With 7,107 islands to explore, a coastline extending for more than 36,000 kilometres, more than 3,000 beaches and plenty of people with a cheerful and hospitable nature, the Philippines is not a place where you’re likely to get bored. Here’s what we suggest for making the most out of your visit. Philippines PRIMER

Eat like a local Filipinos love food – to the extent that they’ve even added a couple of extra official snack- times into the day’s proceedings (the morning and afternoon merienda ). So, savouring some of the country’s traditional dishes is a must on any visit. Considered by many to be the unofficial national dish, adobo is a popular concoction of meat, seafood or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic, browned in oil and then simmered in the marinade. Try the lamb adobo at Abe, in Taguig City, Manila. Bagnet is another must-try Filipino recipe – even if it is kind of sinful. It’s made from any cut of pork, most commonly pork loin or pork belly, and is deep-fried twice for crispiness; try it with pinakbet (stewed vegetables seasoned with fish paste). Round off dinner with a halo-halo (translation: “jumble jumble”). This is a refreshing concoction of shaved ice and condensed milk, topped with any combination of sweetened beans, candied fruit, syrup and jelly (not unlike an ice kachang ).

Ride in a jeepney One of the many legacies of the US presence in the Philippines in World War II was a bunch of leftover jeeps. Locals adapted these vehicles into a unique form of public transport: the jeepney. It mightn’t be the fastest or most comfortable way

to travel, but a trip in one of these garishly decorated and jam-packed vehicles – which are kind of like a cross between a bus and a tuk-tuk – is definitely an experience worth trying! To pay the fare, just hand coins to the person next to you and they’ll pass it along up to the driver.



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