Filipino Cuisine
By Tony Alabastro
The following article was taken from a Brunei Newspaper

From Jollibee to Kahayan Fiesta, the culinary art of Filipinos is spreading by word of mouth in the Sultanate.

"Filipino cuisine could easily be the original fusion cuisine, said Datin Hjh Zainah Bujang, General Manager of the Sheraton Utama Hotel.

"After all, more than 400 years of Chinese, Hispanic, American and various other influences have blended together in perfect harmony for a very individual, very unique cuisine that is simply `sarap' (delicious),"

Datin Hjh Zainah Bujang said of the Philippine Ambassador to Brunei Ms Virginia H Benavidez, for the hotel's first ever Filipino Food Festival, "She has graciously allowed us to ransack her house and, to quote her, `take anything you want.'

"Her 'bahay kubo' (nipa hut), 'banggerahan' (neither sink, room, kitchen nor bathroom, but parts of all of the above) and the lanterns look so good at our pool terrace, I think we will borrow them permanently."

"It is said that the culture of a country and the warmth of friendship are best understood and reached through the belly, the palate and around the dining table.

"It is a well-known fact that Philippine cuisine has been enriched by foreign influences that came to our shores. Throughout the Philippine archipelago, there is a wealth of regional food that is as eclectic as its more than 7,000 islands and as distinctive as its more than 172 languages and dialects.

"Distinctly Malay influence can be seen in our coconut-based foods and peanut sauces. The Chinese introduced noodles, subtle flavours and mixing courses in one plate.

"The Arabs and Indians brought a variety of spices and food plants.

The Spaniards brought Mediterranean spices and indulged the Filipinos' penchant for rich flavours and thick stews.

"These contributions from the cuisine of other cultures, adapted and indigenised according to Filipino taste and imagination as well as availability of local ingredients, have led to the development of a truly Filipino food as we know them today," said Ms Benavidez.

"The ongoing fiesta season back home in the Philippines has now been transported to Brunei. I am sure that you will agree with me that the festive atmosphere and the authentic Philippine decor, paintings brought by Mr Jose Fajardo, member of the Filipino community in Brunei, even the 'bahay kubo' (nipa hut) near the poolside, have dramatically turned Sheraton Utama Hotel into a Filipiniana setting.

"Even the way the buffet tables were set up and decorated reflect the way Filipinos would like their food to be presented - a complete meal laid out so that a serenade of flavours and an assortment of dishes can be enjoyed simultaneously," she said.

"Adobo," perhaps the best-known Filipino dish, comes from a Spanish pickling sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, paprika, and salt, she added.

After the Independence Day flag raising ceremony, visitors were served a Filipino breakfast of dried danggit (crispy fried fish) from Cebu, dried squid from Palawan, dried milkfish from Pangasinan, Sungee pomelo from Davao, and Argentina corned beef "air flown from the Philippines by Engineer Pio Benavidez," said Attache Virgilio Cajaljal, the master of ceremonies.

For the diplomatic reception, Engineer Benavidez flew in tubes of Batangas suman, a delicacy of glutinous rice, wrapped in banana leaves, sweet and fragrant Philippine Sungee mangoes from Davao as well as gallons of mango and purple yam Philippine ice cream.

Sheraton Utama served chicken adobo, stuffed squid and pancit palabok for the 'main courses during the reception to mark the 106th anniversary of Philippine Independence at the Main Hall of the International Convention Centre.

Pancit palabok are noodles shaken in hot water and bathed in sauce and sprinkled condiments like chicharon or crispy chicken skin, tokwa (soybean curd) cubes, slivers of tinapa (smoked fish), hard boiled egg slices, then sprinkled with fish sauce and Philippine lime (kasturi) to taste.

The appetiser was lumpiang sariwa or fresh vegetable spring rolls. Desserts include putong puti or white steamed rice cake, kutsinta, a snack made from a steamed mix of ground rice, brown sugar and lye, and ube halaya, a dessert paste of purple yam, milk and sugar.

From the stall came halo-halo, a mixture of sweetened black and light beans, cooking banana (saba) slices, chewy sago, gelatin squares, nata de coco, fragrant langka (ripe jackfruit). Best served in a tall glass, with crushed ice is a slice of sweet leche flan (custard in caramelised syrup).

A topping of Manila mango or purple yam ice cream makes halo-halo super special. This is a fitting feast to mark 20 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines.



6 cups sweet rice (pilit)
8 cups coconut milk (Aprox 3 coconuts)
1 cup refine sugar
2 cups grated coconut
1 can Makapuno

With a  rice cooker, add sweet rice and coconut milk to cook, coconut milk must be 1" above the sweet rice in the cooker Meantime in a very hot wok roast the grated coconut constantly blending and stirring  until fringes are brown. Cool and mix grated roasted coconut with sugar

 Place on a large platter. Add  roasted coconut mix and strips of makapuno on top when served

Oct3Pix.tif (223912 bytes)
Puto Maya

Say........... Oyap (salted shrimp fries)
Dayok.jpg (70429 bytes)
Dayok (yaackie) (salted fish intestines)
By Danilo Cuymo


½ kilogram Lapu-lapu fish (red snapper)
½ kilogram medium-sized carrots, long and thinly sliced (julienne)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cloves ginger, long and thinly sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup powdered black pepper
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, dissolved in water 
1 cup vinegar
3 tbsp. (30 mL) white sugar
2 onion bulbs, chopped
6 fresh red and green pepper, long and thinly sliced salt
mayonnaise for garnish

- Fry fish for 10 min. or until browned on both sides;
set aside.
- Sauté onion, ginger and garlic in medium-low fire.
Add carrots, cook for 2 minutes before adding vinegar
(already mixed salt, sugar and 1 glass of water). Do
not stir until it is already boiling. Add dissolved
flour. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover;
cook for 5 min., stir occasionally.
- In the same skillet, combine fish; heat through.
Garnish with mayonnaise, if desired.
escabeche.jpg (68572 bytes)
By Danilo Cuymo


½ kilogram Fresh fish or in this case, Spanish
Mackerel, diced into ¾ inch (2 cm) pieces
1 cup (250 mL) mayonnaise
1 cup (250 mL) vinegar
2 cloves ginger, sliced or minced
1 medium onion, sliced or minced
¼ cup calamnasi juice
¼ cup lemon (biasong) juice (lime)
salt vetsin (monosodium glutamate) (Accent)

- In medium-sized bowl, mix thoroughly all of the
said ingredients. Garnish with extra lemon or calamansi
linilaw.jpg (61635 bytes)
By Princess Mae Bendijo Villar


2½ to 3 lb. (1 to 4 kgm.) broiler fryer chicken, cut
1 cup (15 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (15 mL) chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
1 tbsp. soy sauce
⅛ tsp. (0.5 mL) freshly ground pepper
¼ cup calamansi juice
Green onion (spring onion) for garnish

- Marinate chicken for 30 min. over soy sauce mixed
with calamansi juice.
- In large bowl, create flour mixture by combining
flour, onions, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, calamansi
juice. Coat marinated chicken lightly with flour
- Skillet coated chicken over medium heat, in hot oil
for 10 min. or until browned on both sides.
- Serve chicken with rice. Garnish rice with green
onion and pass additional soy sauce, if desired.

Makes 4 serving
chickeninato.jpg (70103 bytes)
TORON NA SAGING (Fried Wrapped Banana)
By Princess Mae Bendijo Villar


10 bananas (Saba) (ripe Plantain)
20 lumpia wrapper (eggroll wrapper)
4 cups (1L) brown sugar
medium-size jackfruit, caramelized and cut into
thin slices (julienne)

Peel off banana skin. Cut each into two parts. Coat
the sliced banana over brown sugar before wrapping
with lumpia. Two slices of sugar-coated banana may be
put together in one wrapping.
Fry wrapped banana over medium-high heat, hot oil,
until brown. Remove, drip oil.

Toron is best served with added strips of caramelized
strips of jackfruit before wrapping with lumpia

Good for 6 to 8 persons.
turon2.jpg (40503 bytes)

4 cans coconut milk
1/2 lb. sago 
1/2 lb tapioca pearls
1 lb ube (purple cocoyam) diced
1 lbs. gabi (taro root), diced
1 lb. kamote (sweet potato), diced
3 saging sab-a (ripen plantain) sliced crosswise
1 can  of nangka (jackfruit), recut in strips
1 can Makapuno
1 cup sugar to taste

Combine 1 cup of coconut milk and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add sago and tapioca pearls, gabi, and cook until half-cooked. Add kamote, ube, sagin and langka and 1/2 cup of sugar and continue cooking 

Add the other can of coconut milk and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Simmer for 5 minutes or until thicken and add makapuno and more sugar to taste.

 Biko Dipolog Style

8 cups ( approx 2 lbs.) Sweet rice (pilit)
14 cups coconut milk (7 grated lubi)
5 cups  brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. anise seeds or 1 tsp vanilla
2 cans makapuno
1 can Jackfruit julienne

Wash sweet rice and cook on a rice cooker add water (1/2") above the sweet rice, do not overcook or must be a little undercook.  In a big wok or big casserole, add coconut milk,  brown sugar, anise or vanilla
Mix well, boil and stirring constantly  until a thick consistency is achieved.   Lower heat to low & add the slightly uncooked sweet rice, keep blending, stirring and cooking 
constantly until totally mixed & heavy and sweet rice fully cooked
Remove from heat & transfer to a baking Pyrex rectangular container 1-1/2 in thick.  Put in an oven 450 degree for 30 minutes until top is darker. Take it out from the oven and spread and cover with makapuno and julienne jackfuit on top. Let it cool and serve.

Soriso Dipolognon

Litson (Lechon)