The recent national election in the Philippines has definitely got the world talking. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., the son of former president Ferdinand Marcos who was ousted by a historic people power revolution 36 years ago, is celebrating a landslide victory.
His triumph over his fellow candidate and incumbent vice-president Leni Robredo is currently drawing mixed reactions within and beyond the Philippines, including in Vietnam, where the “Philippines” has been trending since the May 9 election day.
Twitter user @MacNguyen21 commented, “If the US has a kind of democracy where the losing candidate can outright call the elections rigged, the Philippines has a Marcos-style democracy.”
On Facebook, a certain Do Thanh Luyen, expressed a different opinion: “During the Marcos time, there was progress in the Philippines. English was used as the primary trading language and the divided country was unified. Perhaps, the more than 30 people who voted for his son are feeling nostalgic for those good old days.”
The two nations’ relations have grown from strength to strength over the last decade, with Vietnam considered the only communist military ally of the Philippines.
And considering how Vietnam and the Philippines both have strong claims over the disputed Spratly Islands, an increasing two-way trade, and a shared political and economic pledge as members of the ASEAN, Vietnam is expected to be watching the Philippines with critical eyes as it makes a monumental transition.
For those curious to know more about the Philippines, and why issues surrounding Marcos’ presidential victory won’t die anytime soon, we’ve listed some of the best Filipino dining venues in Vietnam, where you can enjoy authentic Filipino flavors and engage in meaningful conversations.
Gentle reminder: Like the Vietnamese people, Filipinos are very patriotic and are always ready to voice their opinions and principles. Talks about politics can sometimes get intense. Mutual respect is a must.
One of the most popular Filipino restaurants in Saigon, Loriekot’s Grill prides itself on serving a wide selection of Pinoy dishes that even non-Filipinos will grow to love. Their special chicken soup, marinated milkfish, and sizzling “sisig” are a real treat to the palates. Palatable Filipino-style desserts are also available to complete the experience.
Location: 574 Dien Bien Phu Street, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District Ho Chi Minh City
Philippines BBQ & Drinks
There’s nothing better than a stick of grilled pork and ice-cold beer in the cool night breeze. This is exactly what Philippines BBQ & Drinks offers its customers. The outdoor setup in a spacious area in District 2 renders a perfect venue for some long conversations and hearty laughs. For those wanting a little food adventure, the pork intestine and blood barbecue can give you a tasty glimpse into the Philippines’ fun street food scene.
Location: 288 Tran Nao, An Khanh, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
If you’re craving authentic Filipino breakfast — like a complete set of dried fish, fried rice, and eggs — or a bowl of hot “sotanghon” for a rainy evening, Kusinero Cuisine is open from 9am till almost midnight. The small restaurant exudes a warm feeling, and its hospitable owners make you feel at home the very moment you step in. Their sweet and sour squid and “beef Kare-Kare” are worth trying.
Location: S58-2 Sky Garden 3 Phu My Hung District 7 Ho Chi Minh City
Of course — what better to represent the Philippines in Vietnam than the 150 Jollibee stores across the country. One of the well-loved fast-food chains among the Vietnamese, Jollibee has always been considered a venue for families and friends to get together over a delicious meal at reasonable prices. It won’t also be a surprise to see Filipinos eating in any branch, at any given time.