For a number of people I know, the Philippines is at or near the top of their travel bucket list. Why? Amazing beaches and waters. But what else does the country have to offer?
The truth is, I really didn’t know, so I figured that a Filipino-themed date night would help! I hope you enjoy this little dive into a place I really knew nothing about, and are inspired to plan your own!
Filipino-Themed Date Night
Eat: Chicken Adobo, Sinangag, and Biko
Adobo is the most famous Filipino dish, and can be made with pretty much any protein. It’s a marinade made from soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar, with the chicken braised until done. I shredded it, though it’s more common to serve on the bone.
Sinangag is garlic fried rice, and pretty straightforward. I adapted mine with the addition of spinach for some needed green in the meal, and topped it with a poached egg done in the microwave, of all places. (Crack an egg into half a mug of water and microwave on high in 15-30 second increments until done. Mine took about 1:10, but there are so many variables that I hesitate to give you even a rough estimate.)
The final plate. It was a hit!
Biko was A’s dessert. It’s a sweet cake made from glutinous rice instead of flour, traditionally flavored with pandan leaves, and topped with a syrup of coconut milk and brown sugar. Texturally it is fascinating, a cross between a cake and sticky rice. Flavor-wise? Incredible! One suggestion: don’t eat it cold as it gets fairly sticky. Reheat it if needed.
Biko. You can see the rice!
Learn: The History of the Philippines
Another animated dinner documentary, I appreciated that this one actually spent a decent amount of time on pre-colonial history. Most of that portion was new to me. Magellan and on was a bit more familiar, and the complicated relationship with the US is pretty fascinating as well.
Immerse: Palawan and the Banaue Rice Terraces
I told you I got an Oculus Quest, right? Well, I did and it’s cool and we immersed into a couple of destinations this way, one the famous beaches of Palawan, and one the amazing rice terraces – more than 2,000 years old in some cases! If I could go to one place in the Philippines, it would be between these two.
The Banaue rice terraces
Explore: Presidential Museum and Library
Manila’s Malacanon Palace is the seat of government, as well as a museum dedicated to the office of the presidency with artifacts from many of them, even the dictators. The building itself is also gorgeous, and the Czech chandelier is not to be missed. Google arts and culture has a street view of several rooms for exploration purposes.
Watch: No Reservations: The Philippines
Full disclosure: this was not my first choice of feature activities. I was hoping for a full length film about the Filipino portion of the Spanish-American War. Failing that, I was hoping to stream Bourdain’s Parts Unknown from Manila. Again unable to find it for free, we settled on Anthony’s earlier show, and I’m really glad we did. He is amazing, and the food – especially the lechon (pig) – made me hungry even though we’d just eaten. I miss him.
I’m not sure when I will make it to the Philippines, or even if I will. But I’m so glad to have virtually traveled there on this date night! Please tell me if you decide to have one of your own.
If you liked this, check out all of our travel themed date nights here!
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