Food in Philippines
Filipino cuisine has evolved from the different cultures that have shaped its history; it is like Southeast Asian cuisine but with Spanish influences. Although Filipino cuisine is not as well known as many of its neighbours, such as those of Thailand and Vietnam, it still stands out as probably the least spicy of all Southeast Asian cuisines. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Filipino food is bland, though. It’s just that Filipino cuisine relies more on garlic, onions and ginger instead of spices to add flavour to dishes. Careful preparation and long cooking time are also a feature of most Filipino dishes, and when done right, it is often what brings out the flavour of the food, as opposed to a healthy dose of spices.
The limited use of spices, possibly due to US influence, has hampered the cuisine to some extent, and the current preference for fast food militates against the “careful preparation” that was once the hallmark of the cuisine. There are small movements to revive traditional Filipino cuisine, but they will not succeed on a larger scale for several reasons:
- They are too late. The corporations that control the food and food processing market are way ahead of them and far too influential. They won the battle for hearts and minds decades ago, so every day new babies are born who think that the processed foods they are fed and the magical monosodium glutamate spice mixes that flavour all their meals are actually examples of good food. Their exposure to real traditional cuisine is likely to be extremely limited.
- The pantry that makes up the Filpino kitchen is now so small that no matter what dish is created, it only has about 3 to 5 ingredients. This has to change and the “old” ingredients like herbs, spices and so on have to be reclaimed. They were used centuries ago and were as common as what you see in Thailand etc. today, but they have gradually been removed from the menu by foreign influences. It is pointless to cling to the idea that Filipino cuisine is anywhere on par with its neighbours. No one except Filipinos really believes that! It is far behind and should try to catch up, it needs to make changes at the national level. The influence of Balikbayans is crucial in this area as they have seen both sides and have been exposed more to international cuisines.
Kamayan literally means “eating with the hands”. Some Filipinos born and raised in rural provinces still eat with their hands, mostly at home during meals. They would often say that kamayan makes the food taste better. Wash your hands beforehand to avoid illness. However, almost all Filipinos in urban areas use spoons, forks and knives. Eating with your hands in public is not uncommon, but if you are eating in a middle-class or high-class restaurant, it may be considered rude.
To experience how Filipinos eat in an inexpensive way, carenderias (food stalls) and turo-turo (which means “dot-dot”, pointing to the food you want to eat at the buffet) are some of the options. Main dishes cost less than $1. Carenderias serve food cooked earlier and it may not always be the safest of options.
As in the rest of Southeast Asia, rice is the staple food in the Philippines. Some areas in the Visayas prefer corn, but elsewhere Filipinos generally eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Uncooked rice usually comes in 50-kg bags, but can also be bought by the kilo at the wet market or from neighbourhood rice vendors. Single portions of rice are readily available in fast food restaurants or eateries.
The word diet is non-existent or has never existed in the vocabulary of Filipinos, as mentioned before they are relaxed people, they love to eat as much as they can as if there is no tomorrow. They spend most of their money on food, a Filipino teenager goes to a fast food chain at least two or three times a week, during fiestas in a town, barangay, purok or subdivision, Filipinos have big parties that last from noon to midnight where some of the people are drunk, you can ask if you can join a fiesta in a house and some will welcome you as it is a tradition. When you visit the Philippines, it is the best time to break your so-called diet and eat to your heart’s content. The Filipino diet is much more similar to the West than the East, with Filipinos eating fewer vegetables, more oil, meat and sugar than people in neighbouring countries; most Filipinos are not health conscious. Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death here. However, if you visit rural areas, they use more vegetables and less meat and practice ancient Filipino medicine.
Dining etiquette in Philippines
Some Filipinos strictly adhere to the serving spoon rule as they share the belief with Indians that it is rude and disgusting to offer utensils or food that has come into contact with someone’s saliva and that it will quickly make the food stale. Singing or arguing while eating is considered rude as they believe the food is grasya/gracia or grace in English; the food will not come to you if you continue to treat it disrespectfully. Singing while cooking is considered taboo because it causes you to remain a bachelor or widow forever, another belief shared with Indians. Another belief that conservative Filipinos share with the Chinese is that it is taboo and rude not to finish the food on your plate. You will often see Filipino parents scolding their children to finish their food or they will not perform well in school. Filipinos usually say a prayer before the food is served, plus they wait until the host asks them to start eating. It is also rude to refuse food offered by the host or to leave the dining table while someone is still eating. When eating in the presence of Chinese/Japanese/Koreans, do not put your chopsticks vertically into the bowl of food (see the sections on eating in China, Japan and South Korea for more information).
Kanin at Kakanin (rice and rice cakes)
Kanin means rice in Tagalog, while kakanin means rice cake.
- Sinangag is fried garlic rice, often mixed with vegetables, dried shrimps, dried fish strips, hot dogs or chorizos.
- Bibingka – rice cake with cheese and salted egg, it originates from Indian cuisine.
- Puto – Soft, white rice muffins.
Other species are biko, cuchinta, pichi-pichi, sapin-sapin, etc. The towns of Calasiao in Pangasinan and Binan, Laguna are famous for their puto
Pancit/Pancit or noodles, an influence from Chinese cuisine and said to give long life because of their length, are often eaten during celebrations such as birthdays and New Year. Below are some popular Filipino noodle dishes
- Pancit Batchoy/La Paz Batchoy is a noodle soup usually made with pork organs, shredded crispy fried pork rind, prawns, vegetables, chicken broth, chicken, beef and most importantly noodles.
- Pancit Bihon, sautéed noodles together with vegetables, pork and prawns.
- Pancit Molo is a Filipino shanty soup, but it does not contain noodles.
- Pancit Palabok’ noodles cooked and then topped with atchuete, also known as annatto seeds, prawns and crispy fried pork.
- Pancit Hab-hab’ Fried rice noodles served in a banana leaf. Eaten without utensils by bringing them directly to the mouth. The typical noodle dish of Lucban Quezon.
Silog and Pankaplog
Usually eaten for breakfast, this is the Filipino version of a typical American breakfast with egg, bacon and pancakes. Silog is a contraction of the words sinangag (fried rice) and itlog (egg). They are not only sold in Filipino eateries and stalls, but also in restaurants and fast food chains like McDonald’s.
- Adosilog has Adobo
- Longsilog has longganisa or local pork sausage
- Tapsilog has tapa or cured beef
- Tocilog has tocino or cured pork
- Pankaplog A slang term for a breakfast consisting mainly of pande sal(bread), kape(coffee) and itlog.
Ulam (main dishes)
Ulam means Mains in Tagalog.
- Adobo – chicken, pork or both, served in a garlicky stew with vinegar and soy sauce as the base. It is probably the national dish of the Philippines.
- Bopis – pork giblets, usually served spicy.
- Burong Talangka – Philippine caviar, it is made from talangkas or crabs.
- Calamares – fried prawns/squid wrapped in breadcrumbs.
- Camaron Rebusado – the Filipino version of tempura.
- Chicken curry – Is very different from other curries because, unlike other curries, it is not spicy. Besides chicken, crab curry and other varieties are also available.
- Dinuguan – a dark stew made from pig’s blood mixed with the pig’s innards. Usually served with a large green chilli and best eaten with puto.
- Daing na bangus – fried dried milkfish, usually served for breakfast with garlic fried rice and fried egg.
- Kare-kare – stew of vegetables and meat cooked for hours, usually beef with tripe and tail, eaten with crab paste (bagoong). There is also a seafood version of kare-kare with crab, squid and prawns instead of beef.
- Lechon de leche – slow-roasted baby pork, usually served on larger occasions. The crispy skin is delicious and is often the first part to be eaten.
- Lengua – roasted beef tongue marinated in spicy sauce.
- Nilaga – literally means “cooked”, can be beef served with its marrow (bulalo) in some places, pork or chicken.
- Pakbet – a traditional dish of mixed vegetables, usually containing sliced tomatoes, minced pork, ladyfingers, aubergines, etc.
- Paksiw – fish or vegetables cooked with vinegar, ginger, garlic and chilli picante.
- Sinigang – soup, usually soured with tamarind (but can also be with guava or kamien), can be served with pork, beef, chicken, fish or prawns.
- Tinola – Chicken in ginger soup.
Western cuisine in Philippines
Spaniards, Portuguese, Mexicans, Americans and other European and Mediterranean peoples introduced their cuisine to the natives and just like the Chinese, they adopted it. While the Spanish occupied the Philippines, the Mexicans and the Aztecs began to connect with the Filipinos through the Manila-Acapulco trade, people introduced their native cuisine to each other. The American influence came during the American colonisation.
- Arroz Caldo – rice porridge topped with egg, chicken liver and ground chicharon.
- Arroz de Valenciana – Paella; Filipino style.
- Biscocho – Sweet biscuits.
- Caldereta – Pork or beef tomato soup with sausages and vegetables.
- Champorado – Introduced by the Mexicans, but eventually over the years the recipe changed by adding rice, sweet chocolate rice porridge. It’s kind of like hot chocolate, but with rice on top.
- Empanada – Filled pastry.
- Ensaymada – Sweet bread topped with cheese and butter.
- Leche Flan – Creme brulee (custard made from vanilla pudding).
- Menudo – pork stew.
- Spaghetti – Possibly brought to the Philippines by the Americans-Italians during the American colonisation, this is a must for pasta lovers, not because they love it, but because it is so different from the Italian spaghetti. Unlike the Italian version, Filipino spaghetti is sweet and its ingredients include sugar and condensed milk. Filipinos are meat lovers who obsessively add meat to their spaghetti, including hotdog, spam (the name given to ham in the Philippines because spam is so popular) and corned beef/pork or ground beef/pork.
The Filipinos and Chinese traded with each other in the early times, then the Chinese eventually started to settle in the Philippines and introduced their cuisine and culture, the Filipinos embraced the Chinese heritage and started to adapt it in their lives including food. Most of the dishes listed below are served in Chinatown and Filipino-Chinese fast food chains and eateries.
- Pansit Bihon’ (米粉) – Fried noodles with either prawns or pork in them.
- Hopia (好餅) – Moon cake; a sweet dough with a filling inside, either sweet potato, mung beans, etc.
- Kiampong (鹹飯) – Fried rice.
- Tikoy (年糕/甜粿) – Sticky rice cake often eaten on New Year’s Eve because it is believed to keep family ties strong.
- Lumpia (潤餅) – spring rolls.
- Taho (豆花) – Fresh tofu with brown sugar and vanilla syrup and pearl sago (pearl tapioca)
- Siomai (燒賣) – Dim Sum.
- Siopao (燒包) – Steamed buns with meat filling inside.
- Mummy (肉麵) – noodle soup.
- Lugaw (粥) – Congee made from coconut milk and glutinous rice.
Fast-food chains in Philippines
The American influence is palpable in the Philippines, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a mall that doesn’t have McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and even Taco Bell. However, Filipino fast food chains that capture the essence of Filipino food compete strongly for Filipino taste buds, and they can be a safe place for the tourist to try local cuisine. Below is a list of local fast food chains that have branches all over the metropolis and in many cases all over the country.
- Jollibee. Jollibee is McDonald’s competitor in fast food in the country, it has over 1000 outlets around the world. Yum Burger, Chicken Joy, Spaghetti and Palabok. has meals ranging from php39.00 $1-$2 per serving. edit
- Greenwich Pizza. The second of Jollibee Corps’ three fast food chains, Greenwich Pizzas are your typical fare, but again with a slightly sweeter tomato sauce than usual. Some seasonal offerings, like the Sisig pizza, may be on sale, so check the menu. $2 – $3 per serving.
- Chowking. The Filipino version of Chinese food, also owned by Jollibee. Try the lauriats (beef, pork and chicken), rice, pancit (fried noodles with meat and vegetables), siomai (dumplings) and buchi (a sweet rice ball with a sesame coating). $2 – $3 per serving.
- Tapa King. Tapaking is where you get the ubiquitous tapsilog (strips of fried beef, garlic fried rice and egg) along with other local delicacies. $2 – $3 per serving.
- GotoKing. Here you can get the localised version of congee, called goto and lugaw, with different toppings like chicken, roasted garlic, egg, etc.
- Mang Inasal. Mang Inasal is a relative newcomer, bringing a grilled variety called “Inasal” from the city of Iloilo to Metro Manila. They also offer other grilled meats, as well as soups like sinigang (a tamarind-based sour soup). $1-2 per serving.
- Goldilocks. The place to go for baked treats and sweets like mamon (a spongy, round cake), polvoron (a thickly wrapped, powdery treat), ensaimada (bread baked with cheese and sugar) and many other delights for those with a sweet tooth.
- Red Ribbon. Here you will find different types of cakes, rolls, pastries and even different types of pasta such as spaghetti, carbonara and palabok.
Street food in Philippines
Filipino street food is arguably some of the best, although it may not be as clean as Singapore’s. Street food vendors have been criticised for their unhygienic practices and unhealthy options, but praised by many, especially the youth, for their affordability and taste. Nowadays, street food can also be found in malls, but the traditional way of selling street food has not yet died out. Items are already being sold for P5. Street food is usually enjoyed with beer, lemonade, juice or even gulaman (pearl shakes) and is usually eaten in the afternoon into the night.
- Adidas – More edible than the popular shoe, adidas is actually slang used by locals to refer to grilled chicken feet. It is called adidas because feet are associated with shoes.
- Adobong Mani – Salted, roasted peanuts usually sold in small paper bags by vendors.
- Betamax – Again, people don’t cook Betamax and eat it – it’s another slang for pig’s blood that has been barbecued. It is called Betamax because its shape is cube-shaped and resembles a Betamax player.
- Barbecue – Whether pork or chicken, barbecue remains one of the favourites. It is not only eaten as street food, but sometimes also with rice as the main course at dinner.
- Balut – is a fertilised duck egg with an almost developed embryo inside, which is cooked and eaten in its shell. In popular belief, it is considered an aphrodisiac and a high-protein, hearty snack. Baluts are usually sold at night by street vendors in the regions where they are available. Cooked and usually eaten with a little salt and vinegar.
- Banana Cue – a popular street food made of Saba bananas (plantain) deep-fried in very hot oil with a caramelised sugar coating. Saba bananas can also be boiled instead of fried.
- Chickenballs – chicken version of fish balls.
- Fish balls – Something smells fishy here? As the name suggests, these are the fish version of meatballs, and just like meatballs, they are deep-fried.
- Ice Candy – Ice candy is like a popsicle, it comes in different flavours such as mango, which is actually the most common and popular. It is sold in tiangge (small shops in the barangays) as well as on the street. It is the usual refreshment for locals during the summer.
- Inasal – The best inasal is found in Bacolod, it’s usually like grilled chicken, but the sweet, juicy version.
- Isaw – Grilling chicken casings.
- Kikiam – Originally from the Chinese, it is pork with vegetables wrapped in bean curd leaves.
- Kwek-Kwek – quail eggs and chicken meat breaded in egg and then fried, it has an orange colour.
- Penoy – like Balut, but without the embryo, just the yolk.
- Squid balls – squid version of fish balls.
- Sorbetes – The Pinoy version of sorbet/ice cream. They are sold in different flavours such as ule, vanilla, chocolate, mango, coconut, cheese and sometimes durian. Filipinos like to play with their food – you will see people dipping chips in ice cream or eating ice cream with bread. Don’t leave the Philippines without trying some of the more unusual flavours. They are kind of exotic and maybe strange, but delicious.
- Tenga – Tenga is Filipino for ear, it is a pig’s ear that has been grilled.
Snacks and baked goods in Philippines
- Pan de Sal – Spanish for “salt bread”, they are small rolls usually made fresh in the morning, an alternative to rice for breakfast. They are usually eaten with a cup of coffee. Some people prefer to dip their pandesal in coffee.
- Chicharon – crispy snacks made from deep-fried pork skin. If you don’t eat pork or have dietary restrictions, there is chicken chicharon and sometimes fish chicharon.
Fruits & Desserts in Philippines
Tropical fruits are abundant in the Philippines. Most of the rural produce finds its way to the metropolitan areas and can easily be bought in supermarkets, such as:
- Coconut – Even if it looks familiar, you should try the coconut of the Philippines, as the country is the largest exporter of coconuts in the world.
- Durian – smells like hell but supposedly tastes heavenly, most common in Davao but can also be bought in some supermarkets in Manila.
- Green mangoes, ripe mangoes, dried mangoes – Don’t leave the Philippines without trying green Indian mangoes with bagoong (crab paste), tasting ripe mangoes and buying dried mangoes as pasalubong.
- Banana chips – Unlike those eaten in India, the Filipino version is much thicker and sweeter, try dipping them in ice cream.
- Buko Pie – pie with coconut flakes as filling.
- Cassava cake
- Egg Pie – pie with sweet, pie-like filling
- Halo-Halo – Halo-Halo means “mix-mix” in Filipino and is another refreshing dessert that is a mixture of sweetened beans and fruits, such as sweetened bananas, red and white beans, sago, crushed ice and milk and topped with leche flan and ube jam and/or ice cream.
- Ice Scramble – Crushed ice with condensed milk.
- Mais con Hielo/Yelo – A dessert made from fresh corn, served in a glass, mixed with crushed ice and milk.
- Sampaloc sweet – salted and sweetened tamarind fruit.
- Turon’ – Saba(plantain) bananas wrapped and fried and then sprinkled with condensed milk or sugar.
- Turron – Originally from Europe, a bar made from cashew nuts with a white wafer.
Spices and salads in Philippines
- Achara – Pickled papaya salad, it actually comes from South Indian cuisine.
- Banana ketchup – During the Second World War, supplies of tomato ketchup ran out and people began to complain. Due to the high production of bananas, Filipinos came up with the idea of using banana instead of tomato. Don’t worry: it doesn’t taste like banana at all; it’s a kind of sweet and sour ketchup. Try it with chicken, pork chops or spaghetti.
- Bagoong (crab paste) – Crab paste is popular throughout Southeast Asia. Some people get allergies from crab paste, but they consume it despite the itchy skin problems it causes. Sometimes fish is used instead.
- Patis – fish sauce.
- Radish salad – salad based on radish, onion and sugar, enjoyed with fish.
Dietary restrictions in Philippines
Muslims will have a hard time finding halal food outside the predominantly Muslim areas in the Philippines, even though the country is one of the fastest emerging markets for the export of certified halal products. Ask if there is pork in the dish before eating. Seventh-day Adventists may find some vegetarian restaurants in the Philippines, mostly in commercial, financial and provincial capitals. Most of them use tofu instead of meat, Sanitarium products may be found in Seventh-day Adventist or Sanitarium hospitals. Hindus will find Indian restaurants serving some vegetarian options around Metro Manila. Vegetarians and vegans will find it difficult to find a Filipino dish that is completely vegetarian, as most Filipinos love to add meat to every single dish they eat. Jews will also find it difficult to find kosher dishes. However, rabbis in the Philippines recommend some shops that sell kosher food, visit Kosher Philippines for advice.
Smoking in Philippines
Filipinos like to smoke as a pastime, but also as a social activity (especially together with alcohol consumption or gambling), especially for men. Cigarettes (sigarilyo, or colloquially, yosi) are usually cheap in the Philippines. For example, Marlboro cost about ₱55 for a pack of twenty in a supermarket, 70 or 80 in a bar or convenience store. Many of the local sari-sari shops also sell them by the piece, usually for ₱4. Local brands are cheaper and cigars are also available.
On the streets, people walking or standing with a lit cigarette and groups of men, especially drivers, smoking while talking are a common sight, along with vendors selling cigarettes as well as sweets, drinks and snacks. Despite laws regulating tobacco use, smoking is still widespread, especially outdoors. Smoking is prohibited in public buildings, public transport, restaurants, petrol stations and even bars, except in smoking areas. Attempting to light a cigarette or smoke in places where smoking is prohibited, or smoking in a non-smoking area, can result in you being fined or forced to go outside. However, enforcement is sometimes lax. You may observe drivers of jeepneys or tricycles smoking while driving.
Filipinos also like to smoke, especially outdoors or even at work. No-smoking signs are sometimes ignored, as is the not very strict enforcement of no-smoking ordinances. Sellers of cigarettes can be seen in traffic or even on the pavements. Cigarette advertising is common in sari-sari shops, which are mainly family-owned. Cigarettes are usually cheap and sold by the carton or pack. Popular cigarette brands include Marlboro, Winston and Pall Mall, as well as some local brands such as Fortune (either Fortune International or Fortune Tribal) and Mighty. Cigarette packets usually carry text warnings (such as “Government Warning: Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health.”), but since March 2016, graphic warnings have also been used. These newer warnings include gory images of premature babies, cancerous lungs, mouths and throats, and patients suffering from emphysema.
The smoking and purchasing age is 18 and the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors. Cigarette packs must have notices such as “NOT FOR SALE TO MINORS” or, rarely, “NO SALE TO MINORS” printed on them. Convenience stores (such as 7-Eleven) and large supermarkets strictly enforce the ban on the sale of tobacco products to minors and require photo ID verification for anyone who looks like a person under 18. However, sari-sari shops do not check the age of people buying tobacco products, so children can buy cigarettes as an errand for their smoking parents.
The streets are often littered with cigarette butts. Many bins do not have ashtrays or butt trays, so you might be tempted to throw them anywhere, on the pavement, the street or even on grass. However, it is better to find a bin with an ashtray than to throw the cigarette butts on the street or directly on the bin.
Several cities and municipalities have smoking bans, including Davao City, where smoking is completely prohibited. But enforcement of smoking bans is usually not monitored. Respect signs and ordinances on smoking bans instead of getting caught and punished.
Drinks in Philippines
Chilled drinks and juice in Philippines
Due to the tropical climate in the Philippines, chilled drinks are very popular. A stall selling chilled drinks and shakes is common, especially in shopping malls. Fruit shakes are served with ice, evaporated or condensed milk and fruits such as mango, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries and even durians. Various tropical fruit drinks found in the Philippines include dalandan (green mandarin), suha (pomelo), pinya (pineapple), calamansi (small lime), buko (young coconut), durian, guyabano (sorrel), mango, banana, watermelon and strawberry, which are available at stalls along the streets, as well as in commercial establishments such as food carts in malls. They are often served chilled with ice. Buko juice (young coconut) is a popular drink in the country, the juice is drunk through an inserted straw at the tip of the buko or young coconut.
Sago’t Gulaman a sweet drink made of molasses, sago pearls and seaweed gelatin is also a popular drink among Filipinos. Zagu is a shake with flavours like strawberry and chocolate, with sago pearls.
Tea, coffee and chocolate in Philippines
Salabat, sometimes called ginger tea, is an iced or hot tea made from lemongrass and pandan leaves or brewed from ginger root. Kapeng barako is a famous type of coffee in the Philippines, made in Batangas from coffee beans found in the cool mountains. Try the Filipino hot chocolate drink tsokolate, made from chocolate bars called tableas, a tradition that dates back to Spanish colonial times. Champorado is not considered a drink by Filipinos, but is another version of tsokolate with the difference that rice is added. Records say that chocolate was brought to the Filipinos by the Aztecs during the Manila-Acapulco trade.
Alcoholic beverages in Philippines
Filipinos (with the exception of observant Muslims) love to drink (and get drunk).
There are many bars, pubs and karaoke venues in Metro Manila. Popular places are Makati (especially the Glorietta and Greenbelt areas), Ortiga’s Metrowalk and Eastwood in Libis. Other major cities such as Cebu City and Davao also have nightlife areas. The establishments serve the usual hard and soft drinks that are common in other bars. Note that Filipinos rarely consume alcohol alone. They usually have something called “pulutan” or bar chow with their drinks, which is something like tapas. These consist at least of mixed nuts, but grilled meat and seafood are also not uncommon dishes, along with the usual drinks. When having a party, Filipinos like to drink in a round with a shared glass. People are expected to drink with their heads up before passing the glass to the next person. This custom is known as “tagayan” and a person usually pours the drink voluntarily.
Beer is perhaps the most common form of alcohol consumed in bars. San Miguel Beer is the dominant local brand with several variants such as Light, Dry, Strong Ice and their flagship Pale Pilsen. Budweiser, Heineken and Corona are also found in upscale bars. Rum and Ginebra, the local form of gin, are the most commonly available forms of hard liquor. Local forms of liquor are lambanog and tuba, both made from coconut juice. Tuba is fermented from the sap of the coconut and although Tuba can be drunk by itself, it is also distilled to take the form of Lambanog. Lambanog is now marketed both locally and internationally in its basic form as well as in different flavoured variants such as mango, bubble gum and blueberry.
Alcohol is extremely cheap in the Philippines (and one of the cheapest in all of Asia). A bottle of San Miguel in a 7-Eleven or Mini-Stop costs around ₱20-₱30. Regular bars offer it for ₱40-50, and even in top bars and clubs, a bottle costs around ₱100-200. A 750 ml bottle of Absolut Vodka costs around ₱ 750 in the supermarket, and a popular local rum (especially among knowledgeable expats), Tanduay, costs just under ₱ 70 in a 24-hour shop in Makati (The Financial District).