26 Apr2006


“Baon” is my biased opinion, a uniquely Filipino concept. I know many folks on the planet take snacks with them when they embark on a journey, but for some reason, only Pinoys, in my ethnocentric opinion, have this incredible habit/penchant for bringing something to eat no matter how short or long the journey, how complex or simple the snack, or how cumbersome the effort. baon2It is an amusing and endearing habit actually… in a horse drawn carriage, jeepney, car, ferry, ship or airplane, you can almost bet your monthly salary that a pinoy traveler has something to eat stashed away in his or her bag or hand carry… I mean, really, how many nationalities on the planet travel to the beach two hours away with a cooler in the car so that drinks are cool and chocolate stays firm? Heehee. So where is this going? Well, I am crazed and about to embark on a trip to Europe and instead of focusing on packing my clothes, I am madly prepping the baon that is going into my bag for the nearly unbearable 13 hour flight to Amsterdam… In the suitcase is my daughter by the way, as I asked her if she would fit so we could check her in as baggage and save the airfare…I jest, of course. Child welfare folks do not take this seriously…

Baon isn’t just about being frugal. It’s about eating what you want when you want it. Growing up I always use to nosh on sampaloc, watermelon seeds, kiamoy, chips and remember those chewy Jojo candies? Well, I have retained some of the old baon3favorites but have also added a slightly more sophisticated and healthy twist to my current roster of munchies. In my bag are several types of mentos candy and gum (for me and my daughter), seedless kiamoy from Aji Ichiban for those “need salt” attacks, spicy seedless sampaloc for those “sweet and spicy” moments and a LOT of homemade trail mix a la Marketman. I don’t intend to really hike any trails in Europe but I know I will need to nibble every once in a while after walking and sightseeing for hours. “Trail mixes” were originally designed to deliver high energy and contain both proteins and carbohydrates. Typically, a trail mix is made up of grains, fruit and nuts.

For my custom made trail mix for this journey I mixed up some roasted almonds, peeled pistachios, and cashew nuts and added chopped dried apricots, mangoes, baon4blueberries, cranberries and figs. I packaged them up into several single or double servings so that I can easily pop them into my backpack at the start of the day. While these mixes are relatively healthy, they are pretty high calorie as well…never mind, no diets while on vacation, don’t you agree? Let’s just hope there are no overeager sniffer dogs at the Schipol airport that make a beeline for my bag and force me to dump the snacks! At any rate, I am curious what YOUR favorite snacks or baon are when you travel on a plane or ship???



  1. edee says:

    hehehehe…love the pic of your daughter inside your maleta :) … might do that to my son when we come home for christmas this year yipeeee!!!!…..hahahahaha…….back to baon….mmmmmm…can’t think of anything specific, siguro madalas na ang skyflakes :)

    Apr 26, 2006 | 7:02 pm


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  3. SimplePleasures says:

    ur trail mix looks so yummy :) My favorite baon is chocolates, and gummy bears! small bite size pieces to better pop in the mouth! I always come home from a trip along with sampaloc whereever I go my mom buys sampaloc (sweet and spicy kind) for me, she knows that I love them very much for the trip back home

    Apr 26, 2006 | 8:03 pm

  4. ivan the streetwalker says:

    Wow, those baon looks neat! Youre really a home maker Marketman!
    Now, lets see, for foreign trips,mine would include:

    1. dried mangoes- excellent ‘instant presents’ for that instant friendly travelling companion (read:8 hour train rides).

    2. Instant mami/oats- if you crave for something warm and familiar in that nightly spring chill.

    3. Garlic peanuts in little packets- nice munchies for that added energy.

    4. Philippine postcards and little keychains- great instant ‘friendship/thank you gifts'(cheaper than tipping!). Also a great way show others that your not Japones or Chino.

    Apr 26, 2006 | 8:14 pm

  5. Michelle says:

    My cousin gave me TAMARINOs when she came over to visit. They’re samapalok but in the form of Nerds. Very small, chewy, has good tamarind flavor and has a spicy kick in the end. She told me she bought it at those SM snack store. The package is really handy, too. It’s also a great pasalubong.

    Apr 26, 2006 | 9:24 pm

  6. gastronoma says:

    looks like some yummy baon you have there, marketman! hm, baon. sounds like a future lasang pinoy topic? my usual baon for trips are water, mentos and/or breath mints. am not much of a snacker but if i do snack, it’s usually on nuts and cornick/chichacorn.

    that maleta thing with your daughter is hilarious! that used to be a joke among friends and family. someone would say “sama naman ako!” which would then receive the reply “sige, basta kasya ka sa maleta ko!” :D

    Apr 26, 2006 | 11:14 pm

  7. shane says:

    The trail mix looks great. I also bring fig bars with me on long haul trips-even when smushed they still taste good. I was wondering if any one can recommend a reputable travel agent in Manila specializing in Asia travel like Vietnam, HK, Thailand, etc. with travel originating from Manila. I just can’t get a low enough pricing for my church group. Any recommendations? thanks in advance..

    Apr 26, 2006 | 11:22 pm

  8. goodtimer says:

    trail mix..yum! i remember being in venice for the first time, of course baon was farthest from my mind. then in the boat a tour-mate (Pinoy of course!)whisked out a bag of trail mix and started munching!..i could smell the dried coconuts and apricots (heavenly combination!). grrr… i wanted to grab the bag from her, anyway, i wasn’t able to resist so i asked for some(di bale nang kapal!!). needless to say i was sooo bitin and was looking for trail mix all over venice! good thing there was an abundance of red-black huge fresh cherries that were only 3 euro a pound (couldn’t get enough of that!! btw, it was july and height of summer in europe). you’d guess what i did as soon as i got back to manila– made a beeline for toby’s nuts and bought trail mix.. hehe. so believe me when i regard you as very wise to think about making “baon” trail mix, though i would think sky flakes is a good choice too since for me that’s comfort food as well.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 12:07 am

  9. acmr says:

    Your trailmix is very similar to the ones they sell at Trader Joe’s here in California. Yung iba may dried pineapples pa. I like to travel with those too.

    Pero for a day trip, best baon would be adobo or corned beef in pan de sal! If you can make these sandwiches, it really hits the spot kapag super gutom ka na, but you want to keep going.

    Brownies are also really good baon. They are not as sweet as chocolates and they are more “substantial”.

    Have fun on your trip!!!

    Apr 27, 2006 | 12:10 am

  10. relly says:

    Market man, that is a wise baon… i am sure you know the energy content of the dried fruits.. lots of magnesium.. most hikers that pass in my shop look for dried apricots and prunes, and also dark chocolate. Please bring with your baon a part of the sun from pinas.. as it is still cloudy and rainy in some parts of europe..
    But then enjoy your trip.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 12:39 am

  11. stef says:

    hey marketman, happy trip! looking forward to all your amsterdam etc. posts when you get back.

    trail mix is also a favorite baon here in our household. my daughter includes homemade or storebought granola and sunflower seeds in hers. my version has chocolate or carob chips.

    i actually LIKE plane food, just as much as i LIKE hospital food. people find it weird but i guess the fact that i didn’t prepare it, it feels almost like opening a gift when i get my tray:D. my favorite baon on plane trips? nothing. i’m usually too excited to eat much so i’m usually at the mercy of my mom or my daughter who always manages to pack something, even if it’s just a piece of hard candy. mostly i’m focused on what i’m going to eat when i get to the destination.

    my son asks, how about bacon? hehehe….

    Apr 27, 2006 | 1:59 am

  12. frayed says:

    I like that new (local) caramelized popcorn they sell at Price Smart or Cost U Less. I forget the brand. It’s not so sweet and has a salty tinge. Also some of those granola or cereal bars can be good healthy snacking. But if I want to be a kid again, it’s (unhealthy) clover chips, chippy or Jack n Jill potato chips :)

    Apr 27, 2006 | 4:58 am

  13. sister says:

    Shall we tell your readers that when you were 10 years and traveling alone on international flights we used to give you a cooler packed with salami and cheese sandwiches, salad and salad dressing, chocolates and fruit?
    Pack a few oranges or apples, nothing more refreshing after all those hours on the plane.
    Have fun!

    Apr 27, 2006 | 6:08 am

  14. Marketman says:

    sister, I thought about mentioning my baon on trans-pacific flights but thought I would get flack for chef salad’s in the economy section, fried chicken with macaroni salad, etc. etc…heehee.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 6:26 am

  15. linda says:

    I agree with your sister,pack oranges cut in wedges and place in a ziploc bag or a small tupperware so it doesn’t get squashed while touring around places -it’s so refreshing.
    Make sure that nuts and fresh or dried fruits are allowed into the country of destinaion as here in Australia it’s totally prohibited (I declared my processed dried mangoes and it was passed by customs though and a friend brought back some consilva (fried bananas) and it was confiscated and thrown in the bin).

    Enjoy your holidays!

    Apr 27, 2006 | 8:08 am

  16. Anne says:

    my version of the trail mix is the most unhealthy kind :). Mind you, I only do this once in a blue moon. I mix the different flavors of nagaraya, my choices would be adobo, hot and spicy, barbecue and original. I mix this up with dried mangoes, pineapple, jackfruit, ect…and raisins.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 10:47 am

  17. booey says:

    In my book, you’ve got the perfect baon — munchies for every snack attack– salty, sweet…– my baon is more or less similar, i just add some fave cereal for the carb attack… Corn Pops or Post’s Honey Graham always hits the spot! Happy trip!!! Looking forward to your post on cheese…hehe

    Apr 27, 2006 | 11:56 am

  18. gsl says:

    We’re moving permanently to US mid next month and baon is not on my list but you gave me a very good idea to pack some trail mix. My family is trying to eat healthy so I will follow you, put assorted dried fruits in zip lock to munch in the airport while waiting for the plane. This will save me money. thanks.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 12:27 pm

  19. Lei says:


    on the brand of the popcorn that you were telling MM about, there is an article today, 04/27 on the inquirer under reggie aspiras’ column. it is called Chef Tony’s Gourmet Popcorn. here is the link for those who want to read all about it:

    Apr 27, 2006 | 2:57 pm

  20. mojitodrinker says:

    hi mm, rather than bring baon for trips, i like to hit the groceries while i’m abroad. it’s interesting to see the different snacks that are available in other countries. that’s what i buy so that i have baon for the daily walks and the waiting in museum (or-fill-in-other-tourist-site-here) lines. (great discovery on my last trip to malaysia: dark chocolate kitkat!)

    Apr 27, 2006 | 3:37 pm

  21. Joanne says:

    I’m one of those people who like airline food too (except PAL’s) so I rarely bring baon except for a big bottle of water for long-haul flights. When abroad, I find joy in eating small bites of whatever the locals have in their cafes, bakeries so I don’t bring baon then too.

    But iba nga siguro if you travel with kids so best to have something handy and nutritious then.

    Have a great trip, MM!

    P.S. Are you guys getting flu shots? Just curious.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 4:00 pm

  22. Katrina says:

    We don’t eat this for baon — we snack on it at home — but my family is just in love with the combination of macadamia nuts and those big, plump, golden raisins (or are them sultanas?). We get bags of whole shelled, lightly salted macadamia nuts, then put them in a jar with the raisins. These two ingredients aren’t easy to find in Manila, though. Even in Australia, where the nuts are native, my tito had a hard time finding them shelled and in trip-friendly packaging.

    As for what we like for baon: my family will have bags-full of snacks even for a short drive to Tagaytay! Growing up, apart from an assortment of chips, nuts and cookies (everyone’s favorites have to be included), we’d always have a Tupperware of freshly-baked brownies in each car. Sometimes, when we’re convoying in different vehicles and one person’s snack happened to be placed in another car, we’d actually stop just to get it!

    Strangely, though, we don’t bring baon on international trips. I guess it’s because we’d rather try all the new snacks available elsewhere.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 5:51 pm

  23. Ciela Tanjuatco says:

    When I travel I carry a backpack to stuff just about anything in it. With the cost of food in Europe it’s best to bring handy “baon” to satisfy your munchies during transit. Save your money for a decent good meal instead of snacks. For me, my upper would be CHOCOLATES, for that burst of endorphins. But the most important “baon” for those long trips and long walks through unfamiliar grounds would be a large enough WATER BOTTLE. We traveled Europe in one of it’s hottest summers, and we saved a lot by bringing water instead of falling in line buying bottled water every block. I can’t wait to hear your gartronomical experiences in Europe. I believe, the best part of traveling, is experiencing their local cuisine.

    Apr 27, 2006 | 6:05 pm

  24. Bay_leaf says:

    Granula or muesli bars does it for me, when i get the hunger pangs or feel the first signs of hypoglycemia. sometimes i carry a small pack of chocolate. :)

    Apr 27, 2006 | 6:08 pm

  25. peng says:

    I guess you really need some snacks walking in Schipol airport. Its the biggest airport i ever known!!

    Apr 27, 2006 | 10:48 pm

  26. mardie says:

    hmmm….ang sarap namang tingnan ng trail mix ni MM, parang professionally-prepared. for baon, it depends on where i am/will be. when im working (night shift) i love to bring lucky me instant noodles in a bowl, cooks in an instant (hence the name) and youve got a hot, very delicious noodles to keep you awake. in the car i always have a bag of butterscotch candies so when i drive home after a long night working then i wont fall asleep, and mind you, 25 miles one way on a freeway can be very dangerous. and since i come from cebu nothing beats a good dried mango….yummy! the americans love them too. proudly philippines made yata yan ;-)

    Apr 28, 2006 | 5:16 pm

  27. Bubut says:

    shane, i’m recommending to you MR Travel located at Malate, Manila. I’ve booked to them twice and the price is really very reasonable and comparable cheap to some other agents. Just look for Jenny. here’s their website :


    Apr 29, 2006 | 10:20 am

  28. millet says:

    Boy Bawang is taking Pinoys by storm!!! Grabe, I dream about its curnchy-salty-garlicky goodness. Heard that it’s a current OCW bilin for visiting kababayans, along with its new variant, Boy CHili and Cheese! MM,have you discovered it already? Have a grand vacation!

    Apr 30, 2006 | 7:58 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    millet, I have heard of it but haven’t tried it yet…

    May 1, 2006 | 1:09 pm

  30. RobKSA says:

    Thx now I remember the name of that garlic flavored kornik, yes Boy Bawang. Something I should be buying on my next repat. I really like it better than the other kornik brands.

    May 1, 2006 | 8:09 pm

  31. dhayL says:

    Oh my MM, “kiamoy” is one of may faves growing up! I specially like the reddish-orangy colour, the sweetness and the saltiness for me is such a balance! After church every sunday, every time we go to this store (it’s more like a small grocery) i always beg my mother to buy me some kiamoy, although she always tells me it’s not good for you, she would give in anyway and i go home with 100grams of kiamoy. As i hold the small clear plastic bag in my hand, i would carefully take one out, smell it, have a small bite, lick it and eventually just put the whole thing in right in my mouth! I love it how it makes my fingertips reddish-orange in colour and my lips too! It’s sour, salty and sweet, just yummY!

    May 28, 2007 | 6:52 am


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