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Holidays in Pitcairn Islands

Understanding Pitcairn Islands


First steps

Several thousand years ago, the first settlers in the Philippines crossed shallow seas and land bridges from the mainland Asia to arrive in this group of islands These were the Negritos or Aetas Direct descendants of these people can still be found in Zambales province to the North of Manila Several thousand years later, they were then followed by Austronesian settlers travelling the same route as the Negritos but this time over sea in their impressive Balangay boats This word is where the basic form of political institution, the baranggay, came from The settlers are believed to originate from neighbouring countries notably Malaysia and Indonesia

Pre-Spanish era

After the first Filipinos settled in the islands, they traveled further Pacific The early Austronesians of the Philippines simultaneously traded with each other as well as with the Chinese, Japanese, Okinawans, Indians, Thais, Arabs and other Austronesians of present-day Malaysia and Indonesia An interesting mix of cultures developed in the islands, and a writing system called baybayin or alibata, as well as a social structure developed quickly, some of the traders stayed and married the natives Hinduism and Buddhism was introduced by traders from India, Sumatra and Java These two religions syncretized with the various indigenous animistic beliefs Later, Arab, Malay and Javanese traders converted the natives, mainly in the island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago to Islam Later then Indianized kingdoms associated with the Srivijaya Kingdom and Islamic sultanates came to rise in the country

Spanish and British rule

When the explorer Ferdinand Magellan set foot on Philippine soil through the island of Homonhon in 1521, the Philippines was predominantly animist, with some Muslim and Hindu inhabitants mainly in the southern part of the country Famished, Magellan's crew were treated to a feast by the welcoming islanders who wore elaborate gold jewelry Magellan was Portuguese but it was a Spanish Expedition which he led to the islands which were eventually claimed by Spain as its colony Lapu-Lapu was against the Christianization of the natives, he then fought a battle with Magellan where Lapu-Lapu won while Magellan was killed The Philippines was later on named for Crown Prince Philip II of Spain and most of the natives converted to Catholicism The Muslims in the south and various animistic mountain tribes, however, resisted Spanish conquest and Catholic conversion

The longest revolt against Spanish colonization was led by Francisco Dagohoy in Bohol which lasted for 85 years covering the period of 1744-1829 As a cabeza de barangay or barangay captain, Dagohoy opposed the Spanish colonizers which were represented by priests and civil leaders, which require payment of excessive taxes, tributes They also oppresed the Philippines' natives by not subjecting them as slaves and sending them to prison for disobeying rules The Manila Galleon trade made contact between the country and Mexico as well as the whole of the Americas, Mayans and Aztecs settled in modern day Mexico, Pampanga and introduced their cultures which then was embraced by the Filipinos, other Asians used the Manila Galleon trade in order to migrate to the West During the Spanish rule, people such as the Dutch, Portuguese and British tried to colonize the country, however only the British did so and it lasted for 2 years in the modern-day capital; Manila The Philippines remained a Spanish colony for over 300 years until 1899 when it was ceded by Spain to the United States following the Spanish-American War

Colonization strikes again

The Filipinos declared independence on June 12, 1898 and resisted the American occupation and colonization and fought the Americans for seven years until the Filipinos surrendered which completed the colonization of the Philippines The American presence remained until World War II when Japan invaded the Philippines The Japanese occupation lasted from 1941 to 1945 when Gen Douglas McArthur fulfilled his promise and liberated the country from the Japanese In 1946, the Philippines was granted full independence by the US, although they maintained a military presence in the country through the Subic Naval Base in Zambales and Clark Air Base in Angeles City These facilities were ultimately returned to the Philippines in the early 1990's

Pre-Modern Era

Up until the 1960's, the Philippines was second only to Japan in terms of development in Asia Several decades of rule by Ferdinand Marcos plunged the country into deep debt Poverty was widespread and infrastructure for development was severely lacking In 1986, the People Power uprising finally overthrew the Marcos government He was replaced by Corazon Aquino, widow of slain opposition leader, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr

Modern era

Prior to the 21st Century, corruption became one of the main problems of the country The country suffered slightly in the 1997 Asian Financial crisis but led to a second EDSA which overthrew Pres Joseph Estrada, the then Vice-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo daughter of one of the former presidents took his place who will end her term this 2010 Growth in the Philippines is slow but it is hopefully catching up with its neighbours On 2009, Typhoon Ketsana stormed the country, in just a day it flooded the whole of Metro Manila leaving casualties


As of 2008, the Philippines has a population estimated at 96 million From its long history of Western occupation, 300 years by the Spaniards and 30 years by the Americans, its people have evolved as a unique blend of East and West in both appearance and culture But Filipinos are largely Malay in terms of ethnic origin Austronesian or Malayo-Polynesian However, many, particularly in the cities of Luzon and the Visayas, have heavy Chinese, Spanish, and American mixtures, whereas those living in the provinces are mostly of pure Austronesian origin known as "native" Many Muslims in Mindanao have Arab, Indian and Chinese mixtures The four largest foreign minorities in the country are as follows: Chinese, Koreans, and Indian, and the Japanese Also of significance are the Americans, Indonesians, and Arabs Pure Spaniards, and other Europeans, form a very small proportion in the country's population

Needless to say, the Filipino trait is a confluence of many cultures put together Filipinos are famous for the bayanihan or spirit of kinship and camaraderie taken from Malay forefathers They observe very close family ties which is said to have been passed on by the Chinese Religion comes from the Spaniards who were responsible for spreading the Christian faith across the archipelago The Spaniards introduced Christianity Roman Catholicism and succeeded in converting the overwhelming majority of Filipinos At least 83% of the total population belongs to the Roman Catholic faith

The genuine and pure expression of hospitality is an inherent trait in Filipinos, especially those who reside in the countryside who may appear very shy at first, but have a generous spirit, as seen in their smiles Hospitality, a trait displayed by every Filipino, makes these people legendary in Southeast Asia Guests will often be treated like royalty in Philippine households This is most evident during fiestas when even virtual strangers are welcomed and allowed to partake in the feast that most, if not all, households have during the occasion At times, this hospitality is taken to a fault Some households spend their entire savings on their fiesta offerings and sometimes even run into debt just to have lavish food on their table They spend the next year paying for these debts and preparing for the next fiesta At any rate, seldom can you find such hospitable people who enjoy the company of their visitors Perhaps due to their long association with Spain, Filipinos are emotional and passionate about life in a way that seems more Latin than Asian

Filipinos lead the bunch of English-proficient Asian people today and English is considered as a second language The American occupation was responsible for teaching the Filipino people the English language While the official language is Filipino which many incorrectly equate to Tagalog and whereas 76-78 languages and 170 dialects exist in this archipelago, still English is the second most widely spoken language in the country

The geographical and cultural grouping of Filipinos is defined by region, where each group has a set of distinct traits and dialects - the sturdy and frugal Ilocanos of the north, the industrious Tagalogs of the central plains, the loving and sweet Visayans from the central islands, and the colorful tribesmen and religious Muslims of Mindanao Tribal communities or minorities are likewise scattered across the archipelago

Also, it may seem peculiar for tourists to notice the Latin flair in Filipino culture Mainstream Philippine culture compared to the rest of Asia is quite Hispanic and westernized at the surface level But still, Filipinos are essentially Southeast Asians and many indigenous and pre-Hispanic attitudes and ways of thinking are still noticeable underneath a seemingly westernized veneer Muslim Filipinos and indigenous groups, who have retained a fully Malayo-Polynesian culture unaffected by Spanish-influence, are also visible in cities like Manila, Baguio, Davao or Cebu, and can remind a visitor of the amazing diversity and multiculturalism present in the country


The Philippines is not only the largest Christian country in Asia, but also it is the world's third largest Catholic Nation The Catholic faith remains the single biggest legacy of three hundred years of Spanish colonial rule Catholicism is still taken quite seriously in the Philippines Masses still draw crowds from the biggest cathedrals in the metropolis to the smallest parish chapels in the countryside During Holy Week, most broadcast TV stations close down or operate only on limited hours and those that do operate broadcast religious programs The Catholic Church also still exerts quite a bit of influence even on non-religious affairs such as affairs of state Mores are changing slowly, however; Filipinos are now slowly accepting what were previously taboo issues in as far as Catholic doctrine is concerned, such as artificial birth control, premarital sex, and the dissolution of marriage vows 

The biggest religious minority are Muslim Filipinos who primarily live in Mindanao and ARMM, but also increasingly in cities such as Manila, Baguio or Cebu in the north and central parts of the country They account for around 5% of the population Islam is the oldest continually practiced organized religion in the Philippines, with the first conversions made in the 12th century AD Islam became such an important force that Manila at the time of the Spanish arrival in the 16th century was a Muslim city Many aspects of this Islamic past are seen in certain cultural traits many mainstream Christian Filipinos still exhibit such as eating and hygiene etiquette and has added to the melting pot of Filipino culture in general Sadly, Terrorist attacks and violent confrontations between the Filipino army and splinter militant Islamic organizations such as the Abu Sayyaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have strained relations between Muslim and the non-Muslim Filipinos in rural areas in the south Yet, the Muslim Filipinos are much more liberal in their interpretations of Islam, and like the Muslims of Indonesia, are generally more relaxed regarding such topics as gender-segregation or the hijab veil than South Asians or Middle Eastern Muslims

Indian Filipinos, Chinese Filipinos, and Japanese Filipinos are mostly Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Shinto, and Taoist which all accounts 3% of the population of the Philippines These populations have been in the country for centuries preceding Spanish rule, and many aspects of Buddhist and Hindu belief and culture are seen in the mainstream culture of Christian or Muslim Filipinos as well As with many things in the Philippines, religion statistics are never clear-cut and defined, and many Christians and Muslims also practice and believe in indigenous spiritual aspects such as honoring natural deities and ancestor-worship, as well as the existence of magic and healers that may in some cases contradict the orthodox rules of their religions


The climate is tropical, with March to May summer being the hottest months The rainy season starts in June and extends through October with strong typhoons possible The coolest months are from November to February, with mid-January to end of February considered the best for cooler and dryer weather Locations exposed directly to the Pacific Ocean have frequent rainfall all year This includes the popular Pagsanjan Falls southeast of Manila though the falls will get you wet regardless The average temperatures range from 78°F / 25°C to 90°F / 32°C, and humidity is around 77 percent Baguio, which is branded as the summer capital of the Philippines, tends to be cooler due to its being located in mountainous regions with temperatures at night going below 20°C 68°F During summer, the country experience droughts, sometimes at extreme conditions, from Marchsometimes early as February to Maysometime extending to June water supply drops with most of the power plants being hydro electric meaning during summer, you'll be experiencing regular black-outs locally known as brown-outs, so it isn't much suggested to travel during the months of March to May


Christmas: The Filipino Way

Filipinos are very Catholic; Christmas is celebrated from September till Epiphany, go and have Noche Buena with a Filipino family; Filipinos don't mind strangers eating with them in their dining table as this is customary during Fiestas, try out Hamonham and Keso De Bola Caroling is widely practiced by the youth around the Philippines, they'll appreciate if you give them at least 5-10 pesos Don't miss the Misa Del Gallo; Early Mass or Simbang Gabi in Tagalog meaning Night Mass, this tradition was passed down from the Spanish, masses usually are held either on Midnight or before dawn, after this Filipinos eat Kakanin or rice cakes and Bibingka that are sold outside churches and also drink Tsokolate; hot chocolate or eat Champurado; hot chocalte porridge Parols; Star of Bethlehem lanterns are hanged in front of houses, commercial establishments and streets, a Giant Lantern Festival is held in Pampanga Belens or Nativities are displayed in city halls and/or commercial establishments This is an experience, one shouldn't miss if he/she is travelling in the Philippines

The Philippines is a Multi-Cultural country having Christian, Muslim and Chinese holidays aside from Secular holidays The year is welcomed by New Year's Day on January 1, being a predominantly Catholic country means observing the traditional Catholic holidays of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday during Lent or months around April or May, Araw ng pagkabuhay or Easter Sunday is celebrated 3 days after Good Friday Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor, Boy scouts reenact the march every 2 years in honor of this day that is also known as Bataan Day, they march as long as 10 kilometers, the Bataan Death March was part of the Bataan Battle which was also part of the Battle of the Philippines, the Bataan Death March was a 60 Kilometer march and the people who participated in this march were captured, tortured and murdered All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on November 2 In recognition of the Muslim Filipinos, the Islamic feast of Eid-Al-Fitr known in the Philippines as Hari Raya Puasa, held after Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, is also a national holiday This day changes year by year, as it follows the Lunar Calendar Chinese New Year is also celebrated by the Chinese Community but dates vary according to the lunar calendar Secular holidays include Labor Day May 1 and Independence Day June 12 August 30 is declared National Heroes Day Some holidays also commemorate national heroes such as Jose Rizal Dec 30 and Andres Bonifacio Nov 30 as well as Ninoy Aquino August 21 Metro Manila is less congested during Holy Week as people tend to go to their hometowns to spend the holidays there Holy week is also considered part of the super peak season for most beach resorts such as Boracay and the most popular ones tend to get overcrowded at this time Due to its cool mountain weather, Baguio is also where a lot of people spend the Holy Week break Christmas is widely celebrated on December 25


  • New Year's Day - January 1
  • Maundy Thursday - Varies
  • Good Friday - Varies
  • Easter Sunday - Varies
  • Araw Ng Kagitingan Day of Valor - April 9
  • Labor Day - May 1
  • Independence Day - June 12
  • Ninoy Aquino Day - August 21
  • National Heroes Day - Last Monday of August
  • All Saints Day - November 1
  • All Souls Day - November 2
  • Eid Ul Fitr Hari Raya Puasa - Varies according to lunar calendar
  • Eid Ul Adha - Varies according to lunar calendar
  • Bonifacio Day - November 30
  • Christmas Day - December 25
  • Rizal Day - December 30
  • Last Day of the Year - December 31


The Philippines is a diverse country just like Singapore, making the country more of a Salad bowl Every foreigner that has stepped in its history has taken the Asian identity of the Filipinos People in the big cities, such as Manila, may seem heavily Westernized However, many people from the city do come from rural areas and are still deeply rooted to traditional Filipino ways Tribal people do their best to maintain their heritage and culture despite the unavoidable influence of modern western culture, travelling remote places and meeting tribes and experiencing their culture and heritage is the best way to see how the Filipinos lived before the arrival of the Spanish Filipino culture can be seen in the Tinikling dance which also shows distinctive influence from the Indonesians, the dance is mistakenly known as the national dance because of its popularity, the dance is demonstrated by two or more people holding two or more bamboo sticks known as Kawayan, then they start moving the bamboo sticks as the dancers put their foot in between the bamboo sticks quickly out and in Kamayan, a literal meaning for eating with hands, try this while in the Philippines , to experience the Filipino way of eating

The Filipinos have also retained their animistic ways Many believe heavily in the presence of spirits and existence of ghouls, elves, and spirits in nature Some Filipinos are also deeply religious and devout people Regardless of your own beliefs, as a visitor, observance of religious rules and respect for the Filipinos beliefs will be greatly appreciated


Filipino literature is a mix of Indian sagas, folktales, and traces of Western influence Classical books are written in Spanish as well as in Tagalog, to this day most of Filipino literature is written in English The Philippines thus is a Multi-cultural country with its roots stretching from Asia to Europe and to the Americas History, Documentary

  • Red Revolution by Gregg R Jones ISBN 0813306442 - Documentary about the guerrilla movement; New People's Army NPA, in the Philippines
  • In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines by Stanley Karnow ISBN 0345328167 - Shares the story of European and American colonization in the archipelago as well as the restoration of democracy after the overthrew of Marcos


  • Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal
  • El Filibusterismo by Jose Rizal
  • Dekada '70 by Lualhati Bautista ISBN 9711790238 - A story about a middle class Filipino family that struggled to fight with other Filipinos during the martial law during the time of Marcos
  • The Day the Dancers Came by Bienvenido Santos

Cinema and music

The Filipino film industry is suffering because of its main rival; the Western film industry, since the 21st century every year only 40 films are produced down from 200-300 films a year in the 1990s Western culture has also permeated the music industry in the Philippines Many songs are in English American Rock-n-Roll and, recently, rap and hip-hop are heard and performed Traditional Filipino songs such as Kundiman nostalgic/poetic songs are still held dearly by the population but is, unfortuantely, slowly losing influence among the younger generations Award winning films done by Filipino directors The Filipino Film industry was booming the earlier days with over 200 movies per year produced and made but prior to the arrival of Western films, the Film industry collapsed in the 1990s but by the 21st century, successful attempts in reviving the independent Film industry were done Filipino movies face fierce competition with western movies to this date


  • Ricky Lee - Himala1982 —
  • Mike De Leon - Sister Stella L1984 — Movie about a nun's fight against the oppression and political injustice of the government
  • Metro Manila Film Festival — Held annually during the Christmas season showcases local works of Filipino directors
  • Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Festival
  • Cinemanila International Film Festival

Fancy horror movies? Just like its neighbouring countries the Filipinos enjoy watching horror and thriller movies

  • Chito Roño - Feng Shui2004 — is a big hit in Asia, the movie is about a married woman named Joy who discovers a Ba Gua; a mirror used in Chinese Geomancy, Feng Shui She then discovers she becomes lucky but also that every lucky in return is death to people who had seen their faces in the mirror
  • Yam Laranas - Sigaw2004 — is another big hit too, its popularity led it to an American Remake; The Echo2009 A movie about a guy who moves to an apartment who then hears noises and discovers things which other can't see nor hear
  • By Various Directors - Shake, Rattle & Roll Film Series — have over more than 10 volumes from the late 1980s to this day, its format is somewhat like a TV-series if seen in a modern American TV set It is premiered in the Metro Manila Film Festival where it competes with other local movies


  • Freddie Aguilar - Anak; had been translated to many languages and topped the billboard charts because of its popularity not only to Filipinos but to the whole world, the song is about a boy who was loved by his parents so much but as he grows old he disrespects them but as the song ends the boy comes back to his parents' arms after realizing all his mistakes, most of the listeners relate to the song and some have emotional breakdowns probably by relating to the song It has an English version, this song shows the Filipino parents that even though you have mistakes they are always there to forgive and help you
  • Hotdogs - Manila is a popular song in the 80s, it is about a man missing the bustling streets of Manila as well as its food, people and noise


In the Philippines, Barangays which is the somewhat the equivalent of a typical Western Sub-Urban is abbreviated as Brgy, the word Barangay comes from the word Balangay which is an old boat, a Barangay contains usually not less than 100 families Barangays are then further divided into Subdivisions, which is abbreviated Subd While getting a taxi or jeepney, Filipinos don't give the street's name, they give the address of a popular landmark instead which is near to their destination, so when you get a taxi or jeepney just give the popular landmark near your destination


  • Department of Tourism2
  • Experience Philippines3
  • My Philippines4

Talking in Pitcairn Islands

The Philippines has two official languages: English and Filipino Filipino is mainly based on the Tagalog language a relative of Malay, it has loanwords from Spanish, English, Malay, Indonesian, Arabicsome words through Malay, Min nan, Japanese, Hindi and many other languages mostly from the Indian subcontinent and Europe The history of Tagalog is that it was formerly the Javanese language which was brought by the Indonesians in moving to the archipelago, the language dramatically change in trading with other countries and during the Spanish colonial times, to this day the language is dominated by Spanish loanwords which is helpful for some Spanish people and which is also the reason why some Filipinos understand a little Spanish In addition, as Malay and Filipino are closely related, speakers of Malay would also recognise many cognates in the Filipino language Generally, somebody who speaks Malay and Spanish would be able to understand the conversations of locals to a certain extent, and might just be able to get by

Filipino is the language spoken in the Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regions as well as the National Capital Region NCR or Metro Manila In the Northern Luzon provinces, Ilocano is the most common language spoken The provinces of Pangasinan and Pampanga also have their own languages Further south of Metro Manila lies the Bicol Region where Bikolano is used In the Southern Islands of Visayas and Mindanao, Cebuano is the most common language spoken Other languages in the south include Hiligaynon and Waray

English is an official language of the Philippines and is a compulsory subject in all schools, so it is widely spoken in the larger cities and main tourist areas However, it is usually not the first language of choice for locals, and is largely restricted to formal speeches by the upper class Tourists won't have problems using English when making inquiries from commercial and government establishments A few simple phrases in Filipino will come in handy when traveling to rural places as English proficiency is limited there Taglish is spoken nowadays by the youth, it is a mix of Tagalog and English, an example is shown below,

Taglish:How are you na? Ok naman ako
English:How are you? I'm ok

Spanish is no longer widely understood, though many Spanish words survive in the local languages A Spanish based Creole language known as Chavacano is spoken in Cavite and in Zamboanga The government is trying to revive Spanish by providing Spanish in public schools as an optional language Younger Spanish-Filipinos tend to speak Filipino languages and/or English as their primary language

There are some other ethnic groups who reside in the country, particularly in more urbanized areas like Manila The largest group is the Chinese, many of whom have assimilated with Filipino society Take note however that since most of them come from Fujian province, they speak Hokkien as well as Lan-ang; a language which is made with the mix of Filipino and Hokkien, they are also taught Mandarin in Chinese schools Muslim Filipinos are taught Arabic in schools in order to read the Qu'ran Other groups include the Indians, Japanese, Arabs, Koreans, Americans and Europeans use their native language as their first language In some cosmopolitan areas, there are establishments catering to Korean speakers Indian languages such as Hindi and Punjabi are also spoken by the Indian communities while Europeans speak their own languages

What to see in Pitcairn Islands

  • Beaches: Swim through the blue waters of Boracay and El Nido, sunbathe at the beaches of Puerto Galera and Pagudpud
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: See the spectacular Banaue Rice terraces in Batad and be fascinated at how it was built, see the only successful laid out plan of a European colonial town in Asia; Vigan The Baroque churches the Immaculate Conception in Manila, Nuestra Senora in Ilocos Sur, San Agustin in Ilocos Norte and Santo Tomas in Iloilo of the Philippines will amaze you about the European Baroque architecture
  • Coral reefs: Dive the Tubbatahaa Reefs National Park and see the spectacular collections of marine life and corals Anilao also offers good options
  • Churches and religious sites: See the Basilica of San Sebastian in Quiapo; the only all steel church or basilica in Asia A visit to a city's cathedral is worth it
  • Historical Sites: Intramuros, Rizal Park and Blood Compact site in Bohol are worth seeing and will give you a glimpse of the history of the country
  • Wildlife and Plants: Rare animals that can only be found in the Philippines and most of them are endangered and threatened Philippine Monkey Eating Eagle; The largest eagle, Tarsier; a small animal that looks like an alien and can be found in Bohol, Carabaos and Tamaraws; water buffaloes only endemic in the Philippines, aside from these animals, some species of rats, bats and water pigs are also endemic in the Philippines Endemic plants like orchids like the Waling-Waling one of the rarest flowers in the world as well as one of the most expensive in the world Visit the website of PESCCP67 Philippine Endemic Species Conservation Project for more information
  • Malls and Shopping: The bustling urban streets of Metro Manila, have fair options of bargain centers and malls, shop in the second and fourth largest malls of the world; SM City North EDSA and SM Mall of Asia


What to do in Pitcairn Islands

  • Aerial Sports - An annual Hot Air Balloon festival is held in Clark, Angeles in Pampanga, other than Hot Air balloons on display, people gather in this event to do sky diving, many activities are also held other than sky diving and hot air balloons The Festival is held between January and February
  • Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines, don't miss the PBA 82 and UAAP 83 basketball tournaments
  • Bentosa and Hilot are Filipino alternative ways of healing, Bentosa is a method where a cup cover a tea light candle then it flames out and it drains out all the pain on the certain part of the body, Hilot is just the Filipino way of massaging
  • Board Sailing - Waves and winds work together making the country a haven for board sailors Boracay, Subic Bay and Anilao in Batangas are the main destinations
  • Caving - The Archipelago has osme unique cave systems Sagada is one popular destination for caving
  • Dive - Blue, tranquil waters and abundant reefs make for good diving Compared to neighboring countries, diving in the country is cheaper
  • Festivals - Each municipality, town, city and province has their own festival, either religious or in honor of the city or a historical reason
See also: Festivals in the Philippines for more information
  • Golf - Almost every province has a golf course, it is a popular sport among the elite, rich and famous
  • Medical Tourism - The Philippines supplies the world with many medical professionals with large numbers leaving the country every year for a better future abroad This is indicative of the quality of medical education and medical tourism is on the rise too Most come from America and Europe as compared to their home countries, healthcare here is much cheaper; as much as 80% less than the average price abroad Most of the hospitals suggested for medical tourism are in Metro Manila Alternative medicine is also popular with spas, faith healing and other fringe therapies widespread throughout the archipelago
  • National Parks - National parks number around 60-70, they include mountains and coral reefs
  • Mountain Biking - The archipelago has dozens of mountains and is ideal for mountain bikers Bikes are the best mode of transportation in getting around remote areas Some options include Baguio, Davao, Iloilo, Banaue, Mt Apo and Guimaras
  • Rock Climbing - Apo Island, Atimonan, El Nido, Puting Bato, Wawa Gorge have the best sites in the archipelago for rock climbing
  • Sea Kayaking - Caramoan Islands in Camarines Sur, Palawan, Samar and Siargao are popular
  • Spas are popular, with many options, Spas are found near beaches, financial capitals etc
  • Trekking - Mountain ranges and peaks offer cool weather for trekking and it might give you a sight of the beautiful exotic flora and fauna of the country Mt Kanlaon and Mt Pulag are good trekking spots
  • Visita Iglesia - Visita Iglesia Visita is Latin for Visit, Iglesia is Latin for Church; Visit Churches is the practice done by mostly Filipino Roman Catholics to Churches, holy sites, shrines, basilicas etc If you are religious try this, if you love art and architecture; churches are the best way to define what Filipino architecture
  • Whitewater Rafting - One of the best, if not the best, whitewater rafting experience can be had in Cagayan de Oro City, a city in the northern part of Mindanao Also, Davao is emerging as the Whitewater rafting capital in Mindanao, if not in the Philippines

Buying stuff in Pitcairn Islands


Exchange Rates

As of January 2010:

  • US Dollar $1 - Philippine Peso ₱46
  • Euro €1 - Philippine Peso ₱66 down to 56 in May 2010
  • Pound Sterling £1 - Philippine Peso ₱74
  • Saudi Rial SR1 - Philippine Peso ₱12
  • Japanese Yen ¥1 - Philippine Peso ₱050
  • Australian Dollar $1 - Philippine Peso ₱42
  • South African Rand R1 - Philippine Peso ₱6
  • Hong Kong Dollar $1 - Philippine Peso ₱580
  • Singapore Dollar $1 - Philippine Peso ₱32

The Philippine Peso₱PHP is the official currency As of January 2010, one US dollar trades at around ₱46Peso bills come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 One peso is equivalent to 100 centavos and coins come in 5, 10 and 25 centavo variants in addition to the 1, 5 and 10 peso coins Money changers are not so common in the Philippines apart from some heavily touristed areas and most malls which usually have their own currency exchange stall Banks on the other hand are widely available to exchange currency but usually impose a minimum amount and have limited hours of operation, usually from 9 AM to 3 PM on weekdays except Bank of the Philippine Islands84 BPI and Banco De Oro85 BDO which have longer hours of operation Don't exchange money in stalls along the streets as some of them might be exchanging your money for counterfeit money, contact Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas86 Central Bank of the Philippines if you suspect if your money is counterfeited or not

Be aware that no person is allowed to enter the Philippines carrying more than P10,000 without prior authorisation by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Those who have not gained prior authorisation will have to declare the excess money at the customs desk upon arrival — but if you have a reason to do so, like you are going to, say rent an apartment in Manila, you can be allowed pass through without any fee while carrying P30,000 However, it's entirely possible that this was a one-day luck and on a different day you may lose out by entering with a large amount of money

ATMs and credit cards

Visitors can also use the 6,000 ATMs nationwide to withdraw funds or ask for cash advances The three major local ATM consortia are BancNet, MegaLink and Expressnet International networks, like PLUS and Cirrus, are accessible with many ATMs, however Cirrus is more predominant than PLUS; however, withdrawals are often limited to 5,000 pesos An exception is HSBC where up to 50,000 pesos is possible Visitors who have a MasterCard/Maestro/Cirrus cards can withdraw funds or ask for cash advances at ATMs that display their logos The most prominent MasterCard ATMs are the Express Tellers by BPI Bank of the Philippine Islands and the Smartellers by Banco de Oro PLUS ATMs are not available locally as a complement by itself, but instead it is available along with Cirrus Prominent examples include the Fasteller by Equitable PCI Bank and the Electronic Teller ET by Metrobank Most MegaLink ATMs are linked to PLUS and Cirrus

Credit card holders can use VISA, MasterCard, American Express and JCB cards in many locations in the Philippines but merchants would usually require a minimum purchase amount before you can use your card Cardholders of China UnionPay credit cards can get cash advances at many BancNet ATMs particularly of Metrobank but cannot use their cards in point of sale transactions at the moment


Traveling in Philippines is cheap one of the least expensive places to visit in Asia and as well in the rest of the world Some accommodations may be pricy , more so in some cases places to stay are cheaper in Thailand For example a stay in a hotel would cost as low as $30 or ₱1400, a flight to Cebu from Manila and vice-versa will cost $35 or ₱1645 Transportation is low as ₱850 for the first 4km in a Jeepney Using the internet for 1 hour in an internet cafe range from ₱20 to ₱50 depending on the Internet Cafe's location, a can of coke costs as low was ₱16 while a copy of the International Herald Tribune costs ₱70 and Economist as low as ₱160 In most restaurants, there is 12% Value Added Tax VAT usually included in the unit price but service charge is often excluded and computed separately


What's a Pasalubong?

A pasalubong is a tradition practiced by Filipinos for a long time, a Pasalubong is something you bring to your friends and family as a souvenir, keepsake or gift from a place you have recently visited, nowadays Filipino immigrants from abroad as well as Filipinos who work outside their hometowns but within the Philippines bring pasalubong or send them mostly during Christmas, New Year, Birthdays, Holy Week and during the summer and winter vacations Try this tradition if you're planning what to buy as a souvenir from the Philippines, Filipinos tend to be not selfish even co-workers, friends and neighbours as well as their co-worker's family, their friend's friends and their neighbour's neighbour try giving pasalubongs to your enemies also, even the meanest person to them they'd also give them pasalubongs, it's funny but that's how Filipinos are A Pasalubong consists the following, Food; usually delicacies and sweets, T-shirts, Souvenirs such as key chains, bags etc they usually put all their pasulubongs into one box This may be hard for you but as they say it's better to give than to receive, get tips from locals for what a typical pasalubong consists

It isn't hard to find malls in the Philippines, the 3 largest malls in the world are found in the country, it's a fact consumerism has been part of a Filipino's life, even things they don't need but are in sale and discount they'll buy it The reason why the country hasn't been affected much by recent financial crisis is because of the circulation of money, even if Filipinos are broke they'll find a way to buy something at least in a week for themselves

As stated above, living in the Philippines is cheap, shopping there is also cheap Sales tend to happen during pay day and last for 3 days and also during the Christmas season in the Philippines Christmas season extends from September to the first week of January in Department stores like SM Department Store87 Cheaper items are sold at flea markets and open markets where you can bargain the price like Divisoria, Market!Market!, Greenhills in Metro Manila Ayala Center88 is often compared to Singapore's Orchard Rd, from Entertainment to shopping, they have it all there, located in the Financial district of Makati Not far from Makati is Serendra, a Piazza that offers lifestyle and luxury shops and often called the Luxury lifestyle center of Metro Manila The piazza features modern architecture that will make you think you're somewhere near the world of Star Wars, stare, drool and be amazed at the public art displayed there Coffee shops and tea shops are found around this area, as well as furniture and clothing stores and is located in Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig The 4 largest mall operators are SM, Gaisano, Ayala and Robinson's with branches around the archipelago

  • Antiques: Antique Porcelain plates are found around Manila after the Filipino-Chinese trade however be careful when you buy antiques Antique Santos or Saint statues including Jesus and the Virgin Mary are also sold Streets of Makati, Ermita and Vigan in Ilocos mostly sell antiques
  • Brass ware: Muslim Gongs are popular in the Philippines, jewel boxes, brass beds are other brass ware products Just like antiques, tourists are advised to be careful in purchasing brass ware
  • Books and Stationary: Filipino literature is amusing to read, English versions of Filipino novels are available in National Bookstore89 and Power Books 90, books tend to be much cheaper in the country compared to other countries Stationary items are sold at a very low price as low as ₱10, however be careful as some items may contain high lead content
  • Clothes: Bargained clothes as low as $3 is available in flea markets and Ukay-Ukays Ukay-Ukays sell second-hand clothes from other countries at a cheap price If you prefer branded clothes, Metro Manila has a lot of foreign brand shops scattered around the city predominantly in the business district of Makati
  • Comics: Komiks or Comics in English is one of the most popular forms of literature in the Philippines and can be bought as cheap as P10 It is so popular that TV and Film adaptations are often found Carlo J Caparas and Mars Ravelo are two famous comic authors They're available in newstands and most of them are unfortunately in Tagalog, you might be lucky if you find an English version of it
  • Embroidery: Embroidery is a best buy because the most of the national dresses are embroidered from pinya Pineapple leaves and other raw material Handmade ones tend to be expensive than machine-maid ones
  • Food: Buy Dried mangoes, Goldilocks and Red Ribbon has pastries and sweets such as Polvoron are also good to purchase Native specialties are sold at Pasalubong centers Aside from Pastries and sweets, buy condiments such as Banana Ketchup, Shrimp Paste as both of which are hard to find outside Asia Don't miss the chocolates of the Philippines; Chocnut and Tablea, Chocnut is like a powdered chocolate with a sweet taste and often sticky once it sticks to your gums, Tablea are chocolate tablets used for making hot chocolate
  • Jewelery: Silver Necklaces and Pearls are popular in the Philippines, however it is discourage if you buy jewelery made out from endangered animals and corals as corals are slowly disappearing Handmade jewelery made by indigenous tribes of the Philippines are available, jewelery made from wood is also sold
  • Mats: Pandan leaves are weaved and made into a mat, mats tend to be different in each region in the Philippines, Mats in Luzon tend to be simple while in Visayas they're multi-colored while in Mindanao tribes weave complex and difficult designs that often have meaning
  • Pirated DVDs: It is suggested not to purchase Pirated DVDs especially for tourists going back to America where you can be arrested by customs
  • Shoes and Bags: The Philippines made a mark in the industry of Shoes and Bags after former first lady Imelda Marcos had over thousands of pairs of shoes Marikina, Rizal is known to be the shoe and bag capital of the Philippines, you can order for custom made shoes if you tend to stay longer
  • Woodcarving: Wood carved products are available handmade by indigenous tribes, most of the carved products are Rice Granaries, god carvings and animal totems
  • Shells

Food and eating in Pitcairn Islands

Cooking terms

What's in your menu?

  • Ginisa/Ginisang - Stir Fried
  • Nilaga/Nilagang - Boiled
  • Prito/Pritong/Piniritong - Fried
  • Paksiw/Pinaksiw - Cooked in Vinegar
  • Tostado/Tostadong - Toasted
  • Torta/Tinorta - Omelette
  • Tapa/Tinapa - Dried or smoked, Tinapa usually is Dried fish while Tapa usually refers to Beef Tapa
  • Nilasing - Cooked in alcoholic beverage, from Lasing meaning drunk
  • Lechon/Nilechon - Roasted
  • Hilaw/Sariwa - Fresh
  • Daing/Dinaing - Dried fish
  • Inadobo/Adobo - Cooked in soy sauce

Filipino cuisine has developed from the different cultures that shaped its history As such, it is a melange of Chinese, Malay, Spanish, European and American influences Though its cuisine is not as renowned as many of its neighbours, such as that of Thailand and Vietnam, Filipino cooking is nonetheless distinct in that it is possibly the least spicy of all South East Asian cuisines Don't make the mistake of thinking that Filipino food is bland, though It is just that instead of spices, Filipino food depends more on garlic, onions and ginger to add flavor to dishes Painstaking preparation and prolonged cooking time is also a characteristic of most Filipino dishes, and when done properly is often what brings out the flavor of the food as, opposed to a healthy dose of spices Kamayan, literally means Eating with Hands Some Filipinos who were born and raised in rural provinces still eat with their hands, mostly at their homes during mealtimes They would often say that Kamayan makes food taste better Wash your hands clean before attempting this to avoid illnesses Almost all Filipinos in the urban areas though use spoons, forks and knives Eating with hands in public is not uncommon however if you're eating in a mid-range and splurge restaurant this may be considered rude

To experience how the Filipinos eat in a budget way, Carenderias food stalls and Turo-turo meaning Point-point, which actually means you point at the food you want to eat in the buffet table are some of the options Mains cost less than $1 Carenderias serve food cooked earlier and it may not always be the safest of options

As with the rest of Southeast Asia, rice is the staple food of the Philippines Some areas in the Visayas prefer corn but elsewhere Filipinos would generally have rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner Uncooked rice usually comes in 50kg sacks but can be bought by the kilogram at the wet market or at neighborhood rice dealers Single servings of rice are readily available at fastfood restaurants or eateries

Filipino diet

The word diet is non-existent in the vocabulary of Filipinos or has never existed, as mentioned before they are laid back people, they love to eat as much as they can as if there is no tomorrow They spend most of their money on food, a Filipino teenager might at least enter a fastfood chain twice to thrice a week, during fiestas in a city, town, barangay, purok or subdivision Filipinos would have big parties and it would last from noon to midnight when some of the people would end up being drunk, you can ask if you can join a fiesta in a home and some might welcome you as this is a tradition If you're visiting the Philippines it is the best time to cut your so called diet and eat to your heart's content The Filipino diet is a lot more similar to the west than the east, with Filipinos eating less vegetables, more oil, meat and sugar than people in neighboring countries; most Filipinos aren't health conscious Cancer and heart-related diseases are the leading causes of death here However if you visit rural areas they use more vegetables and less meat and practice old Filipino medicine


Some Filipinos strictly use the serving spoon rule, sharing the belief with Indians that offering utensils or food that had come contact with someone's saliva is rude, disgusting, and will cause food to get stale quickly Singing or having an argument while eating is considered rude, as they believe food is grasya/gracia or grace in English; food won't come to you if you keep disrespecting it Singing while cooking is considered taboo because it will cause you to forever be a bachelor or a widow for life, another belief shared with the Indians Conservative Filipinos share another belief with the Chinese that not finishing your food on your plate is taboo and rude, you'll often see Filipino parents scolding their children to finish their food or not they'll never achieve good academic performance Usually before a meal starts Filipinos say a prayer before food is served Wait also till the host invites you to start eating Also, it is rude to refuse food that the host offers While eating in front of Chinese/Japanese/Korean-Filipinos don't stick your chopsticks vertically upright into a bowl of food refer to China, Japan, South Korea eat sections for more information


Filipinos usually serve at least one main course accompanied by rice for lunch and dinner At times you would have two with a vegetable dish accompanying a meat dish On special occasions such as fiestas, several main dishes would be served, a Filipino party or a Fiesta wouldn't be complete without Spaghetti, Pasta, Fruit Salad, Ice Cream, Rice, spring rolls, cake or rice cakes and soda Soups are also often the main course apart from being a starter It is not uncommon for Filipinos to douse their rice with the soup and eat the meat that came with the soup alongside

Kanin at Kakanin

Kanin means Rice in Tagalog while Kakanin means Rice cakes

  • Sinangag is fried garlic rice, often mixed with vegetables, dried shrimps, dried fish strips, hotdogs or Chorizos
  • Bibingka - rice cake with cheese and salted egg, it originates from Indian cuisine
  • Puto - Soft white rice muffins

Other kinds include Biko, Cuchinta, Pichi-Pichi, Sapin-Sapin, etc The towns of Calasiao in Pangasinan and Binan, Laguna are famous for their puto


Pancit/Pansit or Noodles, an influence from Chinese cuisine and believed to give long life because of its length, often eaten in celebrations such as Birthdays and New Year Below listed are some popular Filipino noodle dishes

  • Pancit Batchoy/La Paz Batchoy is a noodle soup usually made from pork organs, crushed crunchy fried pork rind, shrimp, vegetable, chicken stock, chicken, beef and especially noodles
  • Pancit Bihon, sautéed noodles along with vegetables, pork and shrimp
  • Pancit Molo is a Filipino wanton soup however it doesn't have noodles in it
  • Pancit Palabok' noodles boiled then topped with atchuete also known as annatto seeds, shrimp, crushed crunchy fried pork

Silog and pankaplog

Usually eaten at breakfast, this is the Filipino version of a typical American breakfast of egg, bacon and pancakes Silog is an contraction of the words Sinangagfried rice and Itlogegg They are not only sold in Filipino eateries and stalls but also in restaurants and fastfood chains such as McDonald's

  • Adosilog has Adobo
  • Longsilog has longganisa or local pork sausage
  • Tapsilog has tapa or cured beef
  • Tocilog has tocino or cured pork

A slang term for a breakfast that mainly consists of Pande Salbread, kapecoffee and itlog


Ulam means Mains in Tagalog

  • Adobo - chicken, pork or both served in a garlicky stew with vinegar and soy sauce as a base It is arguably the national dish of the Philippines
  • Bopis - pork innards, usually served spicy
  • Burong Talangka - Filipino caviar, it is taken from Talangkas or Crabs
  • Calamares - fried shrimp/squid wrapped in breading
  • Camaron Rebusado - the Filipino version of tempura
  • Chicken Curry - A lot different from other curries because it isn't spicy unlike other curries Aside from chicken, Crab curry and other varieties are also available
  • Dinuguan - a dark stew of pig's blood mixed with its innards Usually served with a big green chili and best eaten with puto
  • Daing na bangus - fried dried milkfish, usually served for breakfast with garlic fried rice and fried egg
  • Kare-kare - peanuty stew of vegetables and meat simmered for hours on end, usually beef with tripe and tail and eaten with a side of shrimp paste bagoong There is also a seafood version of kare-kare with crabs, squid and shrimp instead of beef
  • Lechon de leche - slow-roasted baby pork, usually served during larger occasions The crispy skin is delicious and is often the first part that is consumed
  • Lengua - roasted beef tongue marinated in savory sauce
  • Nilaga - literally means "boiled", can be beef which in certain places is served with its marrow bulalo, pork or chicken
  • Pakbet - a traditional meal of mixed vegetables usually containing cut tomatoes, minced pork, lady finger, eggplant, etc
  • Sinigang - soup soured usually with tamarind but can also be by guavas or kamias, can be served with pork, beef, chicken, fish or shrimp
  • Tinola - chicken in ginger soup

Western cuisine

Spanish, Portuguese, Mexicans, Americans and other European and Mediterranean people introduced their cuisine to the locals and just like they did to the Chinese, they embraced it While the Spanish occupied the Philippines, connections of the Mexicans and the Aztecs with the Filipinos started in the Manila-Acapulco trade, the people introduced to each other their native cuisine American influence came during the American colonization

  • Arroz Caldo - Rice porridge, topped with egg, chicken liver and grind chicharon
  • Arroz de Valenciana - Paella; Filipino style
  • Biscocho - Sweet biscuit
  • Caldereta - Pork or Beef tomato soup with sausages and vegetables
  • Champorado - Introduced by the Mexicans but eventually in years the recipe changed by adding rice, sweet chocolate rice porridge It is kind of like hot chocolate but with rice on it
  • Empanada - Stuffed pastry
  • Ensaymada - Sweet bread topped with cheese and butter
  • Leche Flan - Creme brulee Custard Pudding
  • Menudo - Pork Stew
  • Spaghetti - Possibly brought to the Philippines by the American-Italians during the American colonization, this is a must try for pasta lovers not because they love it, but because it is so different from the Italian spaghetti Unlike the Italian version, Filipino spaghetti is sweet, its ingredients include sugar and condensed milk The Filipinos are meat lovers who obsessively add meat to their spaghetti, including hotdog, Spam this is what ham is called in the Philippines as Spam is so popular and corned beef/pork or minced beef/pork

Fastfood chains

Western fast food chains have alot of branches within the country, with all the usual suspects being widely present including McDonald's called as McDo in the Philippines for short, Wendy's, Burger King and Pizza Hut Not only western fastfood is available but also localized versions of fastfood chains such as Jollibee and Greenwhich Coffeshops such as Seattle's Best Coffee, Costa Coffee and Starbucks also operate in the country

  • Jollibee91 - Jollibee takes its name from two words; Jolly and Bee Their specialties include Spaghetti, Chicken Joy - fried chicken with rice and gravy, Yum Burger - Jollibee's burger It's for you to judge which is best; McDonald's or Jollibee?
  • Chowking92 - A fastfood chain that serves Filipino-Chinese meals, they have everything from fried rice to noodles, it is Jollibee's subsidiary
  • Greenwich93 - Forget Pizza Hut when visiting the Philippines, Greenwhich is just Jollibee's subsidiary which competes with Pizzahut and Shakey's pizza You'll actually find Greenwhich stores just near to Jollibee Their pizzas are known for being Sobrang Cheesy! meaning "so cheesy" in English
  • Mang Inasal94 - Originated from Iloilo they sell both Iloilo and Bacolod inasal, a group of 4 people can already eat as low as 200 pesos If your rice isn't enough for you don't freak out, rice is given free just ask the counter or the men carrying buckets
  • Burger Machine - Burgers have never been so cheap Burger machine have stalls around the country They have buy-one-get-one-free offers
  • Yellow Cab Pizza95
  • Nacho King96 - Missing Mexican food? no worries, Nacho King sells Tex-Mex food

Filipino-Chinese cuisine

The Filipinos and Chinese traded with each other in the early times, then the Chinese finally began settling in the Philippines and introduced their cuisine and culture, the Filipinos embraced the Chinese heritage and started adapting it in their lives including food Most of the dishes found below are served in Chinatown and Filipino-Chinese fast food chains and eateries

  • Pansit Bihon' 米粉 - Stir Fried noodles with either prawns or pork in it
  • Hopia 好餅 - Mooncake; a sweet pastry dough with a filling inside it either yam, mung beans etc
  • Kampiong - Fried Rice
  • Tikoy 年糕 - Sticky rice cake, often eaten in New Year's eve, believed that it would keep family ties strong
  • Lumpia 潤餅 - Spring Rolls
  • Taho 頭花 - Fresh tofu with brown sugar and vanilla syrup and pearl sago pearl tapioca
  • Siomai 燒賣 - Dim Sum
  • Siopao 燒包 - Steamed buns with meat filling inside it
  • Mami 麵 - Noodle Soup
  • Lugaw 粥 - Congee made from Coconut milk and glutinous rice

Street food

Arguably Filipino streetfood is one of the best however it may not be as clean as the ones you find in Singapore Streetfood vendors have been criticized because of their unhygienic practices as well as unhealthy options but praised by many especially the youth because of its affordability and taste, nowadays streetfood is also found in malls but the traditional way of street vending still hasn't died out Items are sold for as low as P5 Street food is usually enjoyed with beer or soda, usually eaten during the afternoon till night

  • Adidas - More edible than the popular shoe, Adidas is actually a slang used by the locals to refer to barbecued chicken feet It is called Adidas as feet is associated with shoes
  • Adobong Mani - Salted roasted peanuts, usually sold in small paperbags by vendors
  • Betamax - Again people don't cook betamax and eat them-- it's another slang for pigs blood that has been barbecued It is called betamax because its shape is cube-like and resembles a betamax player
  • Barbecue - Either pork or chicken, barbecue remains one of the favorites It isn't only eaten as street food, but sometimes with rice as a main during dinner
  • Balut - is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, baluts are mostly sold by street vendors at night in the regions where they are available Boiled and usually eaten with a sprinkle of salt and vinegar
  • Banana cue - a popular street food made of saba Plantain bananas fried in very hot oil with caramelized sugar coating The saba bananas can also be boiled instead of fried
  • Chickenballs - Chicken version of fishballs
  • Fishball - Something smells fishy? As the name suggests it is the fish version of meatballs, just like meatballs it is also deepfried
  • Ice Candy - Ice candy is like a popsicle stick, it comes in different flavours such as mango which is actually the most common and popular Sold in tiangge small convenient stores in barangays as well as in the streets It is the common refreshment for locals during the summer
  • Inasal - The best Inasal would be found in Bacolod, it is usually like grilled chicken but the sweet juicy version
  • Isaw - Chicken intestines barbecue
  • Kikiam - Originally from the Chinese, it is pork meat with vegetables which is wrapped in bean curd sheets
  • Kwek-Kwek - Quail eggs and chicken that had been battered in egg then fried, it is orange in colour
  • Penoy - same as balut, but without the embryo, just the yolk
  • Squidballs - Squid version of fishballs
  • Sorbetes - The Pinoy version of sorbet/ice Cream Sold in different flavours notably; ube, vanilla, chocolate, mango, coconut, cheese and sometimes durian Filipinos like to play with their food-- you'll see people dipping french fries in ice cream floats or people eating ice cream with bread Don't leave the Philippines without trying some of the more unusual flavors They are kind of exotic and perhaps weird, but tasty
  • Tenga - Tenga is Filipino for ear, it is pig's ear that has been barbecued

Snack and baked goods

  • Pan de Sal - Spanish for "salt bread", they are small buns usually made fresh in the morning, an alternative to rice for breakfast They are usually eaten with a cup of coffee Some people prefer to dip their pandesal in coffee
  • Chicharon - crunchy snacks made from deep-fried pig skin If you don't eat pork or have dietary restrictions there is chicken chicharon and sometimes fish chicharon

Fruits & desserts

Tropical fruits abound in the Philippines Most of the countryside produce finds its way to the metro areas and can be easily bought in supermarkets, such as:


  • Coconut - Although it's familiar, you should try the coconut of the Philippines, the country is the largest exporter of coconuts in the world
  • Durian - smells like hell but supposedly tastes of heaven, most common in Davao but can usually also be bought in some supermarkets in Manila
  • Green Mangoes, Ripe Mangoes, Dried Mangoes - Don't leave Philippines without trying Green Indian mangoes with Bagoongshrimp paste, tasting ripe mangoes and buying Dried mangoes as a Pasalubong

Sweet treats

  • Banana chips - Unlike the ones eaten in India, the Filipino version is a lot thicker and sweeter, try dipping it in ice cream
  • Buko Pie - Pie with scraped coconut as filling
  • Cassava Cake
  • Egg Pie - Pie with sweet, flan like filling
  • Halo-Halo - Halo-Halo means mix-mix in Filipino, is another refreshing dessert which is a mix of sweetened beans and fruits, such as sweetened bananas, red and white beans, sago, crushed ice and milk and topped off with leche flan and ube jam and/or ice cream
  • Ice scramble - Crushed ice with condensed milk
  • Mais con Hielo/Yelo - A dessert of fresh sweet corn served in a glass mixed with crushed ice and milk
  • Sampaloc candy - salted and sweetened tamarind fruit
  • Turon' - SabaPlantain bananas in wrappers and fried and then topped with condensed milk or sugar
  • Turron - Originally from Europe, a bar of cashew nuts with a white wafer

Condiments and salads

  • Achara - Pickled Papaya salad, it actually originates from South Indian cuisine
  • Banana Ketchup - During World War II, stocks of tomato ketchup ran out and people started complaining and demands for ketchup were high, due to the high production of bananas; Filipinos thought of using banana instead of tomato Don't worry it doesn't taste like banana at all, it is kind of like sweet and sour ketchup Try it with chicken, pork chop as well as spaghetti
  • Bagoong shrimp paste - Shrimp paste is popular throughout Southeast Asia Some people get allergies from shrimp paste, but they still consume it despite the itchy skin problems it causes Fish is used instead sometimes
  • Patis - Fish sauce
  • Radish salad - Salad based on radish, onion and sugar, enjoyed with fish

Dietary restrictions

Muslims will find it hard to find Halal food outside predominantly Muslim areas in the Philippines even though the country is one of the fastest emerging markets in exporting certified halal products Ask if there is pork in the dish before eating it Seventh Day Adventists would possibly find some vegetarian restaurants in the Philippines, mostly lurking in the commercial, financial and provincial capitals, and most of them use tofu instead of meat, Sanitarium products may be found in Seventh Day Adventists or Sanitarium hospitals Hindus will find Indian restaurants which serve some vegetarian options around Metro Manila Vegetarians and vegans will find it difficult to find a Filipino dish which is wholly vegetarian as most of the Filipinos love to add meat in every single dish they eat Jews will also find it hard to find Kosher meals However rabbis in the Philippines suggest some stores which sell Kosher food, visit Kosher Philippines for advice

Drinking in Pitcairn Islands

Non-alcoholic drinks

Tropical fruit drinks made from dalandan green mandarin, suha pomelo, pinya pineapple, calamansi small lime, buko young coconut, durian, guyabano soursop mango, banana, watermelon, strawberry and many more are available at stands along streets, as well as at commercial establishments such as food carts inside malls They are often served chilled with ice

Sago't Gulaman a sweet drink made of molasses, sago pearls and seaweed gelatin, and taho, a sweet, warm snack made from sago pearls, soft tofu and carmelized syrup, are worth trying They are affordable and sold in stalls along streets or by vendors around the a common area as well as in malls Zagu is a shake with flavors such as strawberry and chocolate, with sago pearls Another famous drink is 'buko juice, the juice is consumed via an inserted straw on the top of the buko or young coconut

Tea, coffee and chocolate

Salabat, sometimes called ginger tea, is an iced or hot tea made from lemon grass and pandan leaves or brewed from ginger root Kapeng barako is a famous kind of tea in the Philippines, found in Batangas, made from coffee beans found in the cool mountains Try the Filipino hot chocolate drink, tsokolate, made from chocolate tablets called tableas, a tradition that dates back the Spanish colonial times Champorado isn't considered a drink by Filipinos, but it is another version of tsokolate with the difference of added rice Records say that chocolate was introduced by the Aztecs to the Filipinos during the Manila-Acapulco trade

Alcoholic drinks

Metro Manila is home to many bars, watering holes, and karaoke sites Popular places include Makati particularly the Glorietta and Greenbelt areas, Ortigas Metrowalk, and Eastwood in Libis Other big cities such as Cebu City and Davao also have areas where the nightlife is centered Establishments serve the usual hard and soft drinks typical of bars elsewhere Note that Filipinos rarely consume alcohol by itself They would normally have what is called as "pulutan" or bar chow alongside their drinks which is like the equivalent of tapas At the least, this would consist of mixed nuts but selections of grilled meats and seafood are not uncommon food alongside the customary drinks When having a party, Filipinos enjoy drinking round-robin style using a common glass One is supposed to drink bottoms-up before passing the glass to the next person This custom is known as "tagayan" and one person usually volunteers to pour the drink

Beer is perhaps the most common form of alcohol consumed in bars San Miguel Beer is the dominant local brand with several variants such as Light, Dry, Strong Ice and their flagship variant Pale Pilsen Budweiser, Heineken and Corona can also be found in upscale bars Rum and ginebra which is the local form of gin are commonly available forms of hard liquor Indigenous forms of liquor are lambanog and tuba which are both derived from coconut sap Tuba is fermented from the coconut sap and though tuba itself can be drunk, it is also distilled to take the form of lambanog Lambanog is now being marketed widely both locally and internationally in its base form as well as in several flavored variants such as mango, bubble gum and blueberry

Alcohol is extremely cheap in the Philippines and probably cheapest in the whole of Asia For a bottle of San Miguel bought at a 7-11 or Mini-Stop, a bottle would costs about ₱20-₱30 about US$050 For top-end bars and clubs, a bottle would costs about ₱100-200 A bottle of 750ml Absolut Vodka at the supermarket will cost about ₱750, and a popular local rum especially amongst knowledgeable expats tanduay costs just below ₱70 at a 24 hour convenience store in Makati The Financial District

Accommodation in Pitcairn Islands

Housing options for tourists include hotels, condotels, apartelles, motels, inns/bed-and-breakfasts, and pension houses

Hotels are usually for the higher-end traveller, although hotel rates--even for four-star establishments-- are not very high compared to other international destinations Condotels are furnished condominium units rented out for long or short term stays, apartelles are set up for both short and long term stays, and a pension house is usually more basic and economical These all vary in terms of cleanliness, availability of air conditioning, and hot water showers Motels, inns, and lodges also serve lodging purposes but have a reputation as meeting places for illicit sex, a unit being usually a small room with a connected carport, hidden behind a high wall which provides for secret comings and goings You can distinguish these by their hourly rates, while more reputable institutions usually have daily rates

Working in Pitcairn Islands

It is possible for foreigners to earn casual money while staying in the Philippines, especially in Manila and other bigger cities in provinces These may include temporary teaching in schools, colleges and other institutions; and working in bars and clubs Temporary work may also be available as an "extra" on the set of a film or television series Fluency in English is very important in jobs while knowledge of Filipino or Tagalog is considerably low

Unlike other countries, there are no strict bureaucratic papers needed such as carte de sejours and NBI IDs, so some formal jobs are not hard to come by and get Do not expect large sums of money even for formal jobs Wages are displayed on a per day basis rather than a per hour basis

Most establishments pay monthly but informal jobs pay out variably either cash on hand or weekly

Cities in Pitcairn Islands

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