Are adventurous eaters the product of nature or nurture? My own childhood sheds little light on the issue as I grew up in a family with a fairly daring dinnertime table, although whether this was due to my parents having risky palates of their own or arose from sheer necessity is up for debate. I suspect it’s a little bit of both. My parents were no-nonsense when it came to dinnertime [and life — Tony], doing very little to accommodate the random culinary whims of their children and generally refusing to kowtow to picky proclivities: we could eat what was served, and if we didn’t like it then we wouldn’t eat at all, plain and simple. Despite my mother ruling the kitchen with an iron spatula, mealtimes we’re rarely a grim affair, because one of my mother’s many talents is that the lady knows how to cook. With the exception of a few infamous meals that we still joke about today, she rarely put anything unpalatable on the table, and my brother and I learned pretty quickly to trust that, at least in the kitchen, mother really did know best.
“I could take you to Port Barton.”
Apo’s characteristic accent made it sound like Fort Parton, like a lisp that instead affects Ps, Fs, and Bs. For native Tagalog speakers these letters seem to be randomly interchangeable, in a way that makes it clear they can’t hear any difference.
By now the sun had long since set and the bonfire in front of us was hissing as itinerant raindrops occasionally found an ember. We had finished our first day of island hopping and had been chatting about where Steph and I would go after our time in El Nido.
“I could do it for, maybe 7000 pesos. We would go to a village that no tourists visit, see a volcano, a waterfall. Very beautiful.”
The price was definitely too high. I told him we’d been thinking of taking the ferry, or maybe a mini-van. I told him the price of the ferry—less than half of his own—and he thought for a bit, clearly doing the math in his head.
“Maybe 4000 pesos? I will bring food for the meals too.”
I considered his offer for a moment, and said I thought it sounded reasonable, but that I’d have to talk it over with Steph before I could let him know.
This week we welcome the wonderful couple behind World Flavor to Chewing the Fat! While in Koh Lanta, Thailand (we know, we know… the blog is horribly behind!), we actually had a chance run-in with these two when they spotted us scoping out snacks in the local 7-11! We shared a great meal with them later that evening and a foodie friendship was born!
Rachel and Jeff are a food-loving couple who have been exploring the world for seven months, following a year teaching English in South Korea. Rachel likes cheese, reading, and riding horses, while Jeff enjoys fruit, board games, and fruit-related board games.
Sound like the perfect candidates for this interview series, no?
Read on as Rachel & Jeff unravel the mysteries of kimchi, offer advice on what to do when you don’t like the local food, talk about the experience of sinking their canines into man’s best friend, and much more!
When we were still in the planning phases of our Big Trip, one of the things I researched most avidly was other travelers’ budgets and spending patterns. Travel guides are of limited use in this arena as everyone knows that they are out of date as soon as they’re published, and this is especially true when you’re working with one that you borrowed from the library that was published back in 2008. Of course, even when you find recent budget posts during your planning phases, unless you’re just a month or two out from your departure date, you shouldn’t be surprised when you’re on the ground and find that things are a little pricier than you thought they would be.
El Nido may not have a culinary scene that is as booming and cosmopolitan as some of the Philippines’ bigger cities like Manila or Cebu, but despite its size, it still offers an impressive amount of variety for visitors. There are a few carnederia (the equivalent of a Filipino diner offering chafing dish specials with copious amounts of rice) scattered along some of the quieter streets that meander away from the main tourist drag, but by virtue of the fact that the town very much caters to foreign guests, you’re more likely to happen into a restaurant catering to international tastes rather than the local ones. And as with lodging, you’ll find establishments that cater to all budgets, from the supremely cheap (and hygienically suspect) carnederia to hoity-toity French restaurants on the beachfront.
While I won’t pretend that this guide is at all exhaustive (as you might expect, there are a lot of bars in El Nido, but being who we are, we went to not a single one of them!), if you ever find yourself in El Nido, we do have some suggestions for places you might wish to seek out.