Philippine Street Fried Foods

Pity the dieter who swears off all fried foods for health-related reasons; not only does she cross out the most delicious constituents of any menu, she excludes herself from the best parts of the Filipino food experience, too. Begone, banana-cue and turon. So long, tapsilog and tosilog. Goodbye, kentekoy and kwek-kwek.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
No Manila street corner would be complete without a vendor frying local street food
If you're Pinoy, you're likely to start your morning with something fried and continue in like fashion throughout the day. We take comfort in food that's been seared in oil, whether it's a tocino and egg at sunrise or sizzling sisig post-five-thirsty over beer with friends. It's all very natural to any Filipino, at least until heart disease catches up with us.
Frying: a Gift from ChinaYou'd be surprised, then, to learn that frying is a relative latecomer to our tables. Before the Chinese came to the Philippines to trade, the Filipino food repertoire was limited to boiling, roasting, and souring — in short, what we could make with what we had at the time, in that dark time before our Eastern brothers gifted us with the wok and the syanse.
It must have seemed like a gift from the gods, when the medieval equivalent of Wok with Yanpremiered in Filipino trading towns and introduced our pre-colonial forefathers to the glories of sizzling-hot oil. Boiling and roasting take ages to cook properly; it takes comparatively little time to heat oil to the desired temperature before you throw in the food to fry.
Hot oil sears food in a snap, caramelizing sugars and crisping exposed surfaces. And oil adheres to the food, adding oomph to the flavor and mouth feel.
A Stir-Fry to Start Your Day
Rice, for example, experiences a second life in the frying pan, regaining freshness and flavor with salt, garlic, and a few minutes of stir-frying. Yesterday's rice need never go to waste, so long as it can be resurrected as that staple of early mornings, sinangag, the "si" in tapsilog, tosilog, ad nauseam.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Yesterday's rice doesn't go to waste; stir-fry it for some tasty sinangag
We've covered the different "silogs" here in Timpla before (Sensational 'Silog' and Where To Find The Best 'Silog'?); in any case, it's likely you're no stranger to the magic that can be wrought when stir-fried rice teams up with your protein of choice and eggs sunny-side up. It's not fancy — it's irredeemably para sa masa, but do we want our tapsilog any other way?
Simmering Street FoodStreet food benefits greatly from the speed and ease afforded by frying. No Manila street corner would be complete without a fishball vendor standing guard, deep-frying balls of seafood-flavored dough for call center agents and cigarette sellers alike.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Deep fry those quail eggs in orange batter for some tasty kwek-kwek
If you're lucky, manong fishball's repertoire will include deep-fried duck and quail eggs coated in orange-colored batter. The name of the vendor who invented kwek-kwek and kentekoy's trademark orange batter is lost to history, but our stomachs (and arteries) will never forget his work.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Fry saba and sugar for some sweet, delicious banana-cue
Nor are we likely to forget what happens when you deep-fry saba and sugar — the sugar caramelizes into a shell around the saba, which tenderizes from the heat. Add bamboo skewers and you get banana-cue, that sweet street-food standby.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Sweet fried goodness
Fried food has made life easier, and improved the culinary experience overall. The next time you bite into that kentekoy or start your day with tosilog, say a silent word of thanks to the unnamed cook who first put raw food and hot oil together. Frying is something to celebrate… even if your cardiologist thinks otherwise.

Smoking kills 10 Filipinos every hour

Ten Filipinos die every hour from illnesses caused by smoking while the country loses nearly 500 billion pesos (US$11.5 billion) annually from healthcare costs and productivity losses, according to an anti-tobacco group.
HealthJustice Philippines disputed the claims of tobacco companies that increasing taxes on tobacco would hurt tobacco farmers and lead to the loss of livelihood.
"The most important issue is none other than health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that tobacco consumption kills 10 Filipinos every hour, due to cancer, stroke, lung and heart diseases brought on by cigarette smoking," the group said in a statement.
"Even if a person does not smoke, the WHO warns that second-hand smoke causes hundreds of thousands of deaths to non-smokers due to the same smoking-related diseases," it said.
HealthJustice said the Philippines loses billions of pesos in terms of health and economic costs from smoking.
It cited a 2006 study by the WHO, Department of Health (DOH), University of the Philippines-Manila and the Philippine College of Medical Researchers Foundation showing that the government's "economic costs, including expenses for health care and costs of productivity losses," reached 461 billion pesos.
The group said price increases through tax reforms in tobacco products will discourage people from smoking.
It quoted a World Bank study as saying that a 10 percent increase in taxes on tobacco products would lead to a 4 to 8 percent decrease in consumption, thus leading to saving thousands of lives.
"A recent study by economists Filomeno Sta. Ana and Jo-Ann Latuja estimates that at least 870,000 smokers will quit and 310,000 lives can be saved when the needed excise tax reforms, which will significantly increase the price of cigarettes, are implemented," HealthJustice said.
The tax reforms would also help raise additional revenues for public health, with the Department of Finance estimating that as much as 30 billion pesos to 40 billion pesos additional revenues can be generated annually, it said.
The group said the 2009 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) has estimated that more than 17 million adult Filipinos smoke while a DOH survey showed that Filipino children as young as five years old are already starting to smoke.
"If the current administration falls short of implementing measures to reduce tobacco consumption among its citizens, the health risks and economic losses will certainly become too much to bear in the near future," the group said.

Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines

Villagers and veteran hunters have captured a one-ton saltwater crocodile which they plan to make the star of a planned ecotourism park in a southern Philippine town, an official said Monday.
Mayor Edwin Cox Elorde said dozens of villagers and experts ensnared the 21-foot (6.4-meter) male crocodile along a creek in Bunawan township in Agusan del Sur province after a three-week hunt. It could be one of the largest crocodiles to be captured alive in recent years, he said, quoting local crocodile experts.
Elorde said the crocodile killed a water buffalo in an attack witnessed by villagers last month and was also suspected of having attacked a fisherman who went missing in July.
He said he sought the help of experts at a crocodile farm in western Palawan province.
"We were nervous but it's our duty to deal with a threat to the villagers," Elorde told The Associated Press by telephone. "When I finally stood before it, I couldn't believe my eyes."

After initial sightings at a creek, the hunters set four traps, which the crocodile destroyed. They then used sturdier traps using steel cables, one of which finally caught the enormous reptile late Saturday, he said.
About 100 people had to pull the crocodile, which weighs about 2,370 pounds (1,075 kilograms), from the creek to a clearing where a crane lifted it into a truck, he said.
The crocodile was placed in a fenced cage in an area where the town plans to build an ecotourism park for species found in a vast marshland in Agusan, an impoverished region about 515 miles (830 kilometers) southeast of Manila, Elorde said.
"It will be the biggest star of the park," Elorde said, adding that villagers were happy that they would be able to turn the dangerous crocodile "from a threat into an asset."
Despite the catch, villagers remain wary because several crocodiles still roam the outskirts of the farming town of about 37,000 people.
They have been told to avoid venturing into marshy areas alone at night, Elorde said.

The song and music video aim to encourage Filipinos to be more aware and appreciative of their own local attractions and inspire a renewed sense of pride in the beauty, history and culture of the Philippines.