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Philippines is a country of weird proportions. From delicious duck embryos to the dancing prisoners, this country never ceases to amaze.
Before I go into any detail, I just want to say that if you are a duck then doing this is probably illegal. That being said, Balut can be best described as a developing bird embryo that is boiled or eaten from the shell directly. Disgusted yet?
The bird is mostly a duck and sometimes chicken.
If you think it sounds disgusting, then you should know that its beauty quotient is not up for argument. But just as most things disgusting, they are brilliant once you get to try them. It generally arrives like an egg, you then crack them like you would a whole boiled egg. This will be your moment of truth.
If you can get past the notion that you are consuming a fertilized duck embryo, you will quite enjoy it. Add a pinch of salt and vinegar and proceed to drink the soup. Then eat the creamy yolk and then you reach the embryo.
Much said, now see.
2. Dancing Prisoners of Cebu
This is something you will not see anywhere else in the world. Not kidding. No where. Not even in India, where dance is our second language.
Lo and Behold the Dancing prisoners of Cebu. What are they you ask? Imagine a prison full of murderers, rapists, child molesters, thieves, serial killers. Now imagine these guys dancing to perfectly choreographed Michael Jackson songs and performing in front of hundreds of people.
CPDRC (Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Centre) is the biggest maximum security prison in the island of Cebu. The inmates use dance as a form of rehabilitation along with other exercises. Although public viewing is restricted to only once or twice a month, the prisoners practice their dance almost every day within the prison confines. Although, current public viewing have been admonished pending further authorization from the government.
Make no mistake, these guys are professionals and their movement to harmony is flawless. Seeing them with my own eyes, this bore such an effect, that I went ahead and made a mockumentary about it. If you are headed to Cebu, you must not miss this.
3. The Frog-Purse
The frog purse is exactly what it says it is. It’s a frog that has been converted into a purse. How you ask? It’s made from real tanned frogs. You’ll find the frog-purse at most souvenir shops. It’s mainly used as a coin purse and comes in a range of shades just so you never have to worry about matching your frog with your outfit again! (That’s a line I never thought I would say). Now you know what to get your friends as souvenirs.
Now this is a treat for a meat lover, especially pork lovers. Although Philippines is not the only country where you get this, but it is the national dish of the country – so I mean try it here. It enjoys a God status in here, available on all occasions; festival or otherwise. What is it? It is an entire pig, entrails removed, roasted on a rotisserie skewer for many hours over charcoal.
Distinctively, because of the cooking process – the skin becomes crispy and that’s what separates Lechon from anything else you will eat.
Depending on various ways of preparations, it has its taste. However, one thing that never changes is that it is crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.
5. The Hinatuan Enchanted River in Mindanao
A river with water so blue, it’ll take away all your blues. The Hinatuan Enchanted River just springs out of nowhere, is about 50 feet deep and just about the length to be called a river. It’s a saltwater river that joins the Pacific Ocean and is everything you can dream of. The locals call it miraculous. We call it heaven! No one knows the origin of the salt water or the clarity of it although there are plenty of theories surrounding it.
Think you have the guts to try these out? Let us know in the comments below