Cebu foodie day & flying back home (Philippines Day 9 & 10)

Our Cebu foodie day (Day 9)

We had a flight from Cebu to Manila in the evening & a checkout lined up at 11 AM. Because of our luggage, we didn’t really sightsee but finally did you other favourite thing i.e. Eat!! We generally spend a lot of time eating during our travels but Philippines was so action packed, we didn’t get enough time to savour the local food.

Top tip: If you’re a Lechon (roast pork) fan, there is a Zubuchon branch in the airport after security. You can get a box to fit in one more meal 🙂

Breakfast

We entrusted our friend Katara to fix up breakfast for us and she delivered with interest. She went to the nearby 7/11 and got us a Filipino staple, instant coffee, lots of instant coffee as shown below (along with eggs & hot dogs).

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The wide variety of instant coffee, lasted us 2 weeks in the UK

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Accompaniments to our instant coffee

Lunch

Immediately after breakfast and checking out, we went straight for lunch…We were already a bit full after our breakfast but we had but no choice but to go eat Lechon at the stellar Rico’s Lechon. There was ample sitting space at 11:30 AM when we reached the restaurant but it filled up very fast with people lining up outside. We enjoyed one of our best meals of 2016 with no rush.

In theory, Lechon is roast suckling pork, cooked whole. But it’s so much more. It is incredibly tender and actually melted in the mouth. Plus Rico’s is one of the few places that has a spicy variant of Lechon. The spice does really spread itself out evenly throughout the meat. New pigs are brought in every 2-3 hours, we were lucky to see a delivery. We started off with a single 250 gm order (the min serving size, its sold in grams!) but followed up with another 250 gm. We honestly think it is worth flying to Cebu City just to eat this dish.

Note: Reader discretion is advised as it contains a pic of a fully roasted pig. Skip here.

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Rico’s spicy Lechon & Pandan rice, heaven on a plate.

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Meat weighing scale

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Unpacking a newly delivered pig

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Unpacked new pig ready to be served

A quick snippet was that we saw our only Peso store just outside the restaurant. We also have to commend the restaurant’s hostess who stepped away from here busy desk to get a cab for us. Much better customer service than most of the world (including Europe & UK).

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Peso store

Second Lunch

Unfortunately for Katara, being a vegetarian meant just watching Yolek drool over the lechon while going hungry. We decided to remedy that by heading to SM Super Mall for more food & shopping. Filipino malls are huge, they make UK malls look like corner shops. We couldn’t physically see the end of the corridors. We headed for dessert at Cafe Laguna where Katara also had a main of an eggplant omelette. Here are the desserts we had

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Purple rice, coconut & sugar

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Bibingka – A Christmas rice cake with coconut

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Mmmango

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Merry Christmas

 Flying back home via Muscat airport (Day 10)

All good things come to an end and after just over a week, our time in the Philippines was up. We had early morning flights back to London from Manila. We stayed overnight in Manila city at Makati in the hopes of seeing atleast a tiny bit of the capital. However it wasn’t to be, we were too tired, had an early morning flight & there was nothing in the vicinity of the 24h Apartment hotel (which we’d never recommend especially compared to our AirBnb next to the airport).

Tip: If you’re flying Oman Air, make sure you web-check in 24 hours before flying. We skipped an hour long line because of this, just mentioned our names to an associate guarding the web-checkin counter and we were inside in 10 minutes.

We bid a sad farewell to Katara who flew back to Singapore before spending the last of our Pesos on a seashell souvenir and a Starbucks coffee 😛

This time we had a longer layover at Muscat so were looking forward to exploring the airport a bit more. It was less chaotic on the way in and we headed straight for the food court after transferring. Because Oman has a huge south Asian expat population,  the food court has a rich & delicious selection of Indian food. We picked something Omani to eat, fish curry and rice, it was delicious and fairly affordable at 7 USD.

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Fish, sauce & salad on delicious long-grain rice

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Muscat food court

Airport neo-racism

Our final pictures are our final memories of Muscat airport. We made a new friend, the cutest stuffed camel. We bought a camel milk chocolate and finally made our way to the gate where we saw new-age racism in action. On flying to Philippines, all you need to do at Muscat airport is get your boarding pass scanned and wait in the gated area. But if you’re flying to London then additional security plus a passport + visa check. Seriously, WTF!!! Why should flying to Philippines be any different from flying to the UK? Why this air of entitlement? We are probably going to post a summary of this rant on the Muscat airport social media channels but we absolutely abhor it when airports do this.

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Our new friend

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Muscat food haul, the nut based bars & sweets were so good!

P.S. Thank you for reading our Philippines series, this is the only country that we have travelled to that we wrote about in full (Germany & Austria were just 2 day Christmas trips). As a gift, let us assure you that we saw people buy a bunch of gold from the airport gold shops.

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Gold store on the left

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