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How to Survive as a Vegan in the Philippines

Veganism in the Philippines

Veganism in the Philippines

Veganism is not a common practice in the Philippines, and some Filipinos aren’t even aware of this lifestyle because they grew up eating what their parents and grandparents served them, which is most likely a lot of meat and fish.

A lot of us grow up eating eggs for breakfast almost every day. You’ll even notice that we have “silog” (the food) or “silog-an” (the place that serves the “silog”) everywhere! Even McDonald’s in the Philippines has a version of this. I am not kidding.

In case you’ve never heard of this, silog is a combination of the words “sinangag”, which is fried rice and “itlog”, which means egg. So combine silog with hotdog, and we have “hot-silog” or corned beef, and you have “corn-silog” and so many other variations of “silog”. Oh, and we Filipinos love cheese too!

So, finding food without all of those can be pretty tricky when you visit El Nido and Coron, Palawan. but you don’t need to worry. You can and will survive as a vegan in the Philippines. It just takes a little more effort.

We’ve written a blog about vegetarian food in Palawan, and it has essential tips on how to survive as a vegetarian in this country. Those tips will indeed work for vegans too. On that page, you’ll also (hopefully) understand how or why the food in the Philippines isn’t always vegan-friendly, or you can skip to the tips.

 

vegan filipino food

Good news! There are now a lot of vegan-friendly restaurants, especially in the metro and expat-friendly places. There has also been a dramatic rise in vegan-friendly restaurants and establishments with vegan food options, especially in tourist areas such as El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Cebu, Siargao and the like.

Vegan Food in Coron and El Nido Palawan

Vegan Filipino Food

Carinderia

Restaurants don’t always serve vegan-friendly viands, but if you’re feeling a little adventurous, you might be able to find them in a “carinderia” or small-time canteen near you. For example, they might have “Champorado” for breakfast, chocolate rice porridge. For lunch or dinner, you can ask or look for viands like Mung Bean Stew, Jackfruit Cooked with Coconut Milk, or maybe some Tofu and Grilled Eggplants. Sometimes there are more options in these small-time canteens because they usually serve traditional home-cooked meals. Double-check the ingredients because sometimes they add pork or shrimp to some of these dishes.

Street Food

Try to check the area if you’ll see vendors serving “Turon” or banana rolls, “Banana cue” (banana drizzled with brown sugar and fried until golden) and “Kamote cue” (sweet potatoes cooked like banana cues), “Lumpia” or spring rolls. Who needs a fancy restaurant when you can find all these in a simple Filipino food cart, right? It’ll definitely be cheaper too!

A fresh batch of turon with drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Rice cakes

We have so many different kinds of rice cakes in the Philippines, and you won’t be disappointed, especially if you have a sweet tooth. You’ll most likely find these in the market, but you’ll see street vendors selling them occasionally too!

The easiest to find is “Bibingka” which is black rice sweets, with “Latik” which is caramel made from coconut milk, and the “Puto”, which is steamed rice cake made from slightly fermented rice flour.

Don’t get confused because there are so many different versions of puto, and it can also vary from region to region. A few slices or pieces of this can fill your stomach and set you up until your next meal time.

Fruit Stalls

If you’re not into fried food or snacks, that’s fine too. Because where these kinds of vendors are, there’s most likely another who sells sliced fresh fruits such as mangoes, coconuts, watermelon, pomelo, pineapple and whatever is in season. You can even find these vendors making fruit shakes and fresh fruit juices too!

Collect Your Fruits

If you’re in the provinces and still can’t find a vendor that sells any of these, look for a mango or coconut tree and collect the fruits yourself. Just check if the tree has an owner because you wouldn’t want to get in trouble trying to get some fruits, would you?

FAQs About Veganism in the Philippines

Is the Philippines vegan-friendly?

Veganism is not a well-known practice in the Philippines but there are still many local delicacies to help a vegan to survive. You can find many local food in El Nido and Coron, Palawan and even there are vegan-friendly restaurants.

Are there many Vegans in the Philippines?

Only 2% of Filipinos are vegans.

Outro

We hope this helps you survive as a vegan in the Philippines. We think one of the reasons we are the top rated expedition company in Coron, is because we cater pretty well for vego/vegans because the Philippines can be a tough place if you don't eat meat or dairy. 

Cheers!

Experience the best of Coron and El Nido with Big Dream Boatman, as recognized by TripAdvisor.

Join our renowned Coron to El Nido Boat Tour and embark on an incredible journey through captivating landscapes and secret paradises. Engage in exciting activities, savor delicious meals prepared by our chef, and unwind under the stars, making this an unforgettable adventure.

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