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My most challenging travel experience is making sure I book the right flight to the right destination on the right date. I've booked flights on the wrong dates before. In my defense they kept rejecting the booking and it was the 4th attempt I'd made to book my ticket

  • 35 years old
  • From Carlisle, United Kingdom
  • Currently in Manchester, United Kingdom


If you're vegetarian and thinking of volunteering in the Philippines have a read through my journal and see what your best options for eating are.

Being Vegetarian in the Philippines

Philippines Tacloban City, Philippines  |  Oct 19, 2011
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Being a vegetarian in the Philippines can at times be a little challenging.  Vegetarianism is not at all common in the Philippines and when you visit most restaurants there aren’t often too many options available on the menu if you don’t eat meat.  That’s not to say that you can’t eat anything - you just have to know what to ask for!!

If your volunteering in Tacloban it may seem like there aren’t many places that you can eat but there are actually quite a few places you can go where you can enjoy some really nice food. At the Astrodome you can go to Canta Fresca, which is a really nice pizza place on the front left of the dome as you enter. They have great 3 cheese pizzas and margaritas too which are only about 100-200 pesos. Downtown, you can head to Giuseppe's which is an amazing Italian Restaurant - also for pizza's, pasta's and, if you want to splash out, an amazing antipasto platter! Opposite Giuseppe's there is Calda Pizza if you want more Pizza(!) and if you head down that street in-between the two - down towards Gaisano shopping mall, you'll pass Calutan Marketing on your left. Keep going and you'll soon see a cross roads.  If you go straight on at these crossroads you’ll see a Mexican restaurant called Sombreros on your right which do nice chicken fajitas without the chicken!! (Don’t think of them as fajitas though, there’s no wraps and no salsa or guacamole etc. They’re still nice though!) Alternatively, if you turn left at the crossroads and have a look to your left and there is a little restaurant there called Sunzibar. They have really good nacho salads, veggie sandwiches and soups too. 

In Robinson's the restaurant called Gustavian is very good at catering to requests! There is a great toasted sandwich with grilled vegetables and you can always get their chicken and cheese sandwiches without the chicken! Another good option is to ask forthe chicken carbonara without the chicken too.

Don't be afraid to ask at other places too. If you go to many restaurants and ask if they have any vegetarian options they are likely to stare blankly at you for a while, go off and ask the chef and then come back and say no!!  Instead, if you look at the menu for something you might want to eat and then ask for it without the meat, the answer is quite often yes! Never take their first no as a real no!! That is what I have learned. Just keep trying and you should finally get there.  Some options I always found quite good was asking for the sweet and sour pork without the pork.  Once you have asked the question and given a few seconds for it to digest, then just say vegetarian can I just have vegetables and sweet and sour sauce instead.  I’ve travelled quite a lot in the Philippines and no one ever said no to this request.  Another good one is chicken curry without the chicken.

One last point to make is don’t be fooled by the “Vegetables” section on the menu in many Filipino restaurants.  It’s normally vegetables with meat.  There tend to be 3 main dishes in this section: Adobong Kankong, which is a basically a load of green leaves (similar looking to spinach) with a soy sauce based sauce on them; Chopsuey, which is mixed vegetables with some kind of sauce – I can’t really describe the flavor; and finally Pinakbet, which is kind of mixed vegetables in a soy sauce based sauce.  I didn’t really like any of these but everyone has different tastes! Just remember to make sure they don’t have meat in them before you order.

If you are vegetarian and thinking of volunteering in the Philippines I hope this helps.  I spent 6 months as a volunteer in Tacloban and 1 year working for Kaya in Tacloban and I survived just fine so I’m sure you will too.  It’s a great country and the people there are the friendliest I have ever met!

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  • User Profile Photo
    MiraMoore wrote: Tue Sep 2, 2014
    Hi Dr Sharma and Pao,

    I'm pleased that you found my blog useful. Since typhoon Haiyan some of the restaurants I've mentioned may be closed but I think the best thing to remember is if you're in a restaurant, just speak to the staff about what they can cook for you. If the restaurant serves sweet and sour pork or chicken curry, I was always able to swap the meat for vegetables.

    I hope you both have a great time in the Philippines, it's a wonderful place :)
  • User Profile Photo
    Dr nitin sharma wrote: Sun Aug 31, 2014
    Hey Friend ,
    your blog helped me to quench few of my worries,i am travelling to philippines in sept,and i am vegetarian,though my gf house is in tacloban but who want to cook when on tour ,just wondering if i can get food to eat which u have already answered. thanks
    looking forward to travel there.
  • User Profile Photo
    Pao wrote: Sat Aug 30, 2014
    Hi Mira,

    Thank you for writing about veganism/vegetarianism in Tacloban. My dad's family is based there and I am struggling as to where to eat while visiting.

    I had some Australians with me last May and they survived mostly on tropical fruits everyday.

    I'm restarting my raw vegetarianism in the hopes of losing 8 stones.
  • Being Vegetarian in the Philippines

    October 19, 2011
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