21 September 2004


Food abound wherever you go in the Philippines, be it in an urban district or in the provinces. Here are a couple of instances. My wife and I were dropped by a fruit stand to buy pasalubong for her ailing uncle who we were visiting that afternoon. The fruit stand was at the corner of a busy market place, and I took photos of both sides.

At the left photo, the lady vendor in red and white striped shirt was selling €˜chicharon (usually this is sun-dried, deep-fried pig skin, great with vinegar!) measured-out in small paper bags, while the other vendor is selling kwek-kwek (a rather hilarious name for a delicious concoction of hard-boiled egg dipped in an orange-colored batter, then fried; great with vinegar too, though I haven'™t tried this yet). Talk about cholesterol-laden delights.

The photo at right shows a couple of other vendors, one selling assorted nuts, and the other burgers (see the red container for ketchup?) and some hard-boiled eggs.

Filipinos simply love to eat. It is normal for a person to eat 5 times a day here! Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, then dinner. Sometimes before dinner, guys have a couple of beers which, of course, is accompanied by finger food of some kind.

And it is customary to invite guests to dine (kain na!) even if the food is not in abundance. If you see that there isn't exactly enough to go around, you can also respectifully decline and say that you're still full.

It'€™s astonishing how ladies here in the office are able to keep their shape, but most men do not fare as well as shown by their expanding bellies (mine is no exception).

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