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Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Asia, Philippines, vegan / vegetarian | 1 comment

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines – the advice guide

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines – the advice guide

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines: the Ultimate advice guide. 

With over  7000 idyllic islands, the friendliest people on earth, lush forests, sublime waterfalls, tropical beaches, top quality snorkeling and scuba diving, the Philippines became one of my very favorite place in the world.

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Malapascua during low season

 

But my decision was not as easy as it might seem. I am a vegan and I was warned by many vegetarians, not to go there. They all agreed Thailand or Malaysia would be a much easier destination for someone who doesn’t eat meat.  And I hesitated for a bit. But as stubborn as I am, I decided to visit paradise on earth and find it out for my self. I’m glad I did! I spent a full month exploring the Philippines and what I found out was very positive!

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Malapascua sunsets – our daily ritual

 

Prepare your trip to the Philippines in advance

Through online booking websites like Traveloka, you can book your hotel, hostel or guest house well in advance as well. That will save you time and money. If planning too much in advance gives you the itch, book at least 3 nights in advance, so you know you’ll have a room when you arrive. You can later on have as much flexibility as you want. Extend your stay if you’re loving the island you’re visiting, or move on into another adventure.

 

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Book your hotel, hostel or guest house well in advance as well. That will save you time and money. If planing too much in advance gives you the itch, book at least 3 nights in advance, so you know you’ll have a room when you arrive. You can later on have as much flexibility as you want. Extend your stay if you’re loving the island you’re visiting, or move on into another adventure.

Vegans and vegetarians should book accommodation near veggie restaurants to avoid stress.

 

VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN FOOD PHILIPPINES

 

The Philippines are an EXCELLENT destination for both Vegans or Vegetarians. I had no problem whatsoever in finding good food. I found it much easier than Spain or France to be perfectly honest with you. Pinoys speak impeccable English, so in case of doubt, simply ask what’s in the food.

There are 207 specialized restaurants and eateries spread around the country, serving all sorts of delicious fresh vegan and vegetarian foods. Check out them maps and addresses on happy cow.

 

vegan-philipines

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

 

Before going to Manila, I joined a very friendly FB vegan group, that often organizes picnics, get together events, share advises and tips. Most members are local and extremely friendly.

 

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Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

 

The Philippines are a tropical country, so fruit will be plenty and fresh basically everywhere you go. Expect to find simple rice with veggies at local carinderias if you are just like me and enjoy eating local food. In bigger cities you can find international cuisine with plenty of vegan option, specially among Thai and Indian restaurants. There are supermarkets as well, where you can find either raw or prepared foods.

 

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Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines: what to expect?

 

I have only visited 5 places during my 1 month stay in the Philippines. I wish I would have seen more, but unfortunately I didn’t book all flights in advance and missed the chance to find good deals.

I ate my way around Manila,  Cebu, Bohol / Panglao and  Malapascua.

 

Vegan and vegetarian in Manila

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Fresh ripe mangoes every day in Manila

 

The hostel I’v’e stayed at, while in Manila, offered simple and delicious meals which included rice, veggies ad tofu. My stay in Manila was extremely short, but I had the chance to walk around the neighborhood and buy the most delicious mangoes in the world!

The fruit in the Philippines is tastier than everything you’ve tried at home. You’ll find ripe juicy tropical fruit for sale everywhere, and trust me; with the tropical heat, fresh fruit is all you’ll need between meals!

 

Vegan and vegetarian in Panglao / Bohol

 

Panglao was a wonderful place to eat and relax. I booked my stay in advance at a coco farm. This turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences while in the Philippines.

Every morning we had a delicious vegan breakfast, prepared with love by the cooks. The selection of fresh, organic vegan and vegetarian meals and snacks is fantastic. No one will go hungry in this little tropical paradise!

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Delicious stir fried veggies with rice noodles! A must for gluten intolerant!

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Left: coconut noodles and on the right: the famous Bohol coco farm breakfast

 

There are plenty of fruit stalls and little shops by the main road where you can buy fruits and snacks. I used to buy noodle soups (the ones you just pour boiling water on top) and have them as an afternoon snack after the beach.

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Noodle soup as a snack

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Steamed veggies with dip in

 

Bohol revealed a tiny little surprise: a local carinderia, where no tourists venture. That side of the road place offered the most delicious food I ate while at the Philippines. In fact I repeated every dish 3x,  because I knew I wouldn’t return there any time soon and that place would be hard to beat.

 

Vegan and vegetarian food philippines

On our way to the local carinderia after seeing the chocolate Hills

 

I had plain rice, fried eggplant with soy sauce and vegetables. Sometimes the simplest foods are actually the most delicious ones. The local lady was delighted to have us around and her limited English was not a problem whatsoever. The school children, who had just arrived for lunch had a blast, checking out these foreigners enjoying the local food. The local carinderia was located on the main road, immediately after the big sign saying: “Welcome to the Chocolate Hills” on the way out on your right side. If it’s lunch time, you’ll see all the children and locals queuing for lunch there. Highly recommended.

 

Vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Delicious veggies with rice

 

I’ve tried other local carinderias around the Island and they all offered 100% vegan foods.

Vegan and vegetarian food in Malapascua

If you read my viral article: “How Malapascua restored my faith in humanity”  you know I fell in love with this tiny island.  This is a small island without an ATM machine, no bank, no police station. If you think tiny island means a hardship for us, then you’re wrong!

Every morning I headed to the local carinderia near the port, for a very local a traditional 100% vegan breakfast. Mung bean soup, rice with veggies, prepared by the friendliest people on earth. I ate daily along side the locals and that was a great way of meeting people as well.

 

vegan and vegetarian food Philippines

Delicious carinderia breakfast: rice, veggies and Mung soup

 

The famous restaurant Gin Gin’s is a classic among divers and backpackers who are searching for cheaper meals on a relaxed atmosphere. Half of the menu is basically vegetarian.

The very popular – and my home for 11 days! – Villa Sandra hostel, now serves delicious vegetarian meals, prepared with love by Jun Jun, the owner. Villa Sandra feels more like a home away from home attracting a diverse crowd who loves diving, snorkeling and Reggae.

If you’re staying at a resort, you’ll have no problem finding all sorts of foods, from traditional to continental.

 

Vegan and Vegetarian food Cebu

Cebu is a big metropolis, a city that offers all sorts of experiences and an important spot for domestic flight connections.  I’ve passed by Cebu a couple of times in between flights.

If you book your hotel, hostel or guest house near the mall, you’ll feel at home, as far as food goes! There are restaurants and eateries that suit all tastes and pockets, as well as a huge supermarket, which sell snacks which have the “VEGAN” label on them.

 

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There’s a nice health food store offering everything you need, from protein bars, to vegan delights.

 

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Are the Philippines the ideal destination for vegans, vegetarians and people with food allergies?

 

Absolutely, YES! Although not the easiest place on earth to be a vegan or vegetarian, the Philippines are not problematic in any way, despite the bad reputation it has gained over the years.

Simply do your homework, research for places through the happy cow directory, join FB groups where locals can help you with tips and advises. Don’t be scared of indulging in the fantastic foods you find at the side of the road, they’re delicious, fresh and nutritious.

Have you been to the Philippines and had trouble finding suitable food? Let me know on the comment section bellow!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Yara, glad to see you’re still blogging! I haven’t seen anything from you in awhile. That’s awesome that you found delicious vegan food so easily in the Philippines. I’ve learned to ignore people who tell me it will be impossible to be vegan in [insert name of destination here]. It’s never true!

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