Manila - Moving to

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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby StuartCa » 17 Aug 2012, 15:33

Thanks Goose. You've given me more than enough to get going. Time to discover what sort of package the missus will get and move from there.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby finley » 17 Aug 2012, 16:10

the chief wrote:OP, wherever you end up, make sure you're close to a steady supply of Jolibee Burger Steaks and Marigold Bumble Bee ice cream. :lick:

Indeed. Philippine food is mostly shite, but if you like junk food, Jolibee hits the spot.

And don't forget to try sisig. Essentially the same ingredients as goes into a burger.
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby StuartCa » 17 Aug 2012, 16:13

finley wrote: Philippine food is mostly shite.


That's worrying
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby finley » 17 Aug 2012, 16:38

StuartCa wrote:
finley wrote: Philippine food is mostly shite.


That's worrying


Not really. I'm referring to street food or restaurant food, which in my experience is too full of grease, meat, salt, and unidentifiable animal parts. It's OK if you're in the mood for it, but it can get a bit much if you're eating it every day. OTOH fresh food from the market is cheap and good quality. So if you can cook, you'll eat well. Or maybe just eat like ordinary people do - a bowl of rice and a few trimmings to spice it up.

Personally I think you'll like the Philippines. Manila looks like a freeze-frame car crash, but it has a certain charm. It's impossible to compare with Taipei/Taiwan, because there are more differences than similarities. As G.E. implied, you might want to go elsewhere when you get the chance. Out in the boonies, it's a different world.

The people are incredibly friendly as long as you stay out of trouble. Don't start any arguments with the wrong people, and get to know who "the wrong people" are in your neighbourhood; you most likely won't have any, but it's worth checking whether you do. Stuff tends to disappear if it's not nailed down, so don't buy an expensive car or ostentatious stuff for your home. Stay on friendly terms with the people at the local barangay (neighbourhood council); they are the law when it comes to minor disputes.
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby the chief » 17 Aug 2012, 16:49

finley wrote:
StuartCa wrote:
finley wrote: Philippine food is mostly shite.


That's worrying


Not really. I'm referring to street food or restaurant food, which in my experience is too full of grease, meat, salt, and unidentifiable animal parts. It's OK if you're in the mood for it, but it can get a bit much if you're eating it every day. OTOH fresh food from the market is cheap and good quality. So if you can cook, you'll eat well. Or maybe just eat like ordinary people do - a bowl of rice and a few trimmings to spice it up.


Yeah, you wouldn't want to be eating a giant bowl of adobo every night (oh, wait, maybe...), but Finner's spot on, all that regular supermarket stuff that you grew up with that is either unavailable or outrageously overpriced in Taipei is normal fare in the PIs.
I mean like being able to run down to the corner to buy a roast or a pack of hot dog buns or grab some butter at the 7-11, like.
With a selection of fruit and veg pretty much on a par with Taiwan.

Don't even get me STARTED on Kenny Rogers' Roasters.
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby StuartCa » 17 Aug 2012, 16:54

Sounds like we'll be fine if it all comes off.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby goose egg » 17 Aug 2012, 16:55

finley wrote:
the chief wrote:OP, wherever you end up, make sure you're close to a steady supply of Jolibee Burger Steaks and Marigold Bumble Bee ice cream. :lick:

Indeed. Philippine food is mostly shite, but if you like junk food, Jolibee hits the spot.

I won't argue with you about this - just count the number of Filipino restaurants and Pinoytowns there are in the world compared to Thai Restaurants and Chinatowns. 'Nuff said.

But the next time you visit the islands, plan ahead what food to look for at websites like this: http://www.spot.ph/eatdrink/top-list

At a bookstore on a recent visit, I picked up a copy of their Top 10 Lists of things to eat, and I was surprised at how varied (and tasty) Filipino food can be. Some of the categories are food that has been Filipinized from Chinese or Spanish cooking -- you wouldn't find them anywhere else, or they are adapted enough that while Filipinos might consider something like "Taho" or "Hopia" to be Chinese, you just wouldn't find the exact same thing in China, Taiwan, or HK.

In a different way, there is food that is done well there that you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere in Asia -- like Cochinillo al Horno ala Castellana. This is a baby pig roasted so crispy it is "cut" using the plates
Image The servers will "ham it up" when they cut the pork, but it's still fun to watch and eat. I'm getting hungry thinking about it

finley wrote:And don't forget to try sisig. Essentially the same ingredients as goes into a burger.

I don't mean to be argumentative, but most of the burgers I eat (and that you'll find in Jollibee) are made of beef. Sisig is classic bar food made from the face and ears of the pig. Finely chopped up, then sautéed with peppers and onions, and doused with hot sauce, it is ideal with ice cold beer.

If you want to live well in Manila, I recommend you grab a copy of Vault when you visit. Sure, half of the articles are about how to choose your private helicopter or how this model of fancy men's watch differs from that. But you will also find tips on where to eat, what to try, and cool things to buy for your wife/girlfriend in Manila.
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby finley » 17 Aug 2012, 17:22

Goose Egg wrote:In a different way, there is food that is done well there that you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere in Asia

Sure. As with any cuisine, really - British fish'n'chips done badly is disgusting. Done well, it's gourmet fare.

A (Filipina) ex-gf was an amazing cook. What people prepare in their homes doesn't bear much resemblance to what you'll buy outside.

I don't mean to be argumentative, but most of the burgers I eat (and that you'll find in Jollibee) are made of beef. Sisig is classic bar food made from the face and ears of the pig. Finely chopped up, then sautéed with peppers and onions, and doused with hot sauce, it is ideal with ice cold beer.

Sigh. British humour. Never works outside of Britain.

I like sisig (especially, as you say, with a few bottles of Red Horse). In fact one of the things that does impress me about Philippine cuisine is that they do manage to turn essentially unappetizing crap into something edible (a bit like the British pork pie).

Sure, half of the articles are about how to choose your private helicopter

I have a soft spot for Russian Mi-8's, but that's just me.
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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby the chief » 17 Aug 2012, 17:25

Goose Egg wrote:
finley wrote:
the chief wrote:OP, wherever you end up, make sure you're close to a steady supply of Jolibee Burger Steaks and Marigold Bumble Bee ice cream. :lick:

Indeed. Philippine food is mostly shite, but if you like junk food, Jolibee hits the spot.

I won't argue with you about this - just count the number of Filipino restaurants and Pinoytowns there are in the world compared to Thai Restaurants and Chinatowns. 'Nuff said.


I remember when I came back from my first trip to The Philippines, (a looong time ago), sitting around with a bunch of the guys and saying something like this, and one of them was...dang, what's that guy's name?
You know him, Mr Egg, ah, Eddie or Ed something...starts with a G...Greco or something? Been around forever, nice guy.

Anyways, after I said this he really came close to kicking my ass, seriously, but settled for berating me for being loutish enough to visit a country without taking any interest in its culture.
He was, of course right.

Also, FWIW, I make adobo at least once a month at home, the girls love it. :wink:
"Got to hurry back to my hotel room
Where I got me a date with a pretty little girl from Split"

You're driftin' out of touch, Doc. G_d help us all.

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-superking

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Re: Manila - Moving to

Postby goose egg » 17 Aug 2012, 18:46

Well, let me continue along the theme of Filipino food that you should try if you ever are in the Philippines. If you have the time, go to the northern part of MetroManila to Quezon City and look for "Nathaniel's"

Apparently, if you say this name to any food-loving Manilenyo, they will know you are talking about Nathaniel's Buko Pandan Salad. And here, say it with a Filipino accent: nah-tun-NYELS (not na-THA-nyuhls). This stuff is good. It's creme - not ice cream - and made of strands of coconut meat and pandan flavors.

Image

Jeez - what a meal: starting with Sisig, washed down with Red Horse, a couple of helpings of Cochinillo with side orders of my grandfather's "white" (no soy sauce) chicken-pork adobo, a cool green-mango-and-tomato salad with bago-ong, some sina-ngag (garlic fried rice), and finished off with Nathaniel's. Wow. Guaranteed to give you a heart attack later in life, but maybe worth the trouble.

Here's a map to Nathaniel's btw: http://www.foodspotting.com/places/5943 ... uko-pandan

Another recent favorite restaurant there is Bagoong Club (http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome ... -club.html). You know how in Taipei we have Cha for Tea, where everything on the menu is either made with, inspired by, or prepared with tea? Bagoong Club is similar in that way, and uses the super salty shrimp paste (bago-ong) as its theme. And the food is great -- classic Filipino food staples with a twist.


Moving the conversation away from food and back to other matters, let me know (PM me) what industry or sector your wife is in. I still know some people who are active in the Taiwanese-Filipino community there (or who should know people) and I have a love/hate relationship with TECO (don't we all?)

Regarding your own work as a copywriter - lmk what sort of opportunities you are looking for. I know some people in the advertising industry you might want to take out for coffee and get their perspective -- both MNC and small agency. Connect to me on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/gusadapon) and I can introduce you
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