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its not the food that is wrong its the clashing of different mentalities and associations...

btw i live in a first world country
and we have a kind of delicacy sausage here made of pigblood and baconfat cubes its actually pretty tasty :)


So that's what those square things on a stick are called. I didn't even know they were made of blood. I eat dinuguan but I have never tried eating betamax before. Interesting name.

Rock Kauser

And I thought that Betamax was Sony's obsolete video tape!


you've outdone yourself yet again. fantastic shots!


Very good photos Sidney, like always.

Some very arrogant comments from many posters.

I thought only politics and religion were to be avoided when in polite company. I guess we should add food to the list.

What we say about what other people eat tells more about who we are than the people who are eating them.

Ashish Sidapara

I would easily mistake the last shot for chocolates ;-)


Definitely a different food culture from what I am accustomed. A great series.


Hi Sidney,

Thank you for being so gracious. You are a kind blog host. Some blog hosts do not want their visitors to disagree with them or disagree with others or agree with others. I appreciate you for being open. Now as for dog farms - I promise you, I will be a vegetarian when I travel to Asis or eat seafood. Even then, I want to see the fish head not for dramatic purpose but to find out what type of fish it is. As a practice I never ate meat dishes outside of our home. I also do not eat blood and internal organs for health reasons. We raised our own chickens, ducks and pigs. We also had many dogs as my parents were dog lovers. We ate the chickens, ducks and pigs, the dogs we played with and loved. Thanks. My family and friends love your blog and admire you.


pas de raison!! y a pas que chez toi qu'on mange !! Allez je t'invite ;)


Why the heck did they call this dish BETAMAX? Very funny name indeed.. LOL :)


what an education. i am looking at your photos, my stomach very upset by them, then reading comments by so many people i have come to know and respect. it makes my desire to visit the philippines all the stronger. from my vantage point, i have to agree with ces and pieterbie. none-the-less, this piece you are doing is masterful.

Irish Church Lady

Hi from The Queer Chef who sent me here.

I'm not a big meat eater. Very interesting your photos but very disturbing for my digestive system.

I visited Hong Kong and was grossed out by the hanging animal carcasses in the shop windows.

Not used to it and not my style. Reading about eating dogs and cats also made me wince, since I am such a big animal lover.

In my travels to different bloggers around the world, I am often left saying "as much as we're different, we are also the same".

Today I say "as much as we're the same, we are also different."

Thanks for enlightening me and helping me become more worldly!



To Ces.

Well, I was not around twenty years ago, so I believe you.

Anyway, my feeling is that those foods are “Asian” and not really typically Filipino. Balut was introduced by the Chinese. Probably also the chicken feet. The Betamax is eaten in Malaysia. Only the cute names are a Filipino invention. Salted eggs are not new.

Dogs were (are) eaten all over Asia. Vietnam, Korea, China, HongKong, Taiwan…
It is now outlawed in most countries (also in the Philippines) under the pressure of the West.
Dog is not eaten here because Filipinos are starving from hunger... But I totally agree that you shouldn’t steal your neighbour’s pet dog for eating. By the way, you also shouldn’t steal their chickens. ;-) is a very interesting site against dog eating practices in the above mentioned countries.

ava rea

Oh my god, I love these shots.
A bit ugly, but so lifelike.


Sidney thanks for your comment. I politely still beg to disagree. My comment is based on comparing what street foods were sold when I was a child and your recent posts. The time when it was actually possible for pedestrians to cross Quiapo, Taft and Edsa, when traffic was horrendous but we did not get stuck for two hours without moving. I am trying to explain the population density here. Then there were no villages of people around land fills scavenging on trash, perhaps a line of squatter homes on the perimeter. Now they live in the landfills! Now they have villages and schools, churches to serve a whole new community of people surviving from trash.

Do not get me wrong. I love the Philippines. I was not the only Filipino who squirmed and was horrified at the site of the recent posts. I referred them to check out your site. These are not the foods we ate twenty five years ago, not in Manila as I and they lived there. I wrapped the bodies of over two dozen little children who died from chronic malnutrition and starvation simply because they had nothing to eat. These foods like barbecued chicken feet and blood, day-old chicks were not purveyed then. Maybe we should have, the children would have survived.

Eating dog in the Philippines is GROSS and unethical. First of all these dogs are not mass produced. While they are not on leash, they belong to families. They are people's pets and they are stolen, like our pet Ruff, a beautiful, healthy white mutt who one day was stolen from our gated yard and was seen by neighbors being ferried by a dog thief to a slaughter house. It is unacceptable. Dogs have names, they are members of our families.

I agree that unusual foods are eaten by people everywhere. Yes grubs and worms in Africa, sweetbreads (pancreas) in France, goat brain by some Italians, liver by the Americans and tripe and chicken feet by Mexicans.

My comment was not a criticism of one's culture but rather a shift in culture, one that I am familiar with and the truth is, the Philippines is an economically depressed country. If my friends are struggling to meet ends meet with P1 million salaries, then the country is in dire economic distress. I earned P4 thousand per month in 1980 and I remember going to Farmer's market and making sure I did not buy the most expensive cuts of meat. In fact I was almost a vegetarian, for economic reasons. Economics is the reason why Filipinos leave their families to work abroad. That in itself is a culture shift.

Still I thank you for these posts and my friends and I are getting a re-education of the country where we grew up and love and hope to go back home someday. These are very enlightening. We are what we eat.

Chris Vallancourt

They almost look like chocolate candies.


Well captured shots & it was nice knowing about a new type of food...thanks for sharing!


I tried these ones before but I prefer chicken intestines instead.


Betamax, Adidas... and what's that contraceptive again Sydney? Only the Pinoy could think of original names for their street food. :) I'm having fun reading the comments in this series too. You really ought to come here Sidney. Pretty exotic stuff they eat here too. :)


I guess people who does not know the Asians that well are grossed out with this.... but hey people love to eat it here... its like part of the culture already...


> I was not able to participate in the blogs awards. I am not a Filipino and as such I am not allowed to participate.

vous savez sidney. je pense que vous êtes plus filipino que quelque filipinos quelque part. je vous remercie bien d'apprecier ma culture ..

19 Seconds Of Spring

Really interesting post and commenting...


hmm. i feel that some commenters are not in touch with reality.

african tribes eat ants and insects. parts of europe eat fermented shark carcass. the southern states of america have chitlens. and other parts have mountain oysters (cow balls). all because they are available in their environment.

the economy does play a role in what people eat but only in as much as what is in abundant supply -- like chicken . in the philippines where chicken is massed produced, it is but natural that the culture develop different ways of consuming it.


I am not a Filipino but I am very interested in Asian culture in general and Filipino culture in particular. I am not an expert and it is only since I took up photography seriously that I started digging a bit further into Filipino culture (food is one aspect of it).

Those foods might sound abject to Americans and Europeans but are a delicacy for Asians. I would also note that those street foods are not eaten exclusively in the Philippines but are also eaten in other parts of Asia.

Of course the rich “West” can afford to eat only the best parts of the animals and simply throw the remaining away or process it to make animal food.

May I point out that one of our Belgian specialities is “rabbit in a beer sauce”, I guess this doesn’t sound to good either…
One of my Norwegian friends (RennyBa) told me that “smoked and salted sheep's or lamb's head” was one of their culinary specialties.

Again, this is a cultural thing. What is wrong about eating chicken feet or one day old chickens? I tried it. It is good.
Of course, I am not used to it, so I approach this with my usual Western prejudices.

People are not eating this only because they are “starving” from hunger. Yes, it is cheap food and it is filling (a lot of calories) but it also tastes good.
I don’t think it is “extraordinary”. I didn’t look for the most exotic street foods. This is USUAL “street food” that you can find almost everywhere in Metro Manila. I don’t think Filipinos should be ashamed of this.
I would even want to go further… why is eating dog meat worse than eating a rabbit, a chicken, a bird, a fish, a pig or a goat…?
Just because we “Westerners” told the world which animal is accepted for food consumption and which one is not? I think it is hypocrisy and double-standards.

One more thing, I am trying to reduce my intake of animal meat. It is hard to avoid eating animals but it is a good (and healthy) habit to eat more vegetables and fruits and try to avoid meat in general.


The foods I have seen on these recent posts tell me that the Philippines must be so economically depressed that people will eat animal products usually discarded in the past. When I was a child I never saw these types of foods, first we were from a different region. I think these foods are in Metro Manila where the population was 5 million in 1970s and now recorded at more than 11 million. Therefore I can understand why people eat chicken feet, barbecued chicken blood, day-old chicks. I am waiting for the time when the Philippines, like China will eat mice and like Vietnam, eat cats. They were already eating dogs when I left in the 80s. This is so sad and very disturbing. These are not culinary specialties. These are symbols of great economic strife. It saddens me greatly to see a proud race eat food intended for the incinerators. Then again these foods are better than dirt which my patients in the pediatric malnutrition wards were eating. The Philippines, once a developing nation before martial law joins Africa in the high number of children with marasmus kwashiorkor. If I were these kids, I too will prefer chicken feet, blood and day-old chicks over dirt. This is very distressing.

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