From Indonesia to Japan to the Philippines: An MNL Food Adventure with Andez

Gerry's Jeepney

Thanks to the Internet, it’s now easier to make friends even if you’re not from the same country. While some people are so negative about it, it’s not a scary thing if you know how to be extra careful. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll find that it’s actually fun to introduce your culture to other people.

This time, I got surprised by Andez! He said he’ll be visiting Manila and Cebu, so we decided to tour him (and his friend, Jin) around and let them try as many Filipino food as they can.

The Night Before

Andez and Jin booked their hotel around Makati (a 10- to 15-minute walk from my office), so I asked them if we can have dinner on the day of their arrival. We met after my shift and ate at Gerry’s Grill since they’ve already tried eating at Max’s Restaurant, Mang Inasal, and Jollibee.

Gerry's Grill

These are what we ordered:

  • Tokwa’t baboy (tofu and pork)
  • Sizzling kangkong (water spinach)
  • Laing (dried taro leaves with coconut milk) with tuyo (dried salted fish)
  • Gerry’s chicken with french fries
  • Grilled squid

…and we finished all of them, except for the chicken lol. Our dinner mostly involved talks about how bad Manila traffic is (since they finally experienced it first-hand while going to the Intramuros area) and how we just met in Japan and now he’s finally here.

Let’s Go Traditional

The next day, I went to their hotel to pick them up …and good thing I did because they have no cash left. We booked a Grab (Uber was suspended, so it took us a while to get a ride!) and rode the train to Trinoma.

Gerry's Jeepney

Our first stop was Maginhawa! We ate at Gerry’s Jeepney for late lunch. This restaurant was in their guidebook because it lets you eat inside makeshift jeepneys and they use banana leaves as plates. Of course, we have to eat with our bare hands. We made them try the following:

  • Crispy hipon (breaded, deep fried shrimp)
  • Pork liempo (grilled pork)
  • Ensaladang talong (eggplant with vinegar, onions, and tomato)
  • Itlog maalat (salted egg)
  • Ensaladang bangus (milk fish grilled with onions and tomato)
  • Dinuguan (pork blood stew)

U.P. Diliman shopping center street food

This is not the end of our food trip, though. We chose to eat at Maginhawa, so we’re near U.P. Diliman’s shopping center and isaw stalls. We made them try lots of street food, like the following:

  • Dynamite (green pepper in lumpia wrapper)
  • Kikiam (brown fish cake)
  • Squid balls (fish cake with small bits of squid?)
  • Cheese stick (cheese in lumpia wrapper)
  • Kwek kwek (quail eggs with orange batter)
  • Dirty ice cream (ice cream made with carabao’s milk)
  • Balut (a boiled egg with a developing bird embryo inside)
  • Isaw (chicken intestine)

Karaoke and Dinner

Our original plan was to end the day while watching the sunset at Roxas Blvd. Unfortunately, the rush hour traffic (and no Uber) didn’t allow us, so we ended up spending the rest of the night at Trinoma. We booked a karaoke room for two hours and got wild after seeing that they have a few Japanese songs, such as AKB48’s Heavy Rotation, SMAP’s Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana, and NYC’s Haina!

Red Box karaoke Japanese songs Red Box karaoke Japanese songs Red Box karaoke Japanese songs

At Gerry’s Grill, we met with more friends! We almost can’t fit at their long table lol. The last of our food trip are:

  • Sinigang na baboy (tamarind soup with pork)
  • Adobo rice (adobo is meat boiled with soy sauce instead of water)
  • Adobo flakes
  • Kare-kare (peanut-based soup with meat and vegetables)
  • Sisig pork (most sisig use a pig’s ear as an ingredient)
  • Sisig bangus (milk fish version)
  • Halo-halo (crushed ice with milk and a mix of ingredients like jelly, banana, etc.)

Gerry's Grill with Andezz and Jin from Japan

This is the first time I had so much food in my stomach. I would probably do it again if I have the money and people to eat with the entire day. If anybody asks, I’m not a good tour guide unless your priority is food.

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