Typical Filipino Food

Recently, the Philippines has become another destination for experiencing volunteering.

The Philippines is an archipelago in Southeast Asia. It boasts over 7,000 islands filled with breathtaking landscapes. It is a country with a rich history, influenced by indigenous, Spanish, and American traditions, reflected in all cultural and everyday aspects.

Today we will talk about the country’s cuisine, so you can enjoy it and get to know a bit more if you choose it as a destination for your volunteer experience.

Due to all these influences, Filipino cuisine includes contributions from Spanish, Chinese, Malay, and American cooking, all represented in dishes with strong flavors and a preference for a mix of sweet, salty, sour, and umami.

These are some of the most typical dishes of the country:


One of the most emblematic dishes of the Philippines, adobo is usually made with chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper, then cooked until the meat is tender. However, you can also find variants with seafood, beef, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.

Traditionally, cane vinegar is used, but coconut or white vinegar can also be used.

This dish is known for its strong flavor and versatility.

The meat is preferably marinated in the mixture overnight for a deeper flavor. After marinating, the meat is browned in a pan with a bit of oil. This step adds additional flavor and helps seal the meat’s juices. The browned meat is simmered in the marinade, often with added water, until tender and the flavors are well combined. This process can take between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the type and size of the meat. Once the meat is cooked, the sauce can be reduced to concentrate the flavors. In some variants, sugar is added at this point for a sweet-salty balance.

There are regional variations like Adobo sa Gata, which includes coconut milk, Adobong Puti, which omits soy sauce, or Adobo sa Dilaw, which uses turmeric.

It is generally served with white rice, which helps absorb the flavorful sauce. It can also be accompanied by fresh salads or steamed vegetables to balance the dish.

Adobo is a symbol of Filipino culinary heritage. Its versatility and adaptability reflect the creativity and diversity of the country’s cuisine. Each family has its own secret recipe, passing down variations from generation to generation, making adobo an integral part of Filipino identity.


A sour soup traditionally made with tamarind, though other sour fruits can also be used. Common ingredients include shrimp, fish, pork, or beef, along with a variety of vegetables like radish, spinach, and okra.

Sinigang is known for its ability to comfort and nourish, making it one of the most beloved dishes in the Philippines.

Pork is the most common meat, but beef, chicken, shrimp, or fish are also used. Tamarind is the traditional ingredient for sour flavor, but calamansi, sampaloc (a more sour tamarind variety), green mango, or even tomato can be used. Common combinations include white radish (labanos), spinach (or kangkong), green beans (sitaw), eggplant, and okra. Onions, tomatoes, and sometimes garlic are used to enrich the broth.

Water is boiled in a large pot, and the meat is added along with aromatics like onion and tomato, forming the base of the broth. The meat is cooked until tender. If using seafood or fish, they are added later to avoid overcooking. Tamarind or other sour ingredients are added to the broth. Traditionally, tamarind is boiled and strained to extract its juice, but tamarind powder mixes are also used for convenience today. Vegetables are added in stages, starting with those that take longer to cook (like radish and green beans) and ending with the more delicate ones (like spinach). The flavor is adjusted with fish sauce and salt, and it is simmered until all ingredients are well cooked and the flavors melded.

There are regional variations like Sinigang na Baboy, which uses pork, Sinigang na Hipon, made with shrimp, Sinigang na Isda, which uses fish, or Sinigang sa Miso, which adds fermented soy paste.

It is generally accompanied by white rice, which balances the soup’s acidity. It can also be served with additional fish sauce or calamansi to adjust the flavor to personal taste.

Sinigang is commonly served at family gatherings and special events, and each family has its own version.


A thick stew based on peanut butter, usually prepared with oxtail, tripe, and a mix of vegetables like eggplant, green beans, and banana blossoms. It is served with a shrimp paste called bagoong.

Traditionally, it uses oxtail, beef tripe, and beef feet, though it can also be made with chicken, pork, or even seafood. The sauce base is a mixture of peanut butter, toasted ground rice, and annatto, which gives it its characteristic color. It commonly includes eggplant, green beans (sitaw), banana blossoms (puso ng saging), and pak choi or spinach leaves. It is flavored with garlic and onion to enhance the flavor and served with a shrimp paste.

Tough meats like oxtail and tripe are simmered until very tender, a process that can take several hours, often in a pressure cooker to save time. Raw rice is toasted in a pan until golden brown, then ground into a fine powder. This ground rice is used as a thickener for the sauce. In a large pot, garlic and onion are sautéed until fragrant. Peanut butter, toasted rice powder, and water or broth are added. The mixture is stirred until the sauce is smooth and thick. Annatto may be added at this point for color. The cooked meat is added to the sauce and simmered until the flavors are well combined. Vegetables are then added and cooked until tender but still firm.

There are regional variants, with differences in whether oxtail, seafood, or tofu is used instead of meat.

It is traditionally accompanied by white rice, which helps absorb the sauce. The shrimp paste (bagoong) is essential, as its salty and fermented flavor contrasts and complements the smooth peanut sauce.

Kare-kare is usually prepared for special occasions and large family gatherings, symbolizing hospitality and community spirit in Filipino culture.


A generic term for noodles in the Philippines. There are many varieties.

These noodle dishes have Chinese influences but have been adapted and transformed to create a unique Filipino culinary experience.

Pancit Canton

Wheat noodles (canton), chicken, pork, shrimp, garlic, onion, cabbage, carrots, green beans, and soy sauce.

The noodles are stir-fried with meat and vegetables in a mixture of soy sauce and broth, creating a savory and colorful dish (similar to Chinese chow mein but with Filipino seasoning and style).

Pancit Malabon

Thick noodles (malabon), seafood like shrimp, squid, and mussels, annatto sauce, hard-boiled eggs, pork cracklings, and vegetables.

The noodles are mixed with a rich annatto and seafood sauce, garnished with hard-boiled eggs and pork cracklings for a crunchy touch. This pancit is known for its orange color and strong seafood flavor.

Pancit Bihon

Thin rice noodles (bihon), chicken, pork, shrimp, garlic, onion, cabbage, carrots, green beans, and soy sauce.

The noodles are soaked in water until soft, then stir-fried with meat, vegetables, and a mixture of soy sauce. It is one of the most popular pancit dishes and is characterized by its lightness and soft texture.

Pancit Palabok

Thin rice noodles, thick shrimp sauce with annatto, shrimp, pork cracklings, hard-boiled eggs, fried garlic, green onion, and calamansi.

The noodles are topped with a rich shrimp sauce and garnished with various ingredients, each contributing a unique flavor and texture.

Pancit Luglug

Similar to pancit palabok but with thicker noodles and a thicker sauce.

The thick noodles are mixed with a rich sauce and garnished with the same ingredients as pancit palabok. The main difference is the texture of the noodles and the thickness of the sauce.

Pancit is not only a delicious dish but also holds deep cultural significance in the Philippines. It is considered a symbol of longevity and good luck, making it a common presence at birthday parties, New Year’s Eve, and other important celebrations. The preparation and consumption of pancit are a beloved part of Filipino life, and each regional version of the dish reflects the country’s rich diversity.


It is an iconic Filipino dessert known for its mixture of colors, flavors, and textures. Its name literally translates to “mixed” in Tagalog, and it reflects the essence of the dish. It is especially popular during the summer months due to its refreshing nature.

It includes a variety of ingredients, and while the combinations may vary, some of the most common components are:

  • Fruits: Banana, Jackfruit (langka), Mango, Ube (purple yam), Macapuno (young coconut meat)
  • Gelatins: Agar-agar jelly, Coconut nata, Kaong (sugar palm fruit)
  • Sweets and legumes: Red beans, Chickpeas, White beans, Sweet mung beans (monggo), Condensed milk
  • Crushed ice: A large amount of crushed ice, which is the main component for cooling and refreshing the dessert.
  • Milk: Evaporated or condensed milk poured over the ice to add creaminess.
  • Toppings: Ice cream, usually ube or vanilla; Leche flan (a type of Filipino egg flan); Pinipig (toasted green rice).

The fruits should be peeled and cut, the gelatins and jellies should be in small pieces, and the beans and other sweets should be cooked and cooled.

Halo-halo is served with a long spoon to mix all the ingredients together. The idea is that each bite has a bit of each component, creating a mix of flavors and textures.

Halo-halo is a symbol of the diversity and cultural richness of the Philippines. The variety of ingredients reflects the mix of cultural influences that have shaped Filipino cuisine over the centuries. It is a dessert that celebrates abundance and joy and is enjoyed by people of all ages throughout the country.

There are other popular dishes in the Philippines like lechón, Bibingka, Lumpia, Balut, Tapsilog, and many more, which you can enjoy from street vendors or local restaurants.

Traveling is the best way to immerse yourself in a culture, and it is an adventure for all our senses.

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Our volunteers will be able to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

What does volunteering focused on university practices involve?

At Cooperating Volunteers, we make agreements with different universities to validate university credits with the aim of traveling in a more responsible and economical way.

The specialties we work with are extensive: medical volunteering, nursing, education, social work, psychology, physiotherapy, engineering, architecture…

The practices can be carried out in our designated destinations for this purpose, as well as in Spain.

If you choose an international destination, it’s a unique way to live an unforgettable and enriching experience, as you will have the opportunity to continue your education in another country, with a completely different culture.

Stepping out of our comfort zone and being part of the various projects at the destination will allow us to grow both personally and professionally, creating a more extensive curriculum.

And we are fully convinced that this experience will accompany you throughout your life.

You will be able to visit hospitals, schools, centers, orphanages, and participate directly and actively in the daily lives of all those people at the destination, always accompanied by other professionals willing to collaborate hand in hand with you and guide you in daily tasks.

If your university is not part of the agreement with Cooperating Volunteers, you can contact cristina@cooperatingvolunteers.com so that we can get in touch and make this experience a reality. 


Corporate volunteering consists of tailored programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills.

It is proven that teamwork directly impacts productivity. 

Collective effort surpasses individual capabilities, promotes diversity of skills, stimulates creativity, and facilitates problem-solving in the face of various challenges.

Therefore, it not only maximizes efficiency but also enriches the work environment.

We conduct corporate volunteering programs that consist of customized programs for your company, designed to develop teamwork skills, improve performance, and foster unity among employees.

We tailor projects to the corporate identity and size of the company, and we can adjust them to any destination and time of the year.

The advantages of corporate volunteering include:

  • Improving communication.
  • Group unity.
  • Cultural integration in different situations.
  • Employee training.
  • Increased Corporate Social Responsibility.

The future is aligned with a more responsible society, and participating in social projects positions our company among the list of revolutionary businesses that want to be part of the change.

If you resonate with this message, corporate volunteering is a unique experience both individually and collectively, and at Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the process to make it a unique journey.


Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. 

Spending quality time with family and being able to disconnect from our hectic routines is not only enriching but also necessary.

Sometimes we forget to communicate, connect, and dedicate time to each other. Each one of us lives focused on our jobs, schools… And it’s necessary to find the opportunity to pause and take care of ourselves.

Quality time spent with family strengthens emotional bonds, promotes communication, and contributes to the emotional well-being of its members. And of course, it creates lifelong positive memories.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we suggest moving away from those ‘more superficial’ trips (which can also be fantastic), but we invite you to live this experience to bring out our most empathetic and humanitarian side.

Family volunteering gives us the opportunity to be part of a positive impact, promoting values of solidarity and social responsibility.

There are many families who choose to experience these trips focused on cooperation and direct involvement with different communities around the world, where living conditions are very different and sometimes entirely precarious.

Projects are tailored to different ages, allowing us to work together.

An incredible way to fill our suitcase with memories, learning, and knowledge.

And although stepping out of our comfort zone often feels daunting, we assure you firsthand that it’s worth it.

At Cooperating Volunteers, we accompany you throughout the entire experience, from start to finish, to make it unforgettable.


At Cooperating Volunteers, we believe it’s never too late for anything, especially for volunteering and living a unique and unforgettable experience.

There are many people, increasingly so, who opt for responsible travel that involves social work.

Accustomed to organized and mostly touristic trips, at Cooperating Volunteers, we want to advocate for a more enriching experience, one that transforms us from within and allows us to be part of the change the world needs to see.

We can adapt both the destination and the duration of our projects to fit your needs.

It’s an opportunity full of emotions that allows us to significantly contribute to different communities and their evolution. And you can participate in different areas such as education, social support, or assistance in different centers.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Sense of purpose: Provides a sense of purpose by contributing your skills and experiences to meaningful causes.
  • Emotional well-being: Reduces feelings of isolation and establishes social connections.
  • Personal development: It’s continuous learning, skill development, and discovering new activities while keeping the mind-body active.
  • Physical health: Keeping active.
  • Stress reduction: The act of helping others reduces stress and contributes to mental health.

Living this experience will undoubtedly be a before and after. 


A volunteering initiative with leadership and impact through the educational action program.

When we talk about social volunteering, we refer to all those actions and activities carried out altruistically, selflessly, and with the aim of addressing multiple problems and needs of different communities, always focused on education and self-sufficiency.

Education is essential because it provides the tools and knowledge necessary for personal, social, and economic development.

Our goal is to create self-sufficient communities and provide opportunities for the future personal development of each member. The message is not to ‘give’, but to accompany in the process of training for self-managed provision.

At Cooperating Volunteers, many of our destinations and projects embrace this type of volunteering. Some of our projects include: community programs, education, women’s empowerment…

And although they are completely different from each other, they share a single objective: progress towards a society that can embrace us all in the same way.

If you are someone who is restless, who needs to see a change in the future, volunteering is an experience tailor-made for you.