Dining Outside of Monol Academy
I heard that Baguio produces lots of agricultural products because of the cool weather. Because of this, our meals in Monol are served with various fresh vegetables and fruits every day. There are also a variety of sauces so I get to enjoy different salads every day and it makes me feel healthy.
In addition to this, there are many fruits to choose from at meal time such as papaya, mandarin oranges, watermelon, pears, apples, and bananas. I think the melons here are delicious! The bread here in Monol is also tasty that I enjoy it every day with dessert. Despite all the food, I’d like to believe that I get enough exercise by going up and down the stairs of Monol.
Even though the percentage of Korean students in Monol is less than 10%, it’s still enjoyable because there is a lot of Korean food included in the school menu. The menu includes Kimchi, side dishes, and soup which are mainly Korean dishes.
Sometimes, I go out in the evening if I want to eat somewhere else. There is a restaurant right in front of the academy and they sell food such as Kimchi rice, miso soup, and Ramyun. I ate Bibimbap and the vegetables were a bit lacking but the taste of Kochujang (red hot pepper paste) was good. It was also cheap at just 95 pesos or about 2,000 won.
Trying Out Filipino Food
But since you came to the Philippines, you should try local Filipino food too!
I tried out two Filipino dishes called Sisig and Mami and I enjoyed the taste. Sisig is served on a sizzling plate and is made of finely chopped pig parts and vegetables. I find it delicious when partnered with rice. Meanwhile, Mami is a Filipino-style noodle dish that’s similar to Korea’s Kalguksu (noodle dish). The broth was delicious so I ended up eating a lot of it.
A few days ago, I went on a walk and visited a small shop around the residential area near the school. I talked with the owners which are husband and wife and I ordered a dish similar to Galbitang (Korean beef soup). It is called ‘Bulalo’ and it’s very tasty. Here in Baguio, there are a lot of Koreans in general aside from the Koreans studying in language schools. In fact, Monol’s canteen serves many Korean dishes so I do not miss Korean food that much, plus, I can easily go out and find stir-fried noodles.
There was this one time I wanted to eat Korean chicken so I decided to visit a Korean restaurant called “Camping Date”. Aside from various flavors of chicken, they also had Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes). I think there are many Korean restaurants located at Legarda Road such as Bossam and pork ribs. There are also supermarkets selling Korean products. My Taiwanese friends often love Korean sweets and ice cream.
If you start missing Korean food, Importing Korean food and products won’t be necessary anymore as the malls here, like SM Mall, sell Korean products. There are also stalls at the SM food court that sell Korean food like Bibimbap, Sashimi, Rice cake, Ramyun, and Kimbap.
Filipino Fast Food
The most well-known local fast-food franchise in the Philippines is Jollibee. The menu consists of many options such as chicken, burgers, rice, and spaghetti.
Meanwhile, Chowking is a Chinese-western fusion fast food restaurant but they serve the Filipino dessert Halo-Halo, which is my favorite. Halo-halo has jelly, tropical fruit and usually purple Ube ice cream. Ube has a similar flavor to sweet potato. It’s one of the most famous desserts in the Philippines because it is cold and delicious at the same time. It has similarities with the bean curd in my country.
There’s also this restaurant called 50’s diner where you can enjoy western food. The menu does not have many photos but the food is tasty for a reasonable price. In my case, I usually hang out with Taiwanese students, so I end up at Chinese restaurants on the weekends. Fortunately, I always enjoy it.
You can enjoy your weekends by going to the town center. It only takes 10 minutes by taxi and you can eat delicious food there. I think this is what made my stay in Baguio more enjoyable. The best part was the lunch buffet at Le Chef Restaurant in Camp John Hay. I ate a delicious meal while gazing at the well-kept and beautiful manor garden and enjoying the fresh Baguio air. Dessert was also very delicious.
Most of the time, students enjoy the meals cooked in Monol but if you want to explore and hang-out with friends on the weekends, you can choose to eat outside of the school. This is also a great way to relieve stress since you’re working hard studying English in a foreign country.