The concept of mobile food stalls isn't new in the Philippines. Those lucky enough to grow up in modest neighborhoods surely enjoyed dirty ice cream, fishballs and buttered sweet corn during their childhood. These street eats are hawked around by vendors with the help of colorful carts pushed manually.
And then, of course, there's the "Jollijeep," which sells affordable packed lunch to office workers in business districts like Makati. Indeed, there is money to be made from quick meals that people can buy without them having to go to a proper restaurant.
The rage these days is the food truck, and a lot of these can be found at Capitol Commons, a condominium-style community complex being developed in Pasig City (and which also happens to be a stone's throw away from our office). These food trucks operate from Tuesday to Sunday, from 4pm to 10pm (although food-truck operators say they're usually allowed to stay open as late as 12 midnight, especially if there are still a lot of customers).
There were 14 of these food trucks when we went for a visit last night. Some of these trucks were designed and built by Atoy Customs. These food trucks offer everything from burger and cheesesteak to longganisa and shawarma. Even gelato and milk tea are available. Prepare to spend anywhere from P100 to P250 per head. A few tables are provided by some of the trucks. Otherwise, you eat on the benches or on the grass, picnic-style.
Parking is allowed on both sides of the main road, but main parking spaces (free for now) are located not far from the food-truck area. Parking becomes scarcer upward of 8pm, when customers of nearby watering holes start arriving. So we suggest you come early if you wish to share an unconventional dining experience with a friend or even a date.
Best of all, you can get imported beer for P100 to P140 and rock to the music of a cool singer in a wheelchair (and spare him some change if you appreciate his tunes).
If nothing else, you can just observe the fancy food trucks and marvel at the ingenuity and diligence of the Filipino entrepreneur.
Photos by Vernon B. Sarne