In general, the Filipino food was less seasoned, less spicy, and much, much sweeter than other Asian food.
Here’s the lunch we had in Cebu. I don’t remember the names of most of these, so I’ll describe them as best I can.
From left to right:
- Bitter melon, with carrots, peppers?, and some kind of fish or shrimp flavor. Very bitter, very fishy. Not my favorite.
- Kinilaw (kin-eh-lau), sort of a ceviche. Chunks of fish in vinegar, coconut milk, and juice from a tiny lime-like citrus, with green mango, tomato, and onion spears. It was amazing. Much better than the kinilaw we had in Manila.
- Ground pork in a sauce that tasted like green curry. Also excellent.
- Tuna belly, with a teriyaki-ish sauce. A little dry and overcooked, but not bad. Not nearly as good as raw tuna belly, Japanese toro style.
The drink is calmansi juice, similar to a not-quite-sweet orange, sweetened much like lemonade.