Taste the Philippines through its halal cuisine and heritage destinations
Manila, Philippines, February 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Walk into a Filipino home and the first thing you’ll probably be asked is, “Did you eat?” It’s part of the charm of traditional Filipino hospitality – making sure visitors get their fix of the best food their home has to offer. Wherever they go in the country, the dishes on offer will vary, as each region has something unique to offer.
The Philippines Department of Tourism (PDOT) showcases the country’s culinary traditions through different programs that encourage new culinary discoveries such as the Halal Culinary Heritage Series. Launched in July 2021the initiative showcases food discoveries unique to Mindanao through a series of videos posted on the Department’s social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Halal actors have also come together to produce the coffee table book, Bismillah Before Eating. The book highlights the rich food traditions of Mindanao and the different halal culinary offerings from each of Mindanao’s five regions, as well as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The book is available to read online via: Bismillah before eating
“Food is an important part of a tourism experience. It gives us insight into the culture and heritage of a place. Through the development of our Halal culinary tourism, we encourage discovery and familiarization with culinary traditions of our Muslim brothers and sisters in The Philippines“says the tourism secretary Berna Romulo Puyat.
Mindanao Halal Culinary Tourism is a project of PDOT with Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Besides promoting Mindanao’s heritage and familiarity with its culture, the project also aims to document the region’s culinary practices through food mapping that will help create new experiences and attractions in its various regions.
Halal Gastronomic Journey
Halal food takes many forms everywhere The Philippines. In Manila, there are eateries and eateries that offer halal-certified food, ranging from stalls located in the area known as the Muslim City near the Golden Quiapo Mosque that offer culinary delights such as Bakas or smoked tuna to bamboo and a sticky rice cake called Dodol. For Halal-certified Filipino cuisine in the Makati district, Hotel Berjaya Makati’s El Prado restaurant offers dishes such as Tinolang Manok (ginger chicken broth with vegetables), Halal Nilagang Baka (boiled beef with vegetables) and Sinigang na Baka (Beef stewed in a light sour soup with vegetables).
In the CARAGA Region, visitors are served with fruits and vegetables dipped in Guinamos (salt-fermented fish) as a starter. This tasty condiment is also available as a take-out souvenir courtesy of Radin’s Guinamos in Agusan del Sur.
In Cagayan de Oro, one can have a dry curry Beef Rendang or its fusion version like a Beef Rendang Penne at a restaurant called Torogan Kape. Diners can also try Piaparan a Manok or chicken cooked in coconut milk, turmeric and a special paste called “Palapa” which is made with scallions, ginger and turmeric as well as local pastry snacks called Tyatag , Lokatis, Apang a Margas, Browa, Dodol, Tapay asa Torogan (fermented cassava dessert). Another Halal-certified restaurant to try is Babu Kwan in Cagayan de Oro which celebrates Maranao and Tausug dishes alongside Asian dishes.
In Cotabato, travelers can try Sinina Kambing or goat meat cooked in spices and served with crab rice from Hashy’s Cuisine, which is one of the region’s pioneering halal restaurants. From Maguindanaoan kitchens comes Linigid na Manok, a chicken curry dish simmered in ginger, fresh coconut milk and turmeric. The palapa is added to the dish to give it depth of flavor. Visitors can try this halal dish at a restaurant called Mama Ping, a staple in the Cotabato food scene.
In fgeneral City of Santos, where tuna is plentiful, their halal fish dish is Buntot ng Tuna in Curry sauce and Palapa by Tambilawan Kamayan Restaurant. Al Kuwait Restaurant in Iligan offers Pater or Pastil, a dish made from shredded chicken, beef or fish that is wrapped in steamed rice in a banana leaf for convenient consumption.
In the Zamboanga Peninsula, made up of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay, culinary delights await. Warm up with a bowl of Tiyula, which is the Tausug word for soup. Its most popular iteration is the Tiyula Itum, which is distinguished by its dark-colored broth that comes from the addition of charred coconut. It is usually made with beef but sometimes goat meat is used. It is one of the expected dishes at Tausug gatherings. There is also Satti which is a breakfast staple in Zamboanga, and can be purchased at Satti houses like Jimmy’s, Morning Sun, Andy’s, Dennis and Baytal Mal serving these skewers of beef, chicken or liver cubes with their own version of the spice-laden sauce as part of their morning offerings.
For visitors who want a good coffee, don’t miss Dennis Coffee Garden in the city of Zamboanga. This cafe serves native Kahawa Sug coffee and offers native Tausug specialties.
Feast on sambal, fish utak utak (salmon with shredded coconut meat and an array of spices) and beef piyasak (liver in coconut milk) at Bay Tal Mal. This restaurant in Zamboanga town is also a visual feast with Muslim architecture and gold trimmings serving as a backdrop as patrons enjoy their various Moro dishes.
In the Davao region, the food culture of the indigenous Kaagans can be tasted through their Amik, a confectionery that is made by frying a thin sweetened ground rice batter that is skillfully swirled in hot oil by experienced hands.
Halal burgers are also available in the area courtesy of the chef Khalid Gorospe Black seed burger. Freshly baked black seed buns are used for its signature burgers as well as vegan options.
Eat like a local
It’s not an understatement that Filipinos like to eat. Get a Filipino picnic feel by packing a coffee break in a handcrafted rattan box filled with Filipino souvenirs.
Set the mood with an Inabel table mat, handwoven by communities in the Cordillera mountains using weaving traditions passed down through generations. The Philippines is also home to artisan woodcarvers who turn wooden pieces into home decorations and utilitarian items such as an acacia wood cup. Refuel with a hot brew made from world-class coffee beans grown by Filipino farmers. Barako coffee from Batangas is known for its strong flavor and fragrance, which is why it is named after the Filipino word that describes a male boar. Benguet coffee is made from a single-origin Arabica grape variety that grows in the highlands of the Cordillera and is appreciated for its chocolate, fruity and floral notes. Robusta coffee harvested in the country’s lowlands at Cavite, Bulacan and Mindoro has a high caffeine content and is the most traded variety, used in local instant coffee products. Sweeten the pairing with Muscovado sugar from the Negros sugar cane plantations whose hacienderos like to accompany their afternoon drinks with crunchy bites of Paborita biscuits. These are puff pastry discs made with wheat flour, sugar and skimmed milk from the Noceda bakery established in Negros in 1947.
More dishes to discover
Departure February 10, The Philippines will welcome fully vaccinated tourists from visa-free countries without the need for quarantine. The country has received the Safe Travels label from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which selects destinations that meet international health and safety standards for carefree travel.
There are even more culinary discoveries to discover in The Philippines, with a culinary heritage passed down from generation to generation. Although there are new dishes that have evolved from the basic recipes over the years, the flavors are just as rich and exciting.
Other culinary discoveries await you in these videos available on the official YouTube page of the Department of Tourism of the Philippines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4oMabph_Yg&list=PLjJeD2qsshyHtOG03GEI9G0rtc6SYankY
For more information, visit https://visitor.tourism.gov.ph/ or download the Travel Philippines app from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
SOURCE Department of Tourism of the Philippines