When you visit other countries, you get the chance to explore the country’s unique natural resources, experience the warmth and hospitality of the people, learn about history and culture, and best of all, try all the best dishes they can offer to the world.

If you happen to be in the Philippines, you will not find it hard to find familiar food in the country no matter where you are from.  The country offers western, Asian, and almost any type of cuisine you wish to devour in.  But if you want to experience something new, here are 5 foods you must try, which are very unique to the country and loved by many.

1. Balut

Balut is a popular must-try street food in the Philippines.  While some other Asian countries like Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia also offer this food, it is said to have originated in the Philippines.

It is a fertilized duck egg boiled and sold in buckets at night by vendors at their stations or roamed around by feet or by bicycles shouting out “Balut!”

The duck egg is usually 17 days old with the embryo not fully developed.  You can eat it by cracking the egg a bit, sucking the juice, eating the yolk, and throwing out the embryo.  You can really see the embryo with all its underdeveloped parts, thus the reason why they are sold at night so you can better take the eating.

If you cannot stomach at the sight of an embryo in your food, you can also try the Balut Penoy that looks just like a hard-boiled duck egg.  These are boiled duck eggs which are fertile but did not really develop.

Balut is high in protein but also high in cholesterol.  It is also known to be an aphrodisiac.

2. Lechon

If you have Filipino neighbors and Filipino friends, you may have tried eating their lechon during special occasions.  Lechon, locally known as Litson, is a whole pig that is roasted to give it a crispy skin and very tasty meat.

The insides of the pig are removed before roasting and are stuffed with spices, herbs, and vegetables.  The skin is also rubbed with salt and other spices or sauce to give it a very flavourful taste.

Lechon is usually prepared during special occasions like fiestas, weddings, and birthdays, as well as during Christmas and New Year when families are gathered together to celebrate.

3. Halu-halo

You can never really resist this very delicious dessert in a tropical country like the Philippines. Halu-halo is a tall glass serving of shaved ice with evaporated milk, topped with fruits and sweet preserves.  It is sometimes finished with ice cream on top.  These ingredients are then mixed altogether, thus the name halu-halo, which means “mixed together”.

The fruits and preserves usually include sweet beans, coconut gel, kaong or sugar palm fruit, purple yam, boiled kidney beans, jackfruit, and leche flan.

4. Taho

If you want a warm morning snack that is loaded with protein, try the Taho.  It is another popular food in the Philippines roamed by vendors carrying stainless steel or aluminum buckets shouting out the word "tahooo".

Taho is made of fresh tofu (soybeans), arnibal or caramelized sugar (as sweetener), and sago or tapioca pearls.  These ingredients are individually put by the vendor in a small disposable cup and partially mixed.  You can slurp it directly from the cup or use a spoon or straw.

A similar snack called Tauhue is also sold in Indonesia and Malaysia.

5. Sisig

An appetizer tuned into main dish, sisig will surely satisfy your tongues with lots of spices. Grab your beer with this "pulutan" and you are good to go for the night.

Sisig, usually served on a sizzling plate, is originally made of chopped pig's face, pig's ears, some chicken liver, and a lot of chopped onions and chili, topped with squeezed calamansi.  Later versions are also topped with sunny side-up eggs, cheese, or even mayonnaise.

Sisig is said to have originated in the province Pampanga and is now popular all over the country as an appetizer, main dish, and "pulutan" or side dish to go with your beer.  Today, more versions are made with the sisig, including tuna and bangus to replace the pork face and ears.

There are many other delectable foods you should try when you are in the Philippines where every province has a specialty.  Don't forget to also try Crispy Pata, Adobo, Pancit Palabok, Longganiza, Bulalo, Chicken Inasal, and Kare-kare.

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