Food Chatter: What Are People Eating in the Philippines?

Published in
3 min readMay 28, 2020


Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

At Quilt.AI, we have functional eaters and emotional eaters, amateur Instagram food-bloggers as well as the device-free-eating purists. But what got us all equally excited was to see what people in different parts of the globe are eating. How do food habits and preparation styles vary, is the food rich or subtle in flavor, what are people snacking on…

Like with other aspects of life in the 21st century, Instagram is a great reflection of what’s on people’s plates, so we turned to food image uploads by users in different places to learn more about food preferences around the world. Our first pick: the Philippines. Drool on!

Filipinos love their broth.

Filipino cuisine has several kinds of broth, including ‘batchoy’ — a ramen-like broth consisting of noodles, meat, and vegetables.

Other kinds of broth include pork stew, pork ribs soup, and beef stew, that appear to be rich and spicy in flavor, and quite popular in the Philippines.

Dried meat and seafood paired with rice dominate the uploads.

Like in most parts of Asia, rice and noodles are the staple accompaniment for most main meals. Meat and seafood are an important component of a wholesome meal, with pork, chicken, seafood, and beef featured with a serving of rice. Beef is served as tapa flakes (dried meat flakes) or corned beef, while fish is usually a dry and grilled whole fish with rice.

We also found many uploads featuring unconventional animal parts, such as chicken feet and offal (organ meat). Fun fact: grilled chicken feet are known as “adidas” in the Philippines, and are a popular street food item.

Deep-fried pork belly sausages and sticky rice balls in coconut milk are popular.

The deep-fried pork belly sausages are locally known as ‘bagnet’ or ‘chicharon’. Another variant is known as ‘lechon kawali’, traditionally served with ‘lechon’ dipping sauce, made with pork liver, or a fermented anchovies dip known as ‘bagoong monamon’.

Ginataang bilo bilo’, or sticky rice balls with coconut milk — inspired by the Chinese dish ‘tangyuan’ (glutinous rice flour balls in clear liquid) is usually had for special occasions, such as family gatherings or festivals, and has several variations (of different colors).

Steamed and deep-fried meaty snacks are a rage.

We see images of ‘siomai’, a kind of dumpling with minced meat stuffing, ‘kikiam’ consisting of meat or seafood wrapped in bean curd skin, and squid balls, being gorged on as snacks.

There’s also eggplant omelette, or ‘tortang talong’, a popular dish at home and in restaurants.

While Filipino cuisine has a strong Chinese as well as Spanish influence, it is composed of cuisines from over a hundred distinct ethnolinguistic groups from different parts of the Philippines. The process of preparation of most food items appears fairly labor-intensive (considering the marinate, broth, etc.) and often heat-centric (think grilling, deep-frying, etc.).

We loved exploring food image uploads from the Philippines, although it did leave our mouth watering for some real treats.

Watch out for our next culinary adventure to another place- right here on our blog!

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