A Foreign Blogger’s Poor Opinion on Filipino Food And What’s Seriously Wrong About Filipino Food Blogging


agnes walewinder orders turd burgerBlogger Agnes Walewinder’s post on eTramping about her poor opinion of Filipino food isn’t going to get link loving from me.  Not because I am butt hurt or that I’m taking her criticism of Filipino food personally, but because I really think her blog post is so poorly written and its criticism has little value other than to call attention to herself.

Fellow Get Real Philippines blogger ChinoF probably has Agnes doing headstands and somersaults for getting some attention from some Pinoys who are only too willing to give it to anyone who’ll make even a mildly insulting comment about anything Filipino.

What is pathetic about Agnes is that she has to defend herself by commenting on Chino’s blog post: “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.”

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A few moments ago, I felt like going over Agnes’ post sentence by sentence just to point out each and every flaw, but I figured it would be just a waste of time.

So let me just point out the flaws that run through her entire post:

One. The title is a sweeping generalization.  It was originally “I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Eat Filipino Food Again!” before it was changed to “I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Eat Filipino Street Food Again!”  The thing is the blogger was too lazy to re-write the entire article to take out traces of the original title and you’ll find her referring to all Filipino food over and over again.

Two. Lack of crucial details such as where in the Philippines she went to sample Filipino food.  Even without a “selfie” to prove that she actually went to the Philippines rather than Google-sourced everything, mentioning exactly where she ate would probably explain why her experience of Filipino food was the way it is.

The thing is, Filipino food varies in quality from place to place and depending on the time of day, month, or year.

One paragraph in her blog says she went to the local market and found the food there to be of poor quality.  She didn’t say whether she went to a small market locally called talipapa or a big market, which makes a whole lot of difference.  And among big markets, there’s a huge difference between good ones like Suki Market which is clean, organized, and well lighted; and nasty ones like Galas Market or the old Divisoria market.  There’ll also be a difference in what you’ll find depending on the time of day, if you go in the morning you’re more likely to get the better quality stuff than if you go in the afternoon.  Why? Because most Filipinos do their marketing in the morning and the earlier, the better.  Also, you’ll also have to know which market sells the best particular produce.

For all I care, the blogger could have gone to some roadside talipapa in the afternoon and based her assessment of Filipino food from what she found there.  Even worse, she could have eaten at some hole in the wall karinderia expecting to be wowed.

Goodness! That’s like going to some random greasy spoon in the Bronx and basing your assessment on American food on that.  If that isn’t ignorance on multiple levels, I don’t know what is.

Three. The entire post lacks any sense of organization that would make it useful for the reader and I hardly got through the whole thing on the first reading.  It was ACTUAL WORK to try and make sense of what she was saying.

On the flip side of this fiasco, of course, are Filipino food bloggers who rave about almost any new restaurant or food product that they are introduced to and slug it out among themselves for invites to the opening of new restaurants or product launches — or so, I was told.

I don’t know whether it was last year or the year before that the word “Patay Gutom Bloggers” went around and it seemed some part of the Pinoy blogosphere was on fire.  But perhaps that is the impression that people will have when they see people quarreling over restaurant or food product launch invites.

Just recently, I was made aware that the PG blogger fiasco is still going on and has attracted even more bloggers into the fray.

If I were a PR practitioner looking at the whole thing and was told by my client that they wanted invited a couple of food bloggers to the opening of their new restaurant, I’d have to ask what value would they expect a self-professed food blogger’s post add to the overall communication campaign?

It would help a lot if the food blogger actually knows a thing or two about food other than being gifted with the ability to stuff their pie hole, work a keyboard, and snap photos all at the same time.

There are people who know food and people who KNOW food, do you get what I am saying?  There are people who spend a lot of time and money to find out about a particular dish or particular kind of food.

Take Charlie Gaw, the owner of Sabroso, for instance.  I thought I knew enough about lechon until I met him.  This guy claims to have traveled the entire country tasting the best lechon in every single province and he has come to the conclusion that the best lechon comes from Cebu.  Thing is he says that not all lechon in Cebu tastes great and there are actually just a few lechon makers there that really make great lechon.  Then among those lechon makers, there’ll be only be a limited number of the best of the best lechons.

Charlie is active on Facebook and I think still has a Multiply site for Sabroso (his brand of lechon).  He is well known among lechon makers because he used to supply a number of them with pigs for lechon.  He is also well regarded among restaurant owners in the Morato area in Quezon City and his social network includes some of the most well known foodies in the Philippines.

If I had a client who was launching an all pork restaurant, I’d probably recommend that they invite Charlie because I’d presume Charlie knows a lot about pork and his opinion about pork would carry a lot of weight.

Thing is, not all food bloggers or people who blog about food are like Charlie who can afford to educate their minds and palates.  But at the very least, they should take pains to know more about food — how it’s made, how it’s cooked, where it comes from, etcetera.

Thing is, if you are writing about anything, it really matters that you actually know a lot about what you are writing about.  Otherwise, you’ll come off like Agnes or some forgettable food blogger.

Conlusion: Agnes Walewinder’s review of Filipino food boils down to saying that she ordered a turd burger and is disappointed that it tastes like crap.

100 Replies to “A Foreign Blogger’s Poor Opinion on Filipino Food And What’s Seriously Wrong About Filipino Food Blogging”

  1. The mystery question is:


    And then go claiming she was looking for “authenticity”?

    I do not care if she hates or like Filipino food…. but she shouldn’t be complaining if she’s looking longanisa is a convenience store.

    I hope she does not go to KFC in China and then look for “authentic Orange Chicken”.

      1. In the first place, 7-11 is an AMERICAN company. That should have given her a clue.

        And it is a CONVENIENCE store.

        There is no excuse for that. If I go to Thailand, I will not go to 7-11 to look for a Tom Yum.

        1. 7 to eleven is a Japanese company not American.
          The parent company is Seven and 1 Holdings Co Tokyo.

        2. … If I go to Thailand, I will not go to 7-11 to look for a Tom Yum… >>> Problem is that you can find street food in Thai 7-11. For example: just ask for Pad Krapraw, which is quite popular dish among Thai. They are frozen. Just microwave them. No MicrowaveM Not a problem. Ask the service person. they have that oven.

          You need wanton soup? No problem. Thai 7-11 have it. Boiled egg? Yes they have it. Shumai? Yes! Noodle with braised pork? Yes! Thai spicy dried curry? Yes! Chicken in white curry? Yes! See below if you don’t trust me for example.


          7-11 might be established in other country but in TH they managed by Thai. I don’t know about other country if it’s the same although I think it could be. And 7-11, like many chains ie. McDonald. they would try to serve local need. For example, years ago there was fried pork and sticky rice burger — Some thing which is not exist outside TH. From what I know, it’s quite common and happen in other countries as well that the global chain have to adapt or create their menu to fit the local’s need.

      2. She could have fared better if she went to Jollibee — the Philippines’ equivalent to the nasty McDonald’s.

        It seems to me that she did not do her research and just took a list from CNN rather than a culinary-cultural site or blog.

        I don’t care if she does not like Filipino food. But a lot of her experiences are a backfire of lack of research. I hope she won’t be complaining that the Chinese food in China does not taste like the Chinese food in the Western world and that they don’t have “fortune cookie” in Chinese restaurants

    1. I really think she’s completely ignorant and she bares her ignorance on her blog post.

      If she wanted really good longganisa, she could have gone up north to Vigan or down south to Lucban. Those are really good longanisas.

      In Taal, Batangas too. But aside from Longanisa, she could have gotten the best tapa or tasted the fresh water sardine (a rarity these days) called tawilis.

      1. She was in Ilocos but she never made an effort to look for a longanisa.

        I guess she went to 7-11 and asked for a “SAUSAGE” and the food server, seeing that she is a foreigner, interpreted it as hotdog.

        And really, I don’t think and REAL foodie would look for local food in a convenience store. It is more acceptable if she went o McDonald’s or Jollibee that serve the longsilogs ranted how bad they were…

        But seriously, asking for a longganisa in 7-11 and then complaining about being given a hotdog? HER FAULT.

        1. That’s the thing that bugs me about her blog post.

          If she had said that she went to Vigan or ate Vigan Longanisa somewhere and didn’t like it, I would be fine with that.

          Thing with her post is that it lacks specificity and it really looks like she was google-sourcing everything.

        2. hey agnes!,,if you are really looking a good filipino food,,,then come here in japan where i am living right now,and i will cook filipino dishes for you…..I myself will do the cooking….and if you are looking for longganisa,,I can definitely give you that, because we produce and sell longganisa to filipinos who live here nearby.

      2. That is what I think too Paul. Her “foodie blog” seemed to be more of a concoction of other blog posts than real experience.

        I hail from the North and what bugs me about this is that in a place where REGIONAL food dominates, it seems that her blog is devoid of Ilocano food. She seems to have a picture of the Ilocano empanada (which I loved when I was in Vigan years ago — in fact I prefer it over the “standard” empanada) but there is no mention about it in her blog. I ate in the “turo turo” in Vigan but didn’t get diarrhea or headache or “mood swings”. The biggest fault here is, there is no mention of the Pinakbet, the most famous Ilocano food.

        Why was her blog devoid of Ilocano dishes? To think of it that a lot of Ilocano food are full of vegetables…?!

  2. The woman can write what the hell she wants in her own travel blog. It’s not like she was writing a paid piece for a foodie site or something.

    I actually found that the disappointment in that blog resonated with my own feelings when I first got to the Philippines after travelling over the Asian mainland for the best part of a year.

    1. The first time in any place is a doozy Dave. That’s why it really pays to find out as much as you can about a place before going there.

      If you don’t get to sample the best a place has to offer, you can at least avoid the easy pitfalls.

      1. Agreed.

        Take for example in the US. Most food that are easily accessible are not good nor healthy. Too sweet, too salty, too fatty. However, homemade American food can really be great. It’s just that you have to find someone who take time to prepare food and not the typical fanfare nowadays of purchasing the watered down “processed” version.

        I wonder if non-Americans judge US food because they ate in McDonald’s or Denny’s or Ihop? LOL.

        Nothing beats a homemade tritip for me.

    2. If it’s her travel blog, she can say what she likes. Everyone is entitled to an opinion whether it is credible or not. Nobody forces you to read what she writes. Furthermore, whether you try the best or the worst food offerings that a country has to offer, there is no guarantee that you will like a particular cuisine. I have always heard mixed reviews of Pinoy food from various foreigners. Different strokes for different folks and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You don’t need to be a culinary expert to define what you like and what you don’t like. In the same way that not all art will appeal to the masses, blogs are an expression of your own personal views and tastes. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem.

      1. also remember that this is the internet and criticism is part and parcel of ones right to publish blogs

        meanwhile, paul is a blogger here and he can write what he wants, too

      2. I’ve got nothing against people saying that Filipino food is not their thing or that Filipino food sucks.

        What I do have against her post is that it fails to be useful as a criticism of Filipino food.

        It comes off as wildly ignorant.

        Thing is, if you mouth off or publish something such as what Agnes did, you should welcome the criticism that comes your way.

        And, let’s not miss out on the fact that she’s just hit baiting.

    1. The blog makes more sense and is more constructive — though at times it’s getting too much personal.

      But so far the line that struck most: “Basically, honesty is great, but not at the expense of fairness.”

  3. Indeed, blogging isn’t just about knowing how to use the keyboard and accessing the net. Opinions, in order to be credible, should be based on proof and valid arguments, which should have been established before drawing conclusions.

  4. Anyone travelling on 25 bucks a day has no serious right to comment on food. If you can’t afford travelling on a decent budget and eat decent food, then I really suggest, that you travel the Philippines on Discovery channel or Nat Geo. Filipino food might not be listed on the top of culinary dream list, but it certainly is not bad. I’ve eaten in plenty of Carinderias over the last 30 years and I never, ever had an upset stomach. As a matter of fact, Carinderia food can be really good if you know where to eat and what to eat. So Lady, get over it and earn a decent living so you don’t have to eat dirt.

    1. She specifically compared it to the likes of Thailand where you can get tasty street food for cheap.

      I also tried to stick to a tight budget when travelling the world for a few years, but I found it harder to find good value food for cheap in the Philippines, so I had to go to ‘proper’ restaurants all the time.

      1. And she was looking for longganisa (Filipino sausage) is 7-11.

        Would you, as a traveler, attempt to find Pho or Tom Yum in 7-11 if you were in Vietnam or Thailand?

        That makes her whole post dubious especially with the CLAIM that she was looking for something “authentic”. No TRUE traveler or foodie would even find local cuisine in a 7-11.

        1. …Would you, as a traveler, attempt to find Pho or Tom Yum in 7-11 if you were in Vietnam or Thailand?… >>> In TH, if they want to find those food in 7-11, they can. For example: just ask for Pad Krapraw, which is quite popular dish among Thai. They are frozen. Just microwave them. Ask the service person. they have that oven.

          See below if you don’t trust me for example. This is just some of what they sell in Thai 7-11


        1. You seem to overlook that her 25$ budget seems to be her complete budget, which includes accommodations.

  5. Don’t kid yourselves about Filipino food. It just aint good! not comparable to Thai, Japanese, Indian , or even Vietnamese. Salty high fat or everything just has to be sweet. Explains why alot of the people are overweight, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, renal/gall stones and Type 2 diabetes. Never seen so many “young” people dying of stroke, renal failure or heart attacks!

    1. you surr youre not talking about the US?

      by statistics, malaysia is the.most obese country in asean. google will be your.friend

      obesity has hardly anything too do with sweet or salty food. it’s about excess calories…which is why obesity is also growning in china, japan snd korea among the.younger generation

      even mexico has obesity rates that can compare to the us and mexican food is highly revered

  6. if it was so good, why is it that virtually everywhere you go there’s soy sauce, ketchup, knorr, or tabasco on the table? Who kills the taste of food with this kinda stuff other than Americans. Beef is also rarely cooked properly even in “good” restaurants is like chewing on rubber!

  7. Filipino dishes basically revolves around few ingredients, garlic, onion, ginger, salt, pepper, fish sauce, meat whether chicken, beef or pork, soy sauce, and vinegar. With these plain ingredients you can make a variety of dishes. Just add another ingredients and it becomes a whole different dish. It basically start with sauteing garlic, onion, then adding the meat “Sangkutsa”. Then add soy sauce of fish sauce to taste and adding a touch of tart flavor, you have “adobo”. After that add tomato sauce, bell pepper, and simmer in coconut milk, and it becomes “Caldereta”

    Surprisingly, Filipino ingenuity is seen not only in his work but also in his food. With simple ingredients, we can create distinct flavors. With our economy now a days, with higher cause for ingredients, Filipinos adapt to this. We have to sacrifice creating a satisfying meal, with lesser cause, we are only thinking to satisfy our hunger not our taste, as evidence by food in the “karinderya” where extenders are much more present than the meat and flavors is compensated by commercially endorsed flavor enhancers.

    I do not blame Ms. Agnes for not being able to taste what our country can give. She may have been in the wrong place, wrong time and have wrong information. If she wants to taste longganisa, I’ll be gladly to invite her to my province and give him a variety of flavors, from “Recado” (Garlic) to “Batotay” (Sweet Beef). And not just the fried ones.

  8. You think it’s a waste of time yet you made the effort of making a long article about it, and you keep commenting on it. Boy are you pathetic. It’s her blog and she has a right to her own opinion. Move on people.

  9. who cares? general consensus of filipino cuisine on the world stage….ain’t worth a sh!t. Ignorant or not her impression is hers. What she experienced is authentic enough. It is what it is folks so move on….or just bite the bullet.

  10. I think somebody sold the Lady, food that came out from “Pagpag”. It was good , she did not have any stomach trouble; or worse: “cholera”…with apologies to those, surviving on “Pagpag” food, with gusto…

  11. Did anybody else bring up that what started this was just one person’s entry in her blog/ vlog? Same with the Singapore bus/ OFW issue. It was one person’s letter to the editor or something of that level. Isn’t the real point here that pinoys are the national version of Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen? Where one is so sensitive over things so slight and normally just noise that they will just erupt? Pinoys, Onion skins, peas. They are consistent.

    1. As Paul Farol said, Agness may have tried to capitalize on that to gain hits. But it’s the Filipinos’ fault for being so predictable. Filipino behavior needs to grow a pair….. of brains. Yes, one may not be enough.

  12. Since food is a significant reflection of a country and of key interest/importance to tourists/visitors, DoT should be more proactive, involved, and creative, and not just think a tourism strategy is a slogan and advertising budget. It needs to address the component parts of the visitors experience, and that includes food.

    A quick review of traveller websites confirms that there is significant room for improvement, not just to the food itself, but to the overall experience ( quality, environment, service etc). I am sure the basics are there but why settle for mediocrity, the goal should always be excellence, and not just to ‘satisy the customer’ but to ‘delight’ them.

    (Even paris – the most visited city in the world – eventually recognised it had a good reputation for food but a bad reputation for service and adopted a city wide strategy to improve it. A big admission by the french, but bravo it worked.)

    Clearly there are exceptions, but anyone in customer service/tourism should think about the ‘complaint mushroom’ which in essence talks of and quantifies the mushroom effect of both good and bad experiences. Bad experiences have a larger ‘footprint’ and are bad for business.
    As sam walton – walmart – used to say
    ” everytime i see a customer leave with a frown, i see 10,000 $ walking out if the door. ( the 3 year average customer spend per customer)

    It is not rocket science to identify opportunities and ways to become tourist friendly and raise both the quality and a more positive profile – or maybe for the idiots in DoT it is.

    Sam waltons 2 rules of customer service
    Rule 1 – the customer is always right
    Rule 2 – if the customer is wrong, see rule 1

    And the ridiculous reaction to a bloggers view is a bad reflection on the philippines, more so than even the main point. No wonder progress cannot be made in such a country with an average iq lower than a simmer setting on a cooker.

  13. When it comes to eating international ‘weird’ food, I’m going with the opinion of more open and well traveled guys like Bourdain or Zimmerin over Walewinder. At least those guys are more open and will probably do research on certain foods if they wanted the best of it to show viewers things about that food. Hell their best criteria for good eats is freshly prepared, which is far better than making a spat about processed food not meeting the standards.

    I’m reading her blog and one of the funniest statements is “The fruits we bought at local markets daily looked and tasted old and gross”. I pity her so much. Meanwhile my fondest memories of fresh fruit was 2 years ago when I went to Butuan and experienced some great in season stuff there. At least even Bourdain who did No Reservations in the Philippines was more honest but optimistic about his experience. The Filipino who pitched him the country wasn’t as knowledgeable to really give Tony a great experience, but Tony still found some nice spots to show some ‘unique’ chow.

    The absurd amount of responses did offer a lot of ‘saving face’ statements. But being an intrepid traveler myself, this girl with the blog isn’t up to snuff with her own strategies and methods to give such an enriching experience. She didn’t even make friends with someones’ mother/grandmother who can cook.

    1. Bourdain’s review when he came here was certainly balanced, but I think some Filipinos even tried to rage against it. That’s an even worse case because, showing Filipinos hate ANY criticism, even if deserve. If Walewinder was trying to capitalize on that, it’s the Filipinos’ fault for being predictable.

  14. I hope we could all agree that food hygiene needs to be taught to Filipinos. Cold food needs to stay cold and hot foods need to stay hot because germs grown fast in certain temperature range which cause food borne illness. I cringe when I attend Filipino parties where food hygiene is violated as a rule.

    I like Filipino food because I am a Filipino but I agree that other Asian cuisines are more complex, balanced and healthy.

    I did not come home for 16 years. I missed the tropical fruits and found myself dreaming about them frequently. I bragged to many Americans that we have more fruit varieties in the Philippines than what they have. When, I returned with my husband and toddler last September, I was disappointed on the fruit qualities available. Anyway, I give the benefit of the doubt that it’s probably not fruit season when we were there. But there’s probably a deeper problem –we are losing our food independence. We’re leveling off fruit orchards and farms for subdivisions, malls or factories. Also, Filipino farmers are one of the poorest in the world. We just look down on farming which is the most important job in the world.

  15. Oh my gulay! I had the same plan of dissecting her blog and telling her off because of her irrational generalization, lack of facts and details, and missing organization. But figured, it’s a waste of time. There’s a big difference between a person with a budget and somebody being cheap. One does her homework to find the best given the limited resource, the other does nothing but find the worst in everything.

    And c’mon, she said in the comments that they went to “all possible food places”. But in their blog she said they couldn’t find Adobo. Really? Unbeliebaboy!

  16. Just wondering, she tries to compare street food of the Philippines and Singapore and she never mentioned how much she spend in buying Sing street food as compared to Phil street food. The case here is that the purchasing power of Singapore is much much higher than the Philippines. You might be eating in singapore street but the cost is like eating in an authentic restos in the Philippines… Nice try by Agnes but uneducated view!

    1. it seems like Filipinos hate everyone who has a different opinion. I’m so disappointed reading all of these mean comments.”

      1. Have you seen the girls blog? she mistook the Filipino’s longganisa to an american hotdog?! Those Filipinos have the right to argue. She can’t even get her facts right. If any traveler does that to my country I’d do the same!

  17. If Agnes felt that way towards our food then that was how she honestly. Nothing wrong with that. I observe that most of our street food vendors have not done good jobs at all esp. when it comes to food sanitation. Our government should look on that if we really mean it saying ” It’s more fun in the Philippines”!

  18. To her ‘Authentic’ means eating street food.
    That right there is already a narrow/close-minded POV in my opinion. It’s hard to explain an argument with close minded people.

    And for a $25 budget? If she reaaally did her homework she would have been able to find good food for less! RESEARCH is key but clearly she lacked plenty of it.

    I’m really fine that she didn’t have a good experience, that’s what you get and what you deserve for not doing proper research. And true, her blog is not even very helpful for travelers, to me it just looked like a very whiny blogpost.

    1. True.

      If she wants authentic, she would have tried to befriend a Filipino food blogger! What is cooked at home is usually the most authentic

  19. This is still being talked about? Someone’s travel blog? Get over it. She was more positive and bubbly about the Philippines than I managed to be in my own travel blogs.

    The most disappointing comments are the ones snobbishly criticising the blogger for choosing to live cheap. Modest living is admired in European cultures, not scorned like I’ve experienced in the Philippines – even when I refill a water bottle I’ve been mocked for not buying a new one and wasting the plastic!

    The funniest are the comments implying a conspiracy that she didn’t even visit the country… but would still bother writing in detail about it for some reason. Clearly the blogger is an Illuminati disinformation agent.

    I’ve enjoyed this site (GRP) in the past, for its frank and constructive criticism. But this post in general has really put me off. Get real, Get Real Philippines commentators!

  20. tama naman po sya sabi nya Filipino Street Food,
    eh kahit nga tayong pinoy eh , iniiwasan ang mga street food,
    hinahanap nya adobo, lechon,kare kare diba sabi ng sa description nila(wikepedia,encyclopedia dictionary ) street food is a READY TO EAT OR DRINK serve/sold in a street or public places) a DISH is different from street food . in my opinion po. thanks po salamat po.

    1. Isa kapa !! imbes na pag tanggol mo bayan natin, binibigyan mo sya ng katwiran… madaming ways para mag hanap sya ng decent food, pero anu pinuntahan nya, karinderia… baket wala bang adobo sa mga restaurants natin??? sa 1 lugar na pinuntahan nya, eh inakala nya ganun na ang lahat… no need her back !!! be nationalistic naman ‘tol

      1. Implying that we must eat pagpag even if it causes food poisoning. Get lost impotent ultranationalist. You’re just another cancer to this country.

    2. The problem with her blog is that she epitomized Filipino street food as the entire spectrum of Filipino food

      And seriously, she could not find adobo? LOL

      And even called empanada “dumplings”? That, my friend, is already a sign of a dumb tourist. I might as well call the Mexican empanada as Mexican “dumplings”. And was looking for a longganisa in 7-11, a WESTERN convenience chain?

      What a dumb tourist.

      What she did is is basically similarly judging American food by McDonalds or Denny’s. American food is much more than that. The Central Coast in California have an AMAZING tritip BBQ! And no, you don’t find it in McDonalds or Burger King

  21. I can’t blame Agnes Walewinder…When I’ve read her previous places she travelled…I just laugh it off…cos’ she’s been to China prior to travel to Philippines…
    And I said…that’s it…

  22. Negative criticisms give us a moment to reflect and improve situations. But the tail of this is that it created bad impression to the Philippines in terms of tourism worldwide. As a Filipino, we are called to respond positively to this kind of comment.

    COULD THIS “HONEST” and “OFFENSIVE” POST FROM A FOREIGNER’S EXPERIENCE BE AN EYE OPENER TO ALL FILIPINOS (an issue best addressed by the government to elevate the standard of food preparation, inspection and licensing of food vendors; and best responded by Filipinos.)

  23. I am rally not all that adventurous when it comes to Filipino food, I really should try to expand my horizons. However, I do have a few things I try wherever I go to see how it is made in a certain locale or restaurant. Kinilaw, Tocino, and Sio Pao (I know, Sio Pau is more Chinese than Filipino, but it is popular and varies place to place) are my favorites to try. Obviously, there have been mixed results, but that is part of the fun.

  24. In the interest of full disclosure” I will mention that I was born and raised in the PI (left in 1970 at age 18) and I am a quarter Filipino.

    I found Agnes’ blog…confusin…because it was not clear to me whether she ate a lot of “Filipino” food. She mentions reading about lechon and adobo but doesn’t say that she ate either of those.

    Then, she mentions food that is not, to me, Filipino…such as grilled chicken with sauerkraut. LOL!

    Also, she lists mostly non-Filipino fruits. No mention of real Filipino fruits such as lanzones, atis, nangka, santol, cinequelas etc.

    Same with pastries. Cinnamon rolls are not Filipino! Nor are cookies. No mention whether she had empanada or other Filipino bakery items such as pan de sal. No mention of puto or bibinka.

    She mentions “sour mango.” Well, green mango with salt and rice is one of my favorites!

    I think her issue is that she is criticizing mostly non-Filipino foods!

    I wonder what she’d say if I went to Poland and said that based on their pizza and hamburgers that Polish food was terrible?

    1. Maybe she mistook papaya salad – sorry, I do not know the local name, with sauerkraut. It does visually resemble sauerkraut, but is much tastier than sauerkraut.

      Her criticism of “small apples” is baseless as they are imported from China.

      1. obviously it is Atchara, the pickled grated papaya, which they sometimes serve with lechon manok in Cebu.
        Sauerkraut is made from cabbage.

  25. McDonalds makes turd burger called the “Pnoy burger” its pretty bad and McDonalds staff have no clue what a hamburger is, I mentioned that the Pnoy burger is not 100 percent hamburger the taste is mixed meat plus, if it’s not a cheese burger it’s a Pnoy burger so I have to order a cheese burger every single time. The typical Philippine citizen will go to McDonalds and order fried chicken and Pizza hut in my area has curtailed and shrunk there pizza’s they seem to be going out of business nobody is ordering pizza, they order the nasty side’s or other items on the menu, now I see why there’s not to many chain resturants besides Jollie B, they have the worst tasting crap burgers or why not just call it meat loaf burgers with feather light buns BOooo. Philippines was on the bottom of my list of hot food spots to hit when I hit port here and after living here 5 years I have lost 60 lbs so there is a plus to this story.

  26. I read her blog, I have lived here now for 4 year and been coming for 10. I live in Bicol, I own my own restaurant here. I’m from the USA. This girl picked the wrong places to buy food. She ate at small house run joints trying to live on 25 bucks a day. thats her fault. You go to the USA and for 25 bucks you get a can of spam and a carrot.
    I love the food Here, But I suppose i had my wife to show me the good spots to eat,, like her house lol. come here and you must go to someones home to find real food. It sounds like the tour guide was trying to make them happy by giving them western food, probably didnt know what they where trying to do here. But really she is from a country that has terrible food as well sooooo yeah..

    1. Exactly.

      Her criticism on Filipino food is like how the ignorant criticism REAL “American” food based on the processed food, McDonald’s or Burger King.

      Food in America can be amazing. You just have to skip those processed stuff and find a home where they cook real food.

      I love Tri Tip…along with In and Out Burger.

  27. I was personally surprised at how good Filipino food was when travelling there, it’s not really a cuisine known worldwide and probably should be. The street food I honestly didn’t get much further than grilled meats, liempo and whatnot and it seemed similar and on par with much of Se Asia. I was hesitant about tuba vinegar in foods and while kilawin tanigue etc weren’t to my taste it’s use in Adobo and other dishes were perfect. My top dish, probably suited to my Thai tastes was Bicol express. I think Filipino food has something for all tastes and completely negating it all as shit is just naive, lazy and is the reason us travel bloggers have a bad reputation.

  28. Exactly. I read Agnes’ blog and honestly, I felt sorry for her while reading the material. I’m not sure what she was thinking or how sincere she was with her so-called purpose of traveling. I mean, it’s so obvious she missed to consider things that she should have considered like for basics, History and others. Knowing the history of the place or country you’re planning to visit can play a big role. That could help you get answers to basic questions like What, When, Where or How? I’m a traveler myself and I can say that she’s a noob, or not. That’s not her fault. I hope, as she grows older as a person and as a traveler, she’ll learn how to blend honesty and sensitivity. Cheers!

  29. What surprises me the most about this debate is how defensive some Filipinos are and how everything is blamed on foreigners. You just have to look at the hate comments in Agness’ blog (and here).
    1. Agness is to be blamed for being stingy by spending less than $25 a day. Well, newsflash: If you read her blog, she applies the same rule to countries with more expensive living cost and she still enjoys their food. Why should she treat Philippines any different ?

    2. She shouldn’t eat street food because that doesn’t reflect the local traditional food. But it DOES in many other countries, especially in Southeast Asian countries. Why is it different in the Philippines ?

    3. She should have research more including why street food in the Philippines is not recommendable because it’s the food of the poor. But in other countries, being poor have forced people to be more creative with their food. Why poor Filipinos can’t have unique and delicious food ?

    4. Some commenters blamed colonial rule, Spanish and American, that occupied the Philippines and changed Filipino cuisine to become unhealthy. Looks like these commenters forgot that other Southeast Asian countries were also occupied by foreign powers and got their independence quite recently compared to the Philippines. But how come those other countries still maintain their delicious fresh traditional food ?

    5. Some commenters ridiculed her and some others lauded her for having the gut to eat the food that middle-high class Filipinos would not dare to touch. In other countries, there are street food that is so cheap and so good the rich doesn’t care if they have to queue for it along with the poor. If this kind of thing doesn’t happen in the Philippines, it tells something abt Philippines class segregation, right ?

    6. Most commenters said the best Filipino food is home-cooked. Are you guys blaming her for not asking any Filipino in her first visit to the country to invite her home ? The initiative should come from the host, not from her. If that is the only way to prove how good Filipino food is, maybe we should suggest Secretary Jimenez to start a campaign “invite tourists to your home for a great home-cooked Filipino meal”.

    Just my two cents.

  30. I’m not patronizing street foods because I have concerns about it. It’s my personal preference. As far as I know, she looking for authentic Filipino cuisine. But she ate street foods. Isn’t that weird? She should have done her research on how to find restaurants that serve Filipino cuisine.

  31. Nah! Don’t mind those busher who actually ate wrong food. Instead arguing there with those people. Let’s enjoy eating our Filipino food. This is our pride they are not Filipino, like them we don’t like some of their foods though.

    I really enjoy eating street foods whether it’s dirty or clean. It’s a great experience , though.

    Oh, well!

    I’d rather eat Filipino food/street food than joining this argument.

    Happy Eating 🙂

  32. I am reluctant to criticise Filipino cuisine, it is your country, your culture, it’s what you grew up with and know. However, I have to agree that the food here is BLAND and UNHEALTHY. There is no doubt the in SE Asia, it is the least flavoursome in a region that elsewhere explodes with flavours and excitement. Filipino food knows nothing of spices that exist in all the other nearby countries…for god sake I can’t even buy coriander here, a staple of all other SE Asian dishes.I don’t know why this is the case, it must go back a long way and who do we blame? the Spanish, the Americans, the isolation of the Philippine islands, I wish I knew. Perhaps I can back this up with the fact that so few Filipino restaurants exist overseas…..I am Australian and eaten in literally hundreds of restaurants in Sydney and never once have I ever come across, let alone tried Filipino food there….they just don’t exist. Sorry to say that even the restaurants here that claim to be Indian, Vietnamese, Thai are all a pale example of the real thing.

  33. All I can say is she got ripped off by her guide. Laughed my ass off with the hotdog instead of longganisa order. Probably was trying to mess with her for some reason.

  34. Sorry but the delusion on here is just amazing, I am a ExPat that is in Aklan and the quality and options regarding food are just terrible and borderline hideous at worst.

    Fresh produce has been sabotaged by a influx of American Chain stores such as McD etc, you have a growing middle class that has a younger generation totally addicted to junk food, just look at how over weight a good portion of the 7-30 year old’s are. The Supermarkets only really sell prepacked imported goods. If you are want really healthy options such as fresh fruit and veg it can be very hard to find, if you are a Veggie or Vegan you can forget it you WILL starve.

    Restaurants that may offer different dishes such as Italian are often poor and lack standards.

    Like many people that comment about Filipino food I have traveled lots and sampled many good locations for food, and I think what happens is when people travel within Asia esp from Europe they will normally stop in Thailand first which has for me by far the best food quality and options in Asia, they then come to the Philippines and find it is nowhere near the same and as such that is where all the Blog posts come from. So in fact you can say someone is ignorant but maybe it could be that you have not sampled other “better” options in which to compare them to???..

    If I am asked by someone that has never been to the country how can I explain the food I would say that it is the worst of American food mixed with what is considered by many the worst of Asian, yes there are a few good dishes but how long will someone last just eating the same thing over and over?, variety is key and sadly the Philippines does not have that..


    1. @Mick. In short, Filipino cuisine has no originality, just like everything about the Philippine culture.

      Filipinos try very hard to appear “world class” on everything in their society, by “copycatting” the ways of other cultures and promoting them as their own, and they always end up appearing “cheesy” and “chameleon-like.”

      It’s hard to appreciate “fakes.” If the Filipinos want the international community to respect them and their country, they need to be more original and humbly “go back to the basics” of their ancestral beginnings.

  35. All I can say is, she’s right. If you’ve traveled and compare other foods with Filipino food – you would find how poor Filipino foods are.

    The Filipino foods are mostly reliant to soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, onions and baboy baboy baboy baboy everyday. That’s mostly it. Even most vegetable dishes are dripping with oil or pork in it.

    Most Pinoys are thin with a belly due to bad habits; too much pork, too much fried stuffs, too much beer.

    That’s also the main reason why best sellers in the Philippines are moisturizers, creams, lotions – because the food is too dry, too oily and not good for the skin.

    The food is either too salty, too sweet or too oily or a mixed of all.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Sinigang, Bistek Tagalog and other dishes.

    There’s no need to be all defensive. Philippines has never been famous when it comes to food.

    The best foods are actually Turkish, Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, Spanish and Italian.

    1. I don’t care if your username says honest but you should put into perspective what you are saying. Yours is an opinion based on YOUR EXPERIENCE but you wrote like it was the authority on Filipino food.

      You obviously have very limited experience on Filipino food because you probably were fed pork all your life hence the “thin with a belly” look. When you said “most pinoys ” you obviously are mistaken. Where I grew up, there are people with your kind of look but it was far from the dominant look. Where I went to school ib another province until I worked in manila, that look never became the majority. It was the cliche yes, but never the majority. And I can attribute that look to poverty or ignorance, not Filipino food. And I’m sorry you were brought up in a household where day was the norm but that did not happen to a lot of us.

      Pinoy food is much more than your stereotypical pork and fat. The reason it doesn’t get traction internationally is because of opinion like yours that paints a bleak image of our food. Crab mentality, pardon the pun.

  36. lived in Philippines one year when I was in military
    food was gross, sorry
    watched girls eat frogs on a stick and chicken abortion
    made me sick to my stomach, thank god for the base…lol

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