Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Eating in Manila on a Student Budget

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Are you looking for a food guide in Manila? Chances are you’re a student of the city’s numerous colleges and universities that offer education in a wide variety of degrees. Eating in Manila, which is one of the world’s top most densely populated cities with about 171,301 people per square mile, could be quite an adventure since restaurants and food joints are everywhere.

Choosing the ones that won’t upset your budget could be tricky, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, you’ll find affordable places in Manila to eat on a student budget as well as tips to remain safe and full.

Places to Buy Food

Quiapo Market

The Quiapo Market is one of the largest street markets in the whole country which is located in the area of the Quiapo Church. There, you’ll find a wide range of products from clothes to utensils, but what we’re interested in is food. You can find pretty much everything available in the Philippines, so it’s great for both finding ingredients and prepared dishes and snacks.

The prices are set by haggling, so you’ll have an opportunity to negotiate prices you find reasonable.

Sabroso Street Food Market

Another street food market in the Metro Manila area that you should also check out. It has an official Facebook page where you can get information on working hours, new products, and more. If you read the reviews of customers on Facebook, you’ll notice that many of them praise the place for “cheap prices” and “value for money.”

Sabroso is extremely popular among locals, so they often upload images of products to social media they take here (for example, check outphotos made at Sabroso by Instagram users). So if you’re looking to get some ingredients to prepare your own dishes or eats for cheap prices (the prices here are often set by bargaining, too), feel free to visit this market.

Robinsons Place Food Court

Shopping malls are great occasional dining and movies, and Manila has a good selection of them. Robinsons Place, for example, is one of the largest shopping malls in the country located behind the campus of the University of the Philippines Manila. The place has an unbelievable food court which is even rated by Trip Advisor as #20 of 939 restaurants in the city.

It has a great selection of different foods, including vegetarian-friendly ones, and offers affordable pricing. For example, you’ll find local, Chinese, Mediterranean, and other cuisines there: home-cooked meals, seafoods, fast food, grilled meat, and sizzling steaks. The court is popular among local students because of cheap prices and tasty food, so chances are you’ll have to wait for a seat during lunch hours.

Agno Food Court

Basically, Agno is a just a group of food stalls and vendors that sell foods at under 100 pesos. But they have become incredibly popular among students of the nearby De La Salle University with a population of more than 20,000 learners. Agno has an official Facebook page where you can get fresh information about the place and even become one of the vendors.
At Agno, you can get a variety of foods for cheap prices, including siomai (traditional Chinese dumplings), pastas, taco salads, grilled meat, burgers, and home-cooked meals.

Tips on Eating in Manila on a Budget

Learn to be a Good Negotiator

As it was mentioned above, prices at public food markets are often set by bargaining, so it’s time to learn this art.

When I studied in a foreign country, I used to go around to find out what kind of money locals pay for products I needed,” says Henry Bernardo, a digital marketer from Write My Essay for Me. “Also, I would try to determine the seller’s lowest price before paying, and if it doesn’t match the price I want, just walked away. If the seller hesitated, I offered to pay in cash right away, and I succeeded lots of times!”

Separate Needs from Wants

The cost of living for a student in Manila is lower compared to Western countries; for example, according to Expatistan, one person could comfortably live for about $600 per month (rent included). However, this doesn’t mean that you should buy yourself coffee every time you stumble upon a Starbucks, because the cost could rise rapidly.

Cook your Own Meals

If you like cooking, you’ll love living in Manila because of all the public food markets. The ones described above are just a small part of what the city has to offer, so feel free to search for marketers in your area. They offer lower prices for groceries than most supermarkets, so buying there could be a great option to save money and still enjoy delicious, home-cooked meals.

Pay with Cash

It’s easy to accumulate a large amount of debt using credit cards, so try to pay for everything with cash. This will help to avoid overspending.

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