Monday, August 22, 2005

Filipino Street Food, Filipino Culture

Travelling to and from Pangasinan and around the country by bus, I was always intrigued by the culture of food on the road. It seems the Filipino is afraid to be hungry, judging from the cornucopia of available food during trips.

Due to a sheltered childhood, and from previous bad experiences, I never buy food along the road. I always remember what one bus vendor I befriended told me - they make the most from selling spoiled balut to bus passengers. You see, bus passengers are transient - temporary customers whom vendors will rarely encounter again, so they could afford to risk their reputation by selling the bad stuff.

But when out of my region, oh no! No one is stopping me! Because it is along the road where it really gets interesting. Especially since out of town I get to encounter foodstuffs that are uncommon, which spells exciting to my tastebuds. A hawker who hitckhiked on our bus on the way to Cabanatuan City sold the sweetest and softest nilagang mais (boiled corn) I have ever tasted. My first taste of local eel was on a stop-over en route to Baler.

But I'm not talking just about long trips. Even during drives around the metropolis, there is no shortage of Storck, Halls, apa, peanuts and sweet corn and the like along city highways and byways.

These are the type of street food I like best, because they are associated with travel - the happiest times of my life. Of course, aside from eating and finding the most luscious version of any food I've ever known.


For a more detailed discussion on streetfood, click here.

Streetfood featured on this blog:
Pangasinan streetfood
MRT streetfood
Streetfood in Liloan, Cebu
Daet streetfood
Tondo streetfood

Pinoy streetfood across and outside the Philippines

8 comments:

Karen said...

Kai!!! Sent you an e-mail and I hope you see it soon. ;-)

drstel said...

hello kai, this is fun because it's short and sweet and original...sige i'll work on it. :)

joey said...

Oooh! Love street food...and travels as well...combined even better :-) I totally share you sentiments. There is nothing like trying local street food to really get a "taste" for a particular place. Will have to think though...hard to choose just one...will let you know soon :-)

RV said...

hi Kai.....I believe I already told you that if I were to be a Filipino street food item I would be nothing else but "champoy".

It is great to read this blog of yours. I also visit another friend's flog (short for fotolog) but this looks a lot more interesting.

Actually I am quite adventurous when it comes to street food so long as it looks clean. If it is some kind of fruit then I would usually try it. However, if it is some kind of animal or part of an animal, then I would only try it if it is well cooked. I never eat raw stuff. I made this a policy of mine after I had a class in Parasitology.

Good luck and I promise to come visit again.

fleece said...

Ren-ren, si Lisa 'to. I liked the descriptions because it's true, Filipinos are guided by their hearts and their stomachs. Nicely written!

drstel said...

tuloy pa ba ang tag, kai?
i was just gonna say, i'd be that blossom cut green mango they sell in plastic bags swimming in purplish bagoong...sllllurp...i remember at the tricycle stop in Philcoa on the periphery of Quezon Memorial Circle *sigh*

Kai said...

Fr. RV, thanks! I was referring to your champoy when I wrote about our egroups.
Hey, Lisa baby! Nice to hear from yah! So what streetfood would you be?
Stel! I emailed you yesterday to tell you the tag is off because it's going to be an LP event! So hold on to that rose mango and be sure to get a luscious photo!

carlo said...

for someone who's had her share of adventures (and misadventures) around the country, foodtripping is a natural consequence. i totally agree that one of the best ways to experience a place is through one's tongue. it's great that you've written something on a subject you've earned credibility (both on the travelling and the eating part) ;-)