Manila - Post Report Question and Answers

What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?

Make sure you are speaking really clearly and slowly if your server needs to know about an allergy. - May 2022

I have a food allergy, and it hasn't been a problem for me. If you're adventurous, I would learn how to say that you have a food allergy in Tagalog, that's been helpful to me. In the service industry, Filipinos won't always follow up with a question if they don't understand your English. So whenever I order food, I do it in Tagalog and I explain the allergy. They've been great (except delivery, as noted above). - Oct 2020

See above. You can survive here with moderate asthma or seasonal allergies, but two years of cruddy air will take its toll on you. Food allergies are a mixed bag. Restaurants do a poor job of listing ingredients, so don’t assume anything from the menu alone. However, if you speak up before ordering, most restaurants/hotels are happy to accommodate well-known food allergies (e.g., nuts and shellfish) – as long as you’re crystal clear about exactly what you can and can’t eat. One extra cautionary note: many hospitals do not have EpiPens readily available, so be sure to bring a few with you. - Feb 2017

Food illness is common. - Jan 2016

Labeling of ingredients is often erroneous, and restaurant staff usually do not know what a dish contains. Even commercial products often have incorrect labels. Seasonal allergies are exacerbated by the poor air quality. - Jan 2016

none - Sep 2015

I have seasonal allergies here and I never have before. Bring your meds. Filipinos don't cook with a ton of nuts, but you may have trouble discerning what's in a particular recipe while out to eat. - Aug 2015

Air pollution aggravates the seasonal allergies. Shellfish can be a hidden ingredient. Upscale restaurants and hotels are good about telling you which things are contaminated when you are explicit about what you cannot eat, others don't really understand what it means. My housekeeper is very vigilant and understands, though, so it's definitely doable. There are gluten-free products for an astronomical price and not consistent availability, if that's a concern. Online ordering is probably the only way to effectively deal with coeliac. - Aug 2015

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