The Do’s and Don’ts of Filipino Culture

The Do’s and Don’ts of Filipino Culture – Health, Party, and Food

There are many dos and don’ts that can be found in the Filipino culture. There are many different kinds of things that people should remember too when they go there. Well, if you are planning to go to the Philippines, make sure that you are able to take note of these things. This way, you will be sure to fit in and enjoy your stay in the Philippines.

Among the other nations of the world, the Filipino people are known to be one of the most traditional. This simply means that they have many different kinds of customs and traditions. Alternatively, there have been one too many nations that have colonized and influenced them. This being said, it is understood that the Filipinos carry with them traditions that are left to them by the Spanish, Malay, Chinese, and Americans – apart from their own. 

When spending your birthday in the Philippines, it is very important to serve either spaghetti or rice noodles. Remember, spaghetti and not any other pasta. To the Filipino people, this will signify a long life. This being said, when Filipinos spend their birthday, there is always spaghetti at their tables.

When you are dining in a Filipino household, there are many different Filipino customs and traditions as well. When a spoon falls down, they believe that a female visitor will be arriving. When a fork falls down, on the other hand, it means that there will be a male visitor to come. When you see a cat rubbing its face with its paws that is where the visitor will be coming from. The Filipino people will not expect you to know these. However, it’s cool if you do, right?

When already eating, make sure that you don’t get the last piece of food on any platter. This will signify that you will be an old bachelor or maid. When everyone is not yet done eating, even when the majority is already done, do not clean up as the person who is still eating will not get married. When someone in the household is leaving when everyone else is still eating, turn the plates clockwise to make sure that the person leaving will not get into any accidents. Indeed, these customs may not make sense to many. But then again, you won’t lose anything if you do them so when you are in a Filipino house, make sure to remember them. 

When you are at a party, there are customs too that you should remember. If you are giving a wallet or a purse as a gift to anyone, make sure that you put there some notes or coins as this pertains to good luck. Alternatively, it is bad to leave the purse or wallet on the floor because doing so may lead to your budget running low. During New Year’s Eve, jumping will mean that the person will grow taller. If you wear clothes with polka dots during the same, you will be lucky money-wise that coming year. If you are happy and smiling during New Year’s, you will be smiling and happy the whole year and on the contrary, if you pout or are sad, then you will pout and be sad the year-round.

Anywhere you will go, you will surely be able to encounter many different kinds of customs and traditions. It is very important that you do not make fun of them no matter how weird and senseless it seems to you. This applies to the Filipino culture, customs, and traditions as well. The Filipino people, much like anyone else in the world, will not appreciate being made fun of. 

Pinoy Indoor Games (Larong Pinoy)

 

While you may think that Philippine games (commonly known as Larong Pinoy) are mostly about running around chasing people, they are not. If you are not really someone with that much stamina, you should engage in many of the Filipino indoor games.

Many of these indoor games are played by certain regions in the country, so when you ask someone, they may not be familiar with a particular game. While Philippine games are usually popular with children, traditional indoor games are more popular with teens and adults. Here are a few interesting indoor games you might like to play to pass the time.

1. Pungitan

This Larong Pinoy is played by drawing a circle on the floor or a board. You place a shell in the middle of the board. Each player takes turns in trying to make the shell move out of the circle. To do this, they would use shells and attack by placing the shell in between the upper parts of the forefinger and thumb and tossing it forward the shell, similar to how a marble is thrown.

2. Tablita

Tablita makes use of a 26-square diagram (the corner boxes are taken out). Each player has copper disks and they toss the copper disks into the air to land in the square diagram. If the player’s disk lands on a line, he does not score a point. To score, the copper disk must sit perfectly inside the square. The player with the most number of copper disks inside the square wins the game.

3. Cara-cruz

Cara-cruz is a Larong Pinoy that is very popular with adults. While this is an indoor game, it can be played on the streets too. Basically, it is a heads or tails coin guessing game. While gambling is prohibited in the Philippines, many adults play cara-cruz to pass time. Most of them also place bets but since you are betting coins, there’s really not much profit for winning.

4. Birachapa

Birachapa is a variation of cara-cruz. Instead of tossing the coin in the air, the mediator will spin the coin on the ground. As it slowly stops, he will place a coconut shell on top of it. People will then bet on whether it is heads or tails.

5. Dama

Dama is a very popular indoor game. Many people who stay outside their houses (I usually see this game being played at tricycle terminals) also play this. Dama is basically checkers. You may apply the rules of checkers here where you go diagonal and take your opponent’s pieces as you pass them. There is also another version of this Larong Pinoy. In this version, you would allow your opponents to take your piece. It means that if they can take it, they cannot avoid it. The first player who loses all his pieces wins the game.

6. BINGO

Bingo is so popular that you can even see this being played in the malls now. This is one of the favorite Filipino past times. The same American rules apply to this game. A number is drawn and players cross out the numbers that have been called on their card. They win if they complete a particular BINGO pattern.

7. Sungka

Sungka is one of the oldest board games played in the Philippines. It uses a sungkaan, a wooden table-like structure with 16 shallow holes. Each side has 7 holes and the end has 2 bigger holes. Each of the seven holes on each side gets 7 shells each. The first player usually selects the second hole closest to the enemy’s bigger hole and starts distributing one shell for each of the next holes. Then, he would end up with one shell on his empty hole, after which he would choose another part to distribute. Each time he takes a particular hole to empty so he could distribute the shells, he would pass on his side of the hole to bring in more shells. If the last shell happens to stop on the enemy’s holes, the other side would take turns. In the case that he stops on an empty hole on his side (not the big one), and that empty hole has one shell, he would take the opposite hole shells for his own. The objective of the game is simple – fill your own side of the big hole with more shells.

 

There are many more interesting Larong Pinoy in the Philippines. Whether you are an active outdoor person or a mellow indoor person, you can surely engage in these games for fun.

Filipino Culture: Legends and Mythical Creatures

As small as a country the Philippines is, Filipino culture is full of many legends, folktales, and quite a lot of mythical creatures.

Filipino people care much about faith. That being said, Filipino families have passed on generation to generation many folktales and legends as well as mythical creatures that are surely interesting.

There are many Filipino traditions that are based on these stories as well. Therefore, if you want to know Filipino culture, I suggest you learn about the different legend and mythical creatures that Filipino people have.

Malakas and Maganda

The most famous legend of Filipino culture is the legend of Malakas and Maganda (which means Strong and Beautiful respectively). This is the legend told by Filipino people that resemble the creation of man (in the Philippines). The story is about the God of Sky and the Goddess of the Sea always fighting. But the God of Air reconciled them. They, later on, they fell in love and produced seed. This seed grew to be a bamboo tree. When a bird pecked on this special bamboo tree, it cracked open and released a man and a woman who were named Malakas and Maganda. They procreated and procreated and the Filipino people are born.

Filipino people are believers. They believe in many Filipino traditions as well as in mythical creatures. There are creatures that have never before been heard in the western world. Sometimes, they have resemblances but some of the Filipino people have made clear that there are sightings of these said mythical creatures.

Let’s get to know them.

The Aswang

The Aswang is the most famous mythical creature in Filipino culture. The Aswang is always a woman. They are some sort of bad witches that are known to terrorize lands bringing sickness and misfortune. Aswang is the creature that most Filipino families use to scare their children. They say that the Aswang gets little children who don’t obey their parents.

The Manananggal

The Manananggal is like Aswangs too, but they are the ones that fly. Yes, they fly. They are women as well. These are the mythical creatures of Filipino culture that are known to hunt pregnant women. During the daytime, they are said to be normal Filipino people. But when the night comes, the body of these women get split in half, leaving their bottom part wherever they desire.

The top part of their bodies grow wings and they find their victims by flying. Then, when they have spotted their victims, they go to the roof, and with their long tongue, they target the belly of the pregnant women and eat their child.

Scary, huh?

But don’t worry as Filipino people know how to defeat the Manananggal. To kill this creature, Filipino culture states that you should find the lower half of the body and bombard it with salt.

Yup, it’s easy to defeat it – as long as you find where the body is.

The Kapre

The Kapre is a hairy giant man that lives in trees. Unlike the Aswang and the Manananggal, Kapre does not harm people. They are, however, known to play pranks on people. Many Filipino people say that what’s scary about the Kapre is their looks.

The Sirena

The Sirena is a mythical creature known all over the world – it is a mermaid. The Sirena, however, is told to abduct fishermen by their song. Just like any other mermaid, the Sirena has a body of
a human and the tail of a fish. Again, Sirenas are women. It is said in the Filipino culture that they victimize only men.

Everywhere you go, you will get to hear legends and get to know mythical creatures. Filipino culture is rich in these two. The Philippine Islands are so far apart from each other that they are known to have different Filipino traditions, legends, and mythical creatures to believe in. If you will notice, the mythical creatures are always of a scary nature. Well, the Filipino families, over centuries, have found a way to defeat them. So don’t worry. If you are in the Philippines and you come across some of these mythical creatures, just visit Filipino families and your problem will be solved.

Fun Facts About Philippine Travel & Tourism

Philippine tourism is on a roll, so to speak. As days go by, more and more people want to go and visit the country.

A Philippine vacation is on most people’s bucket list at any time of year. This is because of the many different kinds of places to visit and attractions to enjoy there. Plus, enjoying a vacation in the Philippines is never too expensive. Yes, there are 5-star hotels in the Philippines, but seldom are they too expensive and will not but a massive dent in your budget.

So if you are planning to go on a vacation in the Philippines, here are some fun facts that you should take with you.

  1. The Philippines is a tropical island that is consisted of 7,107 islands. This simply means one thing – there are plenty of beaches to visit and you can surely have fun in the sun. The Philippines, being an archipelago, is home to many different islands and therefore, beaches. There are beaches in the Philippines that have the finest white sand while there are some that have black. There is even a pink beach there as the sand in its shore is colored pink! This being said, if you are looking for beaches, then you should surely enjoy your travels.
  2. The Philippines is divided into three island groups. The biggest island of the Philippines is its first island group, Luzon. This is where the capital Manila is located. The summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio, is also found here. The mid area of the country is called the Visayas. It consists of small islands of various cultures and dialects that many people enjoy. The third island group is called Mindanao. Found at the southern tip of the country, this is where most of the Muslims of the country reside. 
  3. The Philippines is a small country but they are home to many ethnicities. This gives them a great variety of culture and heritage. The main reason behind this is the fact that the Philippines went through so many conquests throughout the years. This is why Filipinos are known to be a mix of Spanish, Chinese, Malay, and American.
  4. Filipino people are very religious. Most of them are Roman Catholic but there are some who are Muslims and there are many other religions there. When on a Philippine vacation, make sure to pay respect to this fact.
  5. Filipino people are known worldwide as people who are hospitable and very friendly. This being said, you should expect them to be all smiles when you visit their country. You will notice that they will be accommodating to answer any of your questions as well. Therefore, you can rest assured that when you are in the Philippines, you will not get lost.

When you are on your Philippine vacation, you should never worry because their second language is English. Therefore, no matter where in the country you will go, you will be able to find someone who can talk and understand English. Although not everyone can do so eloquently, you can still count on being able to communicate.

The Last Piece Syndrome


No category about Filipino culture would be complete without mention of what is called “the last piece syndrome”.

Filipino culture insists that one leave the last piece of anything (food) for someone else.

What do I mean? Well, this is how it works:


Let’s say you’re eating out with some friends and have a whole pizza in front of you, sliced up and ready to be eaten.

Everyone takes a piece, and then a second piece until there is only one remaining piece of pizza left.

Now in any other place than the Philippines, I bet people would either race for that last piece or leave it for whoever gets its first -not big deal right?

This is where Filipino culture kicks in because here nobody wants to be the one to get that last piece!


(There maybe one or two who do want it but for some reason, getting that piece is so difficult to do)


Normally, a conversation about that last piece of pizza will go something like this:


Friend 1: Go on, Friend 2, get the last piece, I know you’re hungry.
Friend 2: No, I’m ok, Friend 3 should have it, and she’s the skinniest.
Friend 3: No, I don’t want any more, Friend 1, you can have it.
Friend 1: Ok, Let’s just share Friend 3.


As to how long the conversation will last, well it depends on how many of you there are and probably how close you are.

How is this ‘dilemma’ solved? Well, after the above lines get said all around the table, someone will, finally, say “ok, fine-if you guys insist, I’ll have it” or else, the piece will just be left on the table.


I have noticed that pushing back and forth usually is shorter when among close friends. I think in these cases, it really is just a matter of abiding to tradition.

I really have no idea where this ‘last piece syndrome’ comes from but I guess that’s the beauty with Filipino culture-it needs no origin or explanation-it is just what it is.

The Philippines: Trying out the Food


When you are visiting other countries, you don’t just visit them for their tourist spots. You visit them for their food.

and the Philippines is no exception and has some excellent and delicious food for you to enjoy

When you are in the Philippines you must try Adobo. There is not one menu in the country that that doesn’t include this dish. This is an entree that can use either pork or chicken as the main protein. The sauce is a mix of vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, garlic, salt, and some other spices. It is a delicious meal that most enjoy.

Also, there is Lechon ( roasted pig ). Lechon is actually said to be the most invited guest to parties that are held by Pinoys and Pinays. Lechon is a very popular meal and is available all around the Philippines. But the best Lechon is said to be available in the Visayas region, specifically in Cebu City.

Filipinos are known to be thrifty in so many ways and because of this thriftiness, Sisig was born.

Sisig is a dish that hails from . The main proteins of this dish are usually the leftover pork cheeks, head, and liver of the . It is prepared crunchy and chewy through different cooking methods and served in a sizzling plate.

Although this dish originated from , you can find sisig all over the Philippines. 


Crispy is another dish that you should try when you are in the Philippines. The crispy is the knuckle of a pig. This is cooked by simmering the entire knuckle and then deep frying it. It is served with
soy sauce, vinegar, and chili. 

Many Pinoys and Pinays love the “ ng ”. In English, this means “fat of the crabs – the tiny ones”. As weird as it may sound, Pinoys and  Pinays were able to process the fat of the tiny crabs and make it like a dipping sauce. But many places in the Philippines offer this sautéed in garlic and topped on fried rice.


Palabok is the spaghetti of the Philippines. This is made out of rice noodles that is garnished with an orange sauce that is based on shrimp broth. Palabok is served with tiny pork cubes, pork rinds, hard-boiled eggs, and even oysters and squid. 

Much like everything else in this list,   is also available everywhere in the Philippines.

Bulalo is a beef soup dish made from the beef shank marrow. Yes, you read it right – it is the marrow of the beef shank. This is mostly available in Tagaytay and Batangas, south of Manila. It is made in a that is rich in flavor as this is cooked by simmering the shank for hours.

Wherever you go, be sure to explore the food that is offered.  Filipino cuisine is just one reason why many people visit the country –second to their awesome tourist destinations, of course.

Why it’s More Fun in the Philippines

 

The current slogan of Philippine tourism is “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. But many people wonder is it really more fun in the Philippines? What’s so special about the country? Well, aside from the friendliness and hospitality of the Pinoys and the Pinays (which are Filipino slang for Filipino men and women respectively), there are so many activities that you can do in this small country. Their national language is Tagalog, or Filipino, but you don’t have to learn it so that you can enjoy in the Philippines. This is why it is always a good idea to visit the many Pinoys and Pinays of the Philippines.

The most famous tourist spots in the Philippines are water bodies. There they have hundreds of great beaches that have the finest white sand. There are rivers and gigantic lakes that are rich in history too. The favourite tourist destination of many people is the island of Boracay. Well, we all know what this island offers, right? Basically the Boracay Island, which is found in the Visayas islands of the Philippines, is the home of the finest white sand that doesn’t even get hot no matter how hot the sun may be. Yes, this is true. The island is also home to many different activities that everyone can participate in. In the evening, the island becomes the hottest party place as the shore is lined up with bars and the like.

However, if you are more into the solitude and relaxation kind of vacation, you can always go to any island in Palawan. This is an island in the Philippines that is known to be an animal sanctuary. There are many different land and sea animals present there. It is also home to many different beaches and dive spots that will really make your vacation in the Philippines one to remember. Indeed, it is more fun in the Philippines.

If you want to be near the beach but would like to be in a city as well, you can always go to Cebu. This is a city that has the best beaches minutes away from its center. Many Pinoys and Pinays love to live here, actually as it definitely defines what a paradise in the metro is. The language of the people here is not Tagalog, though. Their main dialect is called Visaya. However, you shouldn’t worry because the second language of the Pinoys and the Pinays here is English. Therefore, you can rest assured that when you visit this part of the Philippines you will be able to roam around without getting lost. You will surely be able to enjoy the place.

If you are into hiking and trekking, the Philippines have a lot to offer as well. The small archipelago is home to many mountains and volcanoes that any thrill seeker will enjoy. Sure enough, no matter what age you are or no matter what kind of mountain you would want to climb, the Philippines will be able to offer you the most wonderful time. This is why more and more people are visiting the Philippines. Aside from the friendly Pinoys and Pinays that are willing to be your guide, you will be astonished with the untouched beauty of most of the mountains and volcanoes that they have.

The Philippines is also the home of one of the new 7 wonders of the world, the Subterranean River Park. Basically, this is a river that is under a cave of limestone and such. Many Pinoys and Pinays offer tours here that the whole family will surely enjoy. After your trip of the Subterranean River Park, you can enjoy swimming and feeding the fishes in their marine sanctuary. You will be surprised with how colourful and vivid these corals and marine animals are. This is one reason why it is more fun in the Philippines.

It is more fun in the Philippines because of the diverse activities that you can do here. The Philippines is not a huge country. You can travel from the north to the south in less than a month – even when you are spending quality time in each of their tourist spots. Tagalog or not, you will be able to communicate well with the Pinoys and Pinays there, which will guarantee you that it is indeed more fun in the Philippines.

Filipino Culture: Filipino People: Ethnic Groups

 

Being an archipelago, the Filipino people are divided into many, many ethnic groups. This is one factor that brings Filipino culture much variety. This is one reason why there are so many Filipino traditions and festivities that the whole country honors. When you go to the Philippines and travel from the northernmost part to the south, you will get to see many Filipino families of different ethnic groups. To be sure that you will be able to relate to each Filipino family, I suggest you get to know the different ethnic groups of the Filipino people. 

The Tagalog.

The Tagalog Filipinos are those that live in the country’s capital, Manila. They are the ones that speak the Tagalog dialect, where the Filipino language is based from. As of now, there are somewhere around 25 million Tagalog Filipino people there. If you come to the Philippines and land in Manila, you can expect Tagalog Filipino people and Filipino families to welcome you there. The Tagalog Filipino people are most commonly of the Roman Catholic religion. However, given the variety of the Filipino culture, there are many Tagalog Filipino people who are not.

The Ilocanos.

As the name of this ethnic group implies, the Ilocano Filipino people are the ones that hail from the Ilocos region, from the northern Philippine coasts. Most of the Ilocano Filipino people are farmers and fishermen, given the topography of their home. There are somewhere around 9 million Ilocano Filipino people as of now. They speak the Ilocano dialect. When a Filipino family you come across with is Ilocano, they are most likely frugal and hard working. These two are the main characteristics of the Ilocano Filipino people. They celebrate quite a lot of Filipino traditions too, much like the rest of the Filipino people. Some of the most famous Filipino people that are Ilocanos are the former Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel Ramos, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – speak about being hardworking, huh.

The Bicolanos.

The Bicolanos are the Filipino people that hail from, you guessed it, the Bicol region. This is found in the south east part of Luzon. Much like the Tagalogs and the Ilocanos, the language of the Bicolanos are Bikol. As of present, there are approximately 6 million Bicolanos. The Bicol region is known for their famous volcano, Mt. Mayon. This certain volcano is renowned because of its perfect cone – no matter how active it is. Another famous part of this Filipino culture is their cuisine. The Bicolanos are known to cook well. They love spicy food as well.

The Kapangpangans.

The Kapangpangan Filipino people are the people who hail from the center part of the Luzon Island. The Kapangpangan people speak the Kapangpangan dialect. There are around 3 million of them at present. They are known for being brave and courageous. They are the Filipino people that are credited to be the first Filipino people who defended the country from the Spanish invasion back in the 16th century. They are known to have notorious Filipino traditions as well. The Kapangpangans are the Filipino people who literally re-enact the sufferings of Jesus Christ – yes, literally. They are the Filipino people who ask to be nailed on a cross during the Holy Week so as to repent for their sins.

The Visayans.

The Visayans are the Filipino people that live, well, in the Visayas Islands. The thing is that there are many little ethnic groups under this. The main reason is that this certain part of the Filipino culture is composed of many little islands. Each of these islands are home to different ethnic groups. They speak the Visayan language but there are many variations under this. They are the majority of the Filipino people as there are somewhere around 33 million Visayans in the entire Philippine Islands at present. The Visayas region is also known to have the most colorful Filipino traditions such as the Maskara festival (the Masks Festival), the HIgantes Festival (the Giants Festival), and many others.

The Philippines, being composed of 7107 islands is indeed home to many ethnic groups. What’s nice about all this is that the Filipino people are united. They love working together. The Filipino families pray together as they spend most of their time with each other as well. This is the core of the Filipino culture. This is the core of the Filipino traditions. I, therefore, highly recommend that you take a trip around the Philippines. I am sure that you will not just have fun, you will learn a lot as well.

Cooking Filipino Food: Caldereta

 

Filipino food is mostly entrees that are paired with rice. Filipinos are rice people as it is one of their top produce. Well, I have tasted quite a number of Filipino dishes as I have gathered a number of Filipino recipes. What I noticed about them is that they are all so easy to prepare. If you read Filipino recipes, you will see that there isn’t any elaborate cooking involved there. However, the food is guaranteed to be really tasty. This is why many people from all over the world get curious with how to cook and prepare Filipino food. This is why I decided to share some Filipino recipes to you.

I would want to share with you the recipe of one of the most loved Filipino dishes, Caldereta. Caldereta is a goat stew, but some people opt to use pork. It’s alright. The thing is that being able to choose the main ingredient is one of the reasons why there are so many versions of this recipe. Caldereta got its name from the Spanish word “Caldera” which means cauldron – mainly because this dish is cooked in a cauldron. But why does it have to be a Spanish word? Well, Caldereta is an adaptation of the Spanish dish of the same name. You see, the Spanish colonized the Philippines for 300 years. This recipe, among other Filipino recipes, are some of the things that Filipinos acquired from the Spanish – a very good one indeed.

So now that you know a lot about Caldereta, I think it’s time for us to cook this awesome dish!

For the ingredients, here are the things that you have to prepare. First, get your pork or goat. Prepare half a kilo and cut them into cubes. Then, get 3 pieces each of potatoes and carrots plus 2 pieces of green bell pepper. Again, cut these into cubes.  Mince 4 cloves of garlic and chop 1 medium onion. Now prepare 1 cup of coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, ¼ teaspoon of black ground pepper, 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Now that you have prepared the ingredients, it’s time to cook!

First, sauté garlic and onion until brown. If you have read many Filipino recipes, you will notice that most of them begin by sautéing their food. Then, you can add the pork (choose to use pork belly if it’s possible). Stir fry until pork or goat meat until it gets cooked and turns golden brown. Now you can get your soy sauce, salt, green bell pepper, and your ground pepper and mix them together. If you notice that the ingredients are already spread evenly on the dish, then you can take the next step. Add the tomato sauce, stir a little, then add the water. Mix this very well and let simmer for around 15 minutes.  As soon as the dish has done simmering, add your carrots, potatoes, brown sugar, bell peppers,  and coconut milk. Now, it’s ready to eat!

Caldereta is really tasty. The  tomato based goat or pork stew is most commonly seen being offered at Filipino buffets everywhere in the Philippines because, well, in the first place it really looks great This being said, more and more people from all over the world are interested in this recipe. This is why I am giving it to you. Filipino recipes are straightforward. Most of these Filipino recipes begin with sautéing the garlic and onion, too. The point is that Filipino food can be cooked by anyone. Once you have learned the basics of cooking Filipino dishes, you can easily and quickly whip up your Caldereta and serve it to your friends and family. I bet they will enjoy their Caldereta. Plus, you can be sure that you will get full easily.        

Cooking Filipino Food: Bicol Express

 

I was once eating at a Filipino restaurant and I saw written on a menu “Bicol Express”. I knew that Bicol is a province in the Philippines. But why is this Filipino food called “Bicol Express”? I was so curious that I asked the chef. Unfortunately, he is so busy cooking that he didn’t have the time to talk to me. So as soon as I got home, I searched for the Filipino food recipes about the dish and tried to learn more about the awesome, one of a kind food that I was able to try.

It has been two days that I have been looking for about Bicol Express. I have seen quite a lot, but I don’t have the imagination to picture how it is like to cook this. I decided to go back to the restaurant. I noticed that, miraculously, there aren’t many people eating at that time. So I went in and ordered this Bicol Express again. As soon as I finished enjoying my meal, I then again asked for the chef. Yes! He was available and I was able to talk to him. I was able to ask him about the famous dish.  And then he explained to me the story Bicol Express. The chef said that Bicol Express is the name of the train that travels from the northern part of Luzon to the southernmost part of it, Bicol. The province is famous for their spicy dishes, and since Bicol Express is a food that is based on chilies, the name Bicol Express is born.

Still, I was so astonished with how this Filipino food is. It is a pork stew that is based on chilies and coconut milk. As weird as it may sound, these recipes are just surprisingly awesome. Read on and find out how to prepare this great recipe.

Okay, so let’s first prepare the ingredients. Let’s start with preparing the pork. Get ½ kilo and cut them into cubes. Get 4 cloves of garlic and mince them. Then, get a medium sized onion and slice them into cubes. Get 2 tablespoons shrimp paste for flavor. Prepare ¼ black ground pepper and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil too. Now get 2 cups of coconut milk. If you only were able to get the canned ones, then that will do – prepare 1 can. For the chilies, get 5 red chili peppers and 6 pieces of chili fingers. So your ingredients are now ready. 

First heat your pan and add your oil. Now you can sauté your garlic and onion. When the onion and garlic are ready, add in your pork and stir fry it for up to 7 minutes. Sometimes, the pork will be cooked faster, so be careful. As if the pork turns golden brown in less than 7 minutes, that’s fine. Most Filipino recipes indicate that as long as the pork is already cooked then its fine. Then, you can now add your shrimp paste and black ground pepper. Stir them together with the pork. Now it’s time for the chilies. Add both the chili finger and the red hot peppers. Shortly after, add the coconut milk. Stir well and let the it simmer for about 15 minutes. If the sauce thickens earlier than 15 minutes, then it’s done. Sometimes the coconut milk will need around 20 minutes to thicken. The trick written in most Filipino recipes is that you should just wait for the coconut milk to thicken and you’ll know that the it is cooked. Oh and don’t forget, you should serve it while hot!

You see, Filipino food is not hard to cook. Even when you look at varying Filipino recipes, you will notice that all those are easy to cook. They are quite simple to prepare too. This is the reason why more people all around the world are learning how to cook Filipino food. Try it yourself, grab a hold of different recipes and I assure that you and your stomach will both enjoy.