Northern Philippine cuisine
Ilocanos, from the rugged Ilocos region, boast of a diet heavy in boiled or steamed vegetables and freshwater fish, but they are particularly fond of dishes flavored with bagoong, fermented fish that is often used instead of salt. Ilocanos often season boiled vegetables with bagoong monamon (fermented anchovy paste) to produce pinakbet. Local specialties include the soft white larvae of ants and "jumping salad" of tiny live shrimp.
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Central Philippine cuisine
Bicol is noted for its gastronomic appetite for the fiery or chili-hot dishes. Perhaps the most well-known Bicolano dish is the very spicy Bicol express. The region is also the well-known home of natong also known as laing or pinangat (a pork or fish stew in taro leaves).
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Southern Philippine cuisine
In Mindanao, the southern part of Palawan island, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, dishes are richly flavored with the spices common to Southeast Asia: turmeric, coriander, lemon grass, cumin, and chillies — ingredients not commonly used in the rest of Filipino cooking. Being free from Hispanicization, the cuisine of the indigenous Moro and Lumad peoples of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago has much in common with the rich and spicy Malay cuisines of Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Indonesian and Thai cuisines.
Fiesta Foods Philippines Cuisine
For festive occasions, people band together and prepare more sophisticated dishes. Tables are often laden with expensive and labor-intensive treats requiring hours of preparation. In Filipino celebrations, lechón (also spelled litson) serves as the centerpiece of the dinner table. It is usually a whole roasted pig, but suckling pigs (lechonillo, or lechon de leche) or cattle calves (lechong baka) can also be prepared in place of the popular adult pig.
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