When you live in a country like the United States, you take fast food for granted. You grew up with most of the familiar fast food restaurant chains. It’s where many of them started, or all of them depending on which state you lived in.
When you stray outside of your comfort zone in America and into a place like the Philippines, you can’t take anything for granted. This is especially true when it comes to your favorite fast food items. They may exist in the country, but not necessarily in the part of the country you happen to be staying in.
I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t physically searched for any fast food restaurants. If they don’t exist in Olongapo or at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, they may as well not exist at all. Of course, it depends on your definition of fast food as well. Does your definition include pizza?
There are three big fast food chains based in the Philippines: Jollibee, ChowKing and Greenwich Pizza. The Jollibee Foods Corporation owns all three franchises. They even own the Burger King franchise in the Philippines. But I’m not here to discuss Filipino franchises.
Here’s a quick list of American-style fast food restaurant chains I know about in the Philippines. I didn’t include any Philippines-owned franchises even though they’re American-style restaurants.
There are a few franchises I’m familiar with from various areas in the United States that I haven’t and won’t see here.
The closest “Jack In the Box” is in Guam. If I want a “Breakfast Jack”, I have to make it myself. “Whataburger” is a regional chain in the western United States. “Bojangles” (chicken) is a regional chain in the eastern United States.
In this case, it depends on your definition of a restaurant. If a coffee house sells food, is it a restaurant as well? Anyway…
Here’s a quick list of what some Americans may consider restaurants:
Feel free to let me know of any place I’ve missed in either list.
And it’s okay to be lazy as long as it isn’t every day of the week. I rarely eat fast food and when I do, it’s usually something for breakfast. A couple of McMuffins at McDonald’s or pancake sandwiches at Jollibee will do the trick if I have to be out and about early in the morning.
My wife (Josie) and I will usually eat out only once or twice a month. We’re not fond of spending money on certain types of food, especially when we can make it better at home. Our food isn’t fast, but it’s good. It’s also safer since we know what ingredients we put into it.
Although I’ve written about restaurants in the Philippines multiple times, please don’t think of me as a restaurant person. It’s more about observation than anything else. I’m happy to eat at home. Eating out is always only a change of pace.
By: RT Cunningham
January 15, 2017
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