Street Food at the Friday Rally


A good sign of a successful rally is the variety of street food, snacks and drinks on offer. I kid you not. If there are thousands and thousands of people, committed to staying a couple of hours or more in one place, true to pinoy form, they are going to do some serious munching regardless of the gravity or seriousness of the event. Rather than doing my own crowd estimate, which would be far less absurd than the official police estimate of 15,000 people (what were they smoking?), I will bravely estimate that roughly 15,000,000 calories were consumed at that rally in the span of about 4 hours! Here are just some of the photos of the food/snacks on offer at yesterday’s rally. And bravo to the event organizers for providing a venue for people to voice their outrage at the recent goings on…


Say it on a placard…


…munch on some fried peanuts with lots of garlic chips…


…spear some fish balls…


…have a balut or two with or without the formed embryo…


…buy a pin for PHP20…


…have a fried lumpia or from others, banana turon…


…clean off your palate with some green mango…and/or slather it with a shmear of bagoong or shrimp paste…


…select from a tray of various kakanins (rice cakes/snacks)…


…grab an ear of corn while listening to the varied line-up of guests…


…see the crowds on Ayala Avenue…


…unwrap some salty sour sampalok (tamarind) candy…


…while pushing for ACCOUNTABILITY…


…and lay out just four letters O-U-S-T for those in the air to see (although the airspace was closed to helicopters lest the rest of the city see that a fairly impressive crowd had gathered)…


…cool down with several flavors of ice candy, or dirty ice cream served in cones or bread…


…brandish another placard… many borne by college students from across the metropolis, including students at The Assumption, GMA’s alma mater and students from Ateneo, FG’s alma mater…


…up the ante on arterial blockages with some fried innards…


…and intestines…


…crunch on nuclear colored popcorn…


…down a refreshing glass of high-protein taho…


…have some brightly wrapped yema for dessert…


…and well, what can I say, a picture says a thousand words… a t-shirt of a rally participant that makes use of a quote from the President’s economic adviser, Joey Salceda, at a speech given last week… and which was meant as a joke?! Some things are better left unsaid…


48 Responses

  1. I’ve never been to a rally but the the variety of food your showing makes me wanna attend one.

  2. I was hoping to see you again at this rally, MM, but with the tens of thousands of people there, I’m not surprised I didn’t. I wish we could get an accurate and *unbiased* estimate as to how many really attended. 12,000 – 80,000 (depending on whose side you’re on) is just too wide a range! Regardless, I was happy that this was a MUCH bigger rally than the last.

    I, too, was amused at all the vendors. The food and drinks were to be expected, but I had to take a picture of these people who set up a makeshift store right on the street, selling bags and various accessories! How very Pinoy to protest, eat, and shop at the same time! ;-)

  3. Hi MM. Great photos. Your photo caption, “spear some fish balls” should have been “spear some kwek-kwek”. Those were quail eggs dipped in orange-colored batter and deep-fried.

  4. I’ll bet my left knee that this is the only post on the web about food during yesterday’s rally.

    This is marketmanila.

  5. hi MM! it seems like a gastronomic experience, that is if you ate anything at all at the gathering. just out of curiosity, which of these treats would you consider as “safe” to eat. i have stomach problems, that is why i really have to be careful. as a matter of fact, i don’t touch any one of the above street foods…please don’t get me wrong…am not snobby, just can’t afford to be hospitalized.

  6. saw all those food vendors while walking along ayala/ makati ave. after work. some officemates even bought boiled corn and peanuts for merienda. there were dirty ice cream vendors too! :)

  7. really miss: turon/taho/yema and the sampaloc balls with lots of
    rock salt. all bring back lots of fond memories of home

  8. She manipulates everything including the police especially the military and succintly instructed them this is the press number you give out for head counts of rally participants. Love the array of carnival foods!

  9. “Rather than doing my own crowd estimate, which would be far less absurd than the official police estimate of 15,000 people (what were they smoking?), I will bravely estimate that roughly 15,000,000 calories were consumed at that rally in the span of about 4 hours..”

    Ha-ha-ha! Love that sentence! And the “moderate that greed” pic as to the Great street food post! And i thought I saw my father in one of your pics! :-)

  10. how i wish i could go back home now.i probably wouldn’t mind the economy going downhill and the corrupt officials if it would mean i could eat those food again.i really miss home right now.fried innards yummmm!!!

  11. I want the yema, sampalok, fried innards, boiled quail eggs, crunchy peanuts and fish balls!!! I wish I was there…para lang lumamon…hehe

  12. Wow! Interesting mix of food. Maybe you can say, halo-halo food buffet.
    When I go to PI and our friends are driving us here and there, I’m ALWAYS wanting to try the food sold by street vendors. But our friends NEVER lets us buy from them because “you never know the source(s) of how and where they’re cooked.” To me, I just want to have the experience of tasting street vendor foods. They look sooo yummy!

  13. bravo!
    sayang at gabi na nung naabutan ko ang rally :)
    all i saw was garbage and the debris of the confetti all over the street!
    naawa tuloy ako sa street cleaners :(

  14. What was the rally about? It seems to me that the PI has had its share of bad leadership over the last several decades. Bad luck must surely be running out by now so I guess the situation begs the question: is it truly the leaders or the followers? Just curious…

  15. Hubby and I had the fish balls and dirty ice cream…and a meaningful experience uniting and in making our sentiments known, even if it was only to up the headcount! (My unscientific guess is that no less than 50 thousand were at the rally.)

  16. MM,is that your back? Hehe. I noticed that green and a smattering of yellow were the colors of the people that day.

  17. Marketman, kudos to your photography skills as well. Leave it to you to make something as pedestrian as a kettle full of peanuts, chicken eggs, and quail eggs to look pretty in a photo. :)

  18. er, moni … the caption “spear some fishballs” is for the photo ABOVE it, with the two hands and fishballs swimming in oil. i am not so sure about the ‘balut; photos though. could those be the kwek-kweks up close? or chicken eggs fried ‘kwek-kwek’ style? or even balut eggs fried (again) kwek-kwek style? (do they do this at all?)

    hmmmmmm ….

  19. consol and moni, the orange monsters were penoy balut, fried, I was told. The fishballs were for the photo on top of the phrase… consol, fiesta is always a good way to describe a local rally, no sitting in the midle of the road and cutting off fingers or other appendages as they used in some countries, right Chi? fried neurons, thanks. I am gaining some confidence with my photo skills even though I continue to use a point and shoot and still have no idea what an aperture is… Cecile, no it is NOT my back, but I thought it was an amusing t-shirt. chi, too long to explain, but essentially a bunch of really large corruption scandals. chunky, I would et the boiled corn, the fried peanuts and other goodies that were fried, boiled eggs that were unpeeled, the sampaloc, and any packaged ice cream. But then again, I eat dirty ice cream too… :)

  20. Re: safe street food, I heard that taho is safe, because the tofu would not coagulate if there’s any foreign matter in it. On the other hand, the sago and syrup could be dirty. But then, I’ve been eating taho bought from the street since childhood (I bet VERY few people make their own) and have never had a problem. :-)

  21. Hooray! Let’s march with full stomach! Mabuha ang mga magtitinda at may hanapbuhay – sige – rally pa kayo.

  22. where are the people selling ‘Sa Malamig’? Those guys selling gulaman melon and buko in big oval containers with lots of ice??

  23. i wish i had come across your page prior to going on my trip to the philippines! after reading some of your posts, i clearly have missed sooo much in manila =( my mouth is drooling right now looking at these pics. i wanna go back !!

  24. Sorry MM, a bit off topic but still related to the NBN-ZTE controversy and other things;

    Treason by the Commander in Chief: Barry Wain’s article in the Jan-Feb 2008 issue of Far East Economic Review gives the big picture why China allowed GMA-JDV to overprice Northrail, Southrail, NBN, and CyberEd.

    China paid $8 billion in ODA for GMA-JDV to sign away our sovereign rights in the Spratlys, even violating an ASEAN agreement.

    Similar article >

  25. erleen, the cold drinks guys were there, I just didn’t get a good photo, there was ice cream in bread guy as well, all the softdrinks sellers, a stall set up with spaghetti, pancit etc. at a makeshift stall, there was a bulalo stand even… :)

  26. Wow!When I saw the 1st pic with the balot/penoy I have to rush to the kitchen to cook the Penoy Higop we just bought from Pateros.It was my first time in Pateros and I was disappointed not to see the duck farms I thought were there.I was surprised to learn from the duck eggs store owner that they source their eggs from Lubao!Anyway,the penoy higop was the best I’ve tasted.Fresh indeed!Slurp!!!!

  27. First timer here.

    You forgot the dried pusit. :) It’s another one of those rally staples.

    I am an activist and a regular at rallies. You would think that we lose so much calories in walking so and so kilometers of streets… but the street food more than make up for those calories. Yes, sago’t gulaman is a staple (more than water in my opinion as sago’t gulaman is cheaper than bottled water)

  28. I’d eat ’em all! Hahaha! That’s the whole idea of a peaceful rally…festively vent your frustration on a greedy bitch and a-hole. All kidding aside, as a country, that’s what we get for not learning from the past with these Marcoses. They plundered and pillaged the country and we had the insanity to allow them back and even hold public office. So whoever comes along after them, from the Ramoses to the Macapagals to the next one, it’s all going to be the same. By the way….luv that t-shirt!! It sez it all!

  29. WitnessStatement, you are right, they had a LOT of dried squid, pungent before and after grilling! I have a couple of photos, but forgot to include one of them in the line-up above…

  30. wow, you really captured the philippine streets there with all those pictures of different street foods. my husband is very much amaze to this whenever we go home to the philippines. he won’t even go to a decent cafe anymore he said we can just walk along the street and have a feast. :)

  31. I have never been in any rally before but i observed and realized that rally seems like a socialization too! look at the street foods and stream of people, im sure that street food will flourish even some says that its never hygenic to consume them. i think its lovely to eat them once you see that all are thirsty and hungry and desperately wanted to fill anything on their stomach. i love street food and i like eating them while looking with many strange faces….

  32. hi mr marketman im googling a post about balut and here popped ur page…
    im jst wonderin ,of all the “most” basic filipino foods youve featured here, youve never come across the topic on BALUT, i think itl be a fun post— the anatomy of balut..hehe…kidding
    please feature this delicacy, they also have the really odd and bizzare type of egg— they call it heco, or ecco… which is close to the abnoy kind, the smell kinda bothers some but taste really good, dipped in chilli vinegar…

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