Philippine Fast Food Scene 15 Years After

Like a family member if you are with them always you will not notice the change, that is why when your friend tell you that your child got taller or even tell you that you get fatter the sometimes you can’t believe it, it’s because that you are used to seeing yourself or you’re the ones close to you on a daily basis but for your friend they see you at long intervals so any changes to your body is highly noticeable. Same thing with the fast food scene in the Philippines, people living there will not notice the difference but for me it was a huge difference.

I tried to visit all of the fast food places I used to love before when I was in the university and see how does it compare now, not that I have the old photos to prove but these places are the regular fast food places I always dined in when I was young. First up was Jollibee, though I had this once in a while but not in Philippines, the last time I had it was in Hong Kong and Hawaii and Cerritos, CA before that, surprisingly of all the things I will be mentioning here, this is the one that has not changed at all, in fact the Palabok got bigger than the ones I got used to before when I was served in styro boxes. It still tastes the same and perhaps the size got bigger. For the chicken, I guess it was still the same if it did change it will be slightly smaller for me to compare, it might be also because the chicken outside the Philippines might be bigger.

Next was Chowking, now this one changed a lot. I remember I love ordering the Lauriat meals on a regular basis before and it looks a bit different now, smaller in serving, definitely the food quality changed. The siomai is not as juicy as before and the pork chop feels like processed meat, while this was not available 15 years ago the quality was quite different, this one feels so processed, the meat is so square.

We also ordered some siopao and lomi, siopao contains a lot of extenders, almost no meat content and the lomi is flavourless. Quite disappointing specially as this was one of my favourite places before.

I also tried McDonalds, it was one of my favourite breakfast places before but same as Chowking the meat on the longsilog meal does not look like longaniza anymore, it’s like a sweetened burger patty shaped into skinless longaniza that is flattened. As for the sausage McMuffin with egg and cheese, this did not change, I was happy with it as this is one of my favourite food items here, almost same quality as the ones we have here in New Zealand.

Then there is Pizza Hut, most of the ones here also changed apart from the chicken. The Mojos drastically changed in size, 15 years ago I remember one piece of this was almost the same size as my palms, now it was not even half that size, still tasted the same though. Pizza also changed, before it was served on a pan now it’s served sans the pan, I feel like the size changed as well but I might be wrong, definitely the ingredients is lesser than what I was used to.

There are also the bakeries, while I was not able to visit Goldilocks, I did visit Red Ribbon, this haven’t changed as well the cakes still look the same, sized the same and tasted the same. That goes as well with Brownies Unlimited, it was one of my favourite pasalubong for home and it still has the same quality.

While it’s good to see some of the food items did not change specially some of my favourites there were still so many changes to notice based on my experience. I guess this all boils down to economics where they have to change the quality to cater for affordability, nothing wrong with it as this all boils down to profitability. I just wish I have more time to try the others that I used to love, like Henlin, Shakeys, Kowloon, Greenwhich and Tropical Hut, anyways there is always a next time, might be this coming Christmas? You will never know.


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