Filipino food may not be as famous as that of its Thai and Vietnamese neighbors.
But with more than 7,000 islands and a colorful history, this archipelago has some delicious dishes of its own.
Blessed with an abundance of seafood, tropical fruits and creative cooks, there's more to Filipino food than the mind-boggling balut (duck embryo).
You just have to know where to find them and how to eat them.
No list of Filipino food would be complete without adobo.
A ubiquitous dish in every household in the Philippines, it's Mexican in origin.
But Filipinos found that cooking meat (often chicken and pork) in vinegar, salt, garlic, pepper, soy sauce and other spices was a practical way to preserve it without refrigeration.
This cooking style can be applied to different meats or even seafood.
The lechon is the most invited party guest in the Philippines.
The entire pig is spit-roasted over coals, with the crisp, golden-brown skin served with liver sauce, the most coveted part.
In Cebu, the stomach of the pig is stuffed with star anise, pepper, spring onions, laurel leaves and lemongrass resulting in an extremely tasty lechon, which needs no sauce.
Nothing goes to waste in Filipino food.
In the culinary capital of Pampanga, they turn the pork's cheeks, head and liver into a sizzling dish called Sisig.
The crunchy and chewy texture of this appetizer is a perfect match for a cold beer.
Serve with hot sauce and Knorr seasoning to suit the preference of you and your buddies.
Credit goes to Aling Lucing, who invented this dish at a humble stall along the train railways in Angeles City, Pampanga.
While Sisig can be found in many restaurants, try the original version at Aling Lucing Sisig.
4. Crispy pata
Not for the easily spooked, this pork knuckle is simmered, drained and deep fried until crisp.
The meat is tender and juicy inside, with a crisp, crackling exterior.
Served with vinegar, soy sauce and chili.
Despite the perennial heat, Filipinos often enjoy sipping piping hot bulalo soup made with from freshly slaughtered Batangas beef.
The broth is rich with flavors seeped from the beef after boiling for hours.
The bones are big, meaning more bone marrow to enjoy.
6. Fish tinola
The freshness of Cebu's rich marine life can be tasted in its fish tinola.
The simple sour broth is flavored with onions, tomatoes and sambag (tamarind) and cooked over coco-lumber firewood for hours.
Cebuanos know to go to A-One, a small hole in the wall known, cooking up to 200 kilos of fish daily.
This stew of oxtail has the most delicious sauce made from ground toasted rice and crushed peanuts.
Banana blossom, eggplants and string beans add more interesting textures, making it a complete meal on its own.
It's eaten with steamed rice and bagoong (shrimp paste).
(Lutong Pinoy Recipe)
Sinigang is a stew of fish, prawns, pork or beef soured by fruits like tamarind, kamias or tomatoes.
Often accompanied by vegetables like kangkong, string beans and taro, this stew is eaten with rice.
9. Dinuguan at puto
It may not look appetizing.
But this black dish of pork and pig innards -- stewed in fresh pig blood seasoned with garlic, onion and oregano and eaten with a white puto (rice cake) or steamed rice -- is a comforting dish for many Filipinos.
10. Pancit habhab
Trust Filipino ingenuity to adapt noodles to their lifestyle.
In Lucban, Quezon, pancit habhab is served on a banana leaf and slurped.
Garnished with carrots, chayote, and a few pieces of meat, this cheap noodle dish is most often eaten by students and jeepney drivers on the go.
For an extra special version, there's the Old Center Panciteria which has been making the noodles since 1937. Cooks there add lechon, a generous serving of vegetables, and even hand you a fork.
11. Pork barbecue
In a country where almost everything is marinated, skewered and grilled in the street corners, everyone has their favorite barbecue meat.
Pork is the most popular.
Cebu is known for barbecue stalls along Larsian Street just off Fuente Osmena Circle.
12. Bicol express
A fitting tribute to people who love coconut and spicy food is bicol express, a fiery chili, pork and coconut milk stew.
No trip to the Philippines would be complete without sampling its famous balut.
Vendors peddling these eggs on the street chant "Baluuuuut!" to entice buyers.
This 17-day-old duck embryo is boiled, served with rock salt or spicy vinegar and is often consumed with beer.
14. Fish kinilaw
(Lutong Pinoy Recipe)
The day's fresh catch is dressed in palm coconut vinegar, ginger, chili and spices.
Each province has its own way of preparing kinilaw.
Most wet markets will prepare this for you.
For many Filipinos, Christmas is marked by the scent of bibingkas cooking at dawn.
These rice cakes are made by soaking the rice overnight, grinding it with a mortar stone and mixing in coconut milk and sugar.
The batter is poured into clay pots with banana leaves, with coals on top and below.
It's garnished with salted eggs, kesong puti (white cheese made from Carabao's milk) and slathered with butter, sugar and grated coconut.
Best eaten hot from weekend markets.
16. Suman at manga
Sold along the roadside, suman are sticky rice snacks steamed in banana or coconut leaves.
There are many versions of suman, depending on the ingredients and leaves used.
These Filipino food snacks are often paired with sweet ripe mangoes.
They're cheap snacks, which travel well.
They can be bought from roadside stalls, or enterprising vendors peddling them on buses.
When the rains start pouring and classes are suspended, children love this comforting breakfast -- a chocolate rice porridge.
It's hot, rich and filling.
To offset the sweetness it's often served with dried fish.
(Lutong Pinoy Recipe)
This fried banana with langka (jackfruit) all sealed in a lumpia wrapper is our version of a sweet spring roll.
It is peddled around the cities and towns for the perfect merienda (mid-morning or afternoon snack).
Brown sugar syrup is stirred into warm soybean custard and topped with sago pearls.
Traditionally sold by vendors walking the streets calling out to those at home, but can also be sourced from supermarkets and restaurants.