I went to Manila last October to attend a conference. I knew my food adventure would largely depend on the organiser, so I kept my food bucket list concise and included items that could be found in shops and supermarkets, in case I didn’t have other choices but to bring them home.

My Filipino friends in Japan often cooked chicken adobo and sinigang for our get-togethers, so I wanted to try something else this time!


The first item on the list, the most wanted one, was pancit palabok. The bihon noodles were covered in annatto-based orange-coloured gravy. There were chunks of crushed chicharron. And they used hard-boiled quail eggs that added more taste to the dish. I loved it!


I didn’t try halo-halo though; but buko pandan (with caramelized oats) could be my most favourite filipino dessert! I had this during a buffet-style lunch in Intramuros. I knew it wasn’t a good idea to have this dessert on such plate, but there were no cups or bowls left. And this was my second helping, anyway. Lol!


So eventually I didn’t manage to try many Filipino foods. I ate mostly Western or Thai food because the conference was held at the Dusit Thani. And I missed out a mouthwatering BBQ near The Landmark. With no time to try champorado and filipino spaghetti, I ended up buying the instant versions. Lol! Polvoron, pastillas, banana ketchup and dried fruits were all in my bucket list. I just didn’t buy chicharron this time.

And below are how the banana ketchup and (instant) champorado and spaghetti sauce were doing after arrival in Jakarta. What do you think? 😀