They’re literally everywhere! Every step I take, every move I make, there will always be street foods to save my day.

Various kinds of street foods.

I grew up eating various kinds of street foods. Believe it or not, I’ve tasted almost all of them. From the sweet taho for breakfast, to crispy chicken skin or steamed siomai with rice for lunch and dinner, and to exotic balut for midnight snack, I really won’t last the day without eating all there is to eat along the streets.


Food on the go

Because of busy time schedules, deadliest deadlines, and loaded tasks, I sometimes wish that time would stop so I can load my empty stomach with food. But of course, that won’t happen. Good thing there are food stalls around the university belt to at least ease my cravings and hunger.

One of the reasons why I love street foods is that I can just stand, walk or even work while eating them. There’s no need of plates, tables, chairs, and spoons and forks. And the best part of eating along the streets is that I can buy food without sacrificing my budget. All is cheap. 

I, as a student, have a tight schedule in school. After my second class of the day, I already feel my stomach crumbling.  So what I do is I go outside our university, and see what I can bring and eat inside my third class. I usually end up going to R. Papa Street where different street foods like burgers, calamares, chicken skin, isaw, tokneneng and the like can be found. Problem solved!



My favorites!

Eating is one of my hobbies.  Whenever I crave for something to eat, I would just go outside and buy at least one of my top five favorites – these are balut, tokneneng, fried isaw, siomai, and dirty ice cream.

Let me start with balut (aborted duck egg). It is a special delicacy in Pateros. The best way to eat it is to crack open it on the bottom part and sip the “sabaw” or soup.  After removing the entire shell, I put salt on it or dip it in vinegar and take a good bite at it. The elders say that this street food will help me strengthen my bones, particularly the knees.

Next on my top list is the tokneneng. They are breaded boiled quail eggs that are deep fried. This food is one of the favorites of college students. It is served with the sweet brown sauce or spiced vinegar. This should be eaten lightly because quail eggs are notoriously high in cholesterol.

Another street food that I like is Isaw. This is made out of chicken or pork intestine and marinated in many different ways. Each stall has its own flavors or tastes. It is basically barbecued or deep fried. Unlike the first two items, isaw is sold on stationary spots on the street and is not peddled by vendors who go around. I usually eat this as it is or I make it as my viand for lunch or dinner.

My second most favorite is siomai. Along the busy street of R. Papa, I could see almost ten stalls selling siomai. Sometimes, it’s the answer to my growling stomach. On such a low price, I could already order this with rice with fried garlic on top. This delicacy can be made out of pork, beef or shrimp wrapped in wonton wrapper. This can be dipped with soy sauce with calamansi.

The last but definitely not the least is the sorbetes or “dirty” ice cream. This sweet dessert is not really dirty. It is just a term used by many because it is not as commercial as the ones that could be bought from the supermarket. Commonly known as sorbetes, this ice cream is sold anywhere. Its usual flavors are cheese, chocolate, mango, and ube. For me, the fact that sorbetes is homemade, makes me feel that it is more special that those commercialized ice cream sold in supermarkets.


The risks

Eating street foods is okay, but we always have to be careful. We should make sure that what we eat is clean and the vendors know how to prepare their food and clean their utensils.

I often become a victim of this. I usually end up having a diarrhea. I was lucky because I didn’t acquire Hepatitis. I did not have the chance back then to sue the vendor who prepared dirty food because he does not have a business permit and he does not permanently stays in one place.

Though it happened to me, I still take the risk of eating my favorites but of course, I am now more observant and careful in what I eat.


I just can’t get enough

No matter how busy I am, Street foods are always there to save the day. 

My love for street food will never fade because it is already a part of our culture – a purely Filipino culture.

Of course, there are a lot more street foods aside from what I have mentioned. All of these foods offer their own great tastes and with each street delicacy comes an interesting cultural experience. I just can’t get enough! There are more to try, taste, and love.

Photos retrieved from:,r:6,s:10