was sure good..

  32. I went there and I am pretty sure I ate Filipino food every day and I actually enjoyed all the meals I had in Philippines. But of course I was staying at a nice hotel, I get the idea that this blogger was really scraping the bottom of the barrel and I think their experience shows it.

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