I spent most of my time in the Philippines with a sore stomach, but the Filipinos are not the kind to let you shy away from your eating duties. Filipino food has not made it into the mainstream the way other southeast Asian cuisines have, and the locals are more than happy to share (or force down your throats) their culinary secrets.
When I say share, I mean literally, because ordering a number of dishes and sharing is common practice in the Philippines (it is much less exciting to eat out alone). My family had taken me out to their favourite Filipino restaurants, and began ordering mysterious Filipino dishes. After a long wait, the dishes finally began coming out. There were some nice fish curries, lots of rice and noodles, and the main attraction affectionately called, 'the standing fish'.
The entire fish is overlooked so that even the bones are edible. From what I can gather this is a Filipino favourite, and didn't seem to upset my stomach! "Do you like it? Eat more!Eat the bones, dont forget" My host demanded in a burly voice without waiting for my response, and what was into do but obey? When we finally finished all the dishes on the table desert was ordered, and despite many groans about being full we managed to finish off the fruit and ice cream.
We even ordered some sashimi as a special treat, and from my experiences around town the Filipinos can almost rival the Japanese on their sushi making skills, providing a delicious gluten and dairy free option!
Filipino food may not be the easiest on the stomach, but the experience of dining out with locals is not to be missed!