So what do you eat “Chicken, Pork or Fish”.

Roasted, toasted, boiled, broiled, fried, dried, chopped, ground, pounded and skewered, soups and stew, and my favorite “GRAVY- YES”.

So how many ways can you cook a Chicken or Pork and fish? Oh!  And the same way with cow too. They are  so good except being boiled in soy sauce. ”Oh” of course the all-Philippinos favorite Rice.

Chicken, pork and fish are the easiest to cook, cow meat is the hardest to cook unless you have a pressure cooker or you buy expensive imported meats. But I like cow, it took me 3 hours of cooking (by boiling) some cow meat (you could cut it with a spoon) before it was tender enough for me to enjoy. But then too so did everyone else it was gone before I could get a second helping. I would like to try roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy sometime.

Looks like Minnows to me
Looks like Minnows to me

I’ve noticed things about the Philippinos that when I cook, all the food is gone – everyone eats it all. Even the rice is gone and then they want more. I like to boil the chicken first then I remove the skin and bones then I cut the meat up in to smell pieces. When I cook I like to make sure the food has good flavor too.  Even when I cook rice, I can’t just eat plain rice it makes me sick I’m sorry to say but it does. It needs flavor so I throw in some sarap and knorr cubes and tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers ( grow my own bells and onions) anything to give it some flavor.

I do plain rice then I make a big pot of chicken or pork  gravy to pour over the rice, there is never any gravy or rice left. I like to eat my meat cut up in small pieces, I use little water and after the water is gone I let it fry nice and brown  and I add onions, garlic, carrots, peppers, chilies  or anything I can find to make a good meal. Add some flavoring maybe a tablespoon or 2 of soy sauce or a little vinegar, salt and black pepper even some honey. Anything but boiled rice and fried meat. I like rice with brown sugar too… Kind of like oatmeal and brown sugar.

Now seafood is a different matter they eat everything here, everything with skin or shell on it gets eaten here. Talisay is on the coast of Gingoog Bay and there are a lot of fishermen in the village so we have a lot of different types of sea foods to eat. Sea cucumbers. And of course fish all sizes from ½ inch to 3 feet long and it doesn’t matter what it is they will eat it. My first encounter with the cooking of fish here was a scary experience and my wife bought some fish from a local and brought it home I looked at it and Thought “WoW  they really eat this,“ to me it looked like minnows about 1 – 1 ½ inches long. They sit in a plastic bag on the counter for 2 hours before my wife did anything with them. Then she  poured them in a dish and mixed in 2 eggs and some sarap.  Took a ladle and poured them in a heated skillet and fried them like a sausage paddy nice an crispy and they were very good.  I ate most of them myself. Oh her dad was there and I let him have a couple too .Can’t be too greedy when you have guest. And raw fish with lemons, chilies and vinegar are good too.

There is a lot to be written about food in the Philippines or for that matter any country.

“Hey ya’ll, thanks for reading my story hoped you enjoyed it… Thank you”   Phil

Post Author: PhilR (9 Posts)

Being of sound mind (some people would give you a good argument on that, I’m sure, hee hee) and good moral person. (Only god knows for sure) I come from a long line of Irish. I was born and raised in Crossingville Pa.USA... went to school and until 1970 was drafted in 71 served 3 years in army ,stationed in Virginia beach, Virginia at Fort story Va. the post is on the beach half in the Atlantic and half in Chesapeake bay discharged in 74 then I bummed around for a couple years . I got a job doing construction work, joined the carpenters Union in 1999 and did it until 2009 when the economy went to hell in a handbag I retired and moved to the Philippines I meet Jessica in Aug. of 2005 on the internet visited her 2 times before I moved here. She had a house built in the winter of 2006-2007 started in Oct. and we were in it in Feb. 14- 07... I sold my organic farm in the states and moved here for good in June 2009 and been here ever since...So far so good... Nice weather and no snow too.

Live in the Philippines Consulting


  1. Neal in RI says

    I think those minnows are called Bolinao, I have had them pan fried until crisp and served like chips with Beer, Had them in a omlette with green onions and a bit of soy. Lami Gyud

  2. maria says

    hi phil
    i dont remember the last time i cooked rice, its not a staple in our house. but when i do cook rice instead of water to cover it, i use chicken or beef broth.

  3. David Heil says

    PhilR, Thank you so much for your article. I enjoyed it a lot. What kind of things are you growing in your garden? Did you bring any seeds from the States? Do they grow well in your neck of the woods? Are there any bug problems? Look forward to your next one. Best wishes!

    • Phil R says

      I have papaya,cashew nuts,bell peppers,green onions, sugar cane, little hot peppers,and sweet red peppers.I’m trying to get some ox heart tomatoes from a friend back home. Big tomatoes 1-3 kilos ..would be nice to grow.. Phil R.

  4. says

    I ate Kilawin made of those minnows once, I had to really open my mind.. but it was good. It seemed like a lot of preparation as they peeled half the thing like a cucumber?! The little heads had a nice crunch to them.
    It’s good they eat what you cook. No Filipino family member ever touches what I cook. I once cooked a whole pot of rice for a group of 6 friends, all Filipino. Nobody touched the rice. They would rather eat with no rice then eat my cooked rice!

    • Phil R. says

      Yea crunchy little heads ..I was told by a doctor when i was getting my shots for the first time I was to go to the Philippines He said ” go with the flow and enjoy everything you can” so i did,I’ve never regretted it since .. and i still do enjoy th foods of the locals here in talasay..

  5. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Phil – Growing up in barrio Salaza (Palauig, Zambales), when torrential rains put forth a verdant field, my grandmother used to cook the stuff my grandfather managed to scrounge from the soggy rice field after a day’s hard work: edible freshwater snails called susu, sisi, and bisokol (Ilocano escargot) boiled in water with bagoong (fermented fish sauce) and calamansi juice. The meat from these snails are pried out of their shells in a clockwise fashion using calamansi thorns plucked from the calamansi tree growing just outside the kitchen banggera (cupboard). Rice is ever present with every meal and is cooked like it’s meant to be cooked – with plain water. Have you, by chance, ever eaten “adobong bayawak” (monitor lizard)? Or, katkatiw ? (leaves of a tree found in the countryside). Now, at face value, the susu or the sisi, or worse, the katkatiw, is usually not the kind of food one would expect to cause a thousand ships to be launched, but in the innocence of my youth in rural Salaza, I have actually eaten these peasant’s foods with so much pleasure – walang reklamo at masarap pa kamo. Not sure if this was because I haven’t yet seen the rest the world and what it had to offer in the way of chateaubriand and Maine lobster, or, maybe during rainy days in Salaza, the food just tasted better coming out of the palayok (clay pot) sitting on the fire at the pugon (wood fire stove) of my grandmother’s kitchen. What is it like to eat in my grandmother’s kitchen in those days, anyway?

    A brief glimpse of my grandmother’s nipa hut shows one huge room that combines the living room and where we slept on straw mats on the floor. The only room that is enclosed is the “batalan” because it is where you take a bath with a tabo. The “plumbing” is straightforward. It routes the bath water drawn from a “bomba” (water pump) through the unslotted batalan floors made of bamboo poles that allow for drainage flow to the ground below where coconut seedlings are strategically placed to catch the bathwater runoff. At supper time, we sit on the floor around a rectangular “dulang” (dining table) about a foot in height, with our legs stretched out under the dulang. There are no chairs. With your legs stretched out so, you can play footsie with your cousin sitting across from you. The kitchen floor, like the rest of the house, is made of strips of bamboo spaced about an inch apart for ventilation, not to mention for slipping scraps through the cracks for the dogs and chickens waiting below. We draw our drinking water from the earthenware jar kept on the banggera, using drinking cups called “ungot” (polished coconut shell). In a darkened corner of the kitchen, my grandmother keeps two huge earthen jars in which are stored bagoong and tagapulot, lumps of hardened sugar made from sugar cane juice. With such nostalgic ambiance, the chateaubriand was, for me, very much a world away in both time and distance.

    • Phil R. says

      I’ve stayed in a place like you describe and i enjoyed it , it was back up in the mountains and like you said just one room for everything spent 2 days there and it was a fun ..It was a aunt an uncle of hers . Very nice people ..thanks for the reply ..Phil R.

  6. Scott Fortune says

    Phil, I too was once like you. I didn’t like white rice. It wasnt’ until I tried GOOD rice, not the typical garbage rice americans cook, that I realized just how full the flavor of a white rice is. And, the rice in the Philippines, cooked with only water tasted better to me than any rice I had previously. Since coming back to the states I can only try to recreate the flavorful rice I came to love there, but it comes in at a distant second to the real stuff in the Philippines. Besides, when you have a flavorful dish of adobong baboy or something similar, it’s nice to have a simpler flavor to even things out.

    My problem now, is that being diabteic I am not able to enjoy the wonderful flavor of the Filipino white rice, cooked in water… or anything else for that matter!

    Enjoy your food. It sounds like everyone else does too!

  7. mon lumapas says

    hi! everyone, i´m a filipina thou right now i´m still living in Barcelona, Spain. my husband and I are planning to retire someday in Cebú-Mactan. We have a house in a residential area of Lapu-lapu. i´m enjoying reading the opinions of being an expat in the phils. I love cooking filipino and spanish dishes, simple dishes mainly vegetables and vegie meat. i grow my own organic veges in my tiny garden. this month of august was terrible due to the heatwave, we reached 42 C here in Barcelona, thou i live outside the city still it was hot. Anyway, i harvested lots of tomatoes so I did “GAZPACHO” sort of tomatoe soup but serve in cold. very refreshing indeed, and the rest i made a tomatoe jam and tomatoe sauce.

  8. RandyL says

    Hey Phil. Beef is much more enjoyable when cooked in a pressure cooker. We have a nice one that we are bringing with us. Can you find them over there?

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