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Host: April

Manila, Philippines

USD
$25-$76 per person

Authentic Filipino cuisine in BGC

Host offerings
  • Apartment
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet April

April learned to cook from her father and is passionate about serving northern Mindanaoan dishes that have been passed down to her from her ancestors. Mindanao is an island in the country’s south with a distinctive regional cuisine that incorporates a variety of exotic spices and draws on influences from its Malay neighbors like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. April sources many of her ingredients directly from Mindanao. Each dish that April prepares, she has chosen because of its significance to her family and culture. April writes, “I want to be a Traveling Spoon host because I want to showcase the Mindanaoan cuisine to locals and tourists alike. I have been living here in Manila for more than a decade but I rarely see any authentic Mindanaoan food here. The cuisine remains underrated despite its interesting and unique flavors.”

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-4 guests) Meet your host April at her small, modest, high-rise apartment in the Fort Bonifacio/BGC neighborhood of metro Manila. Sip on fresh calamansi or passionfruit juice as your host shares stories about life in Mindanao. Join your host at her dining table to enjoy a regional Filipino meal. Your Mindanaoan menu includes five courses: soup, appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Enjoy dishes such as kinilaw (fish ceviche), banana blossom or bamboo shoot salad and coconut infused crab or sinanlag baka (stir fried beef with mint). Your meal will conclude with a dessert of ube-flavored palitaw (sticky rice) or pintos (corn bread). If you choose the optional alcohol add-on, April will serve you craft beer.

Cooking experience: (1-2 guests) Join your host April at her home kitchen to learn to cook a traditional Mindanaoan meal from recipes that have been passed down through generations in her family. Your Filipino cooking class involves learning to make three dishes made from scratch, and will last about an hour. You will learn to cook dishes such as a Filipino ceviche, a salad and a main from scratch. Enjoy learning about the tips and techniques involved in Mindanaoan cuisine cooking before you sit down at the table to share the meal you helped prepare with host April.

Market visit: (1-3 guests) April will bring you to the seafood and organic market near her place to have a glimpse of what markets within the mall premises look like. The market complex boasts of fresh products, mostly organic, that originate from different provinces. For guests who will book the market visit with cooking experience, it will also culminate the cooking experience as you will be taught the different ingredients for the dishes you will later on prepare with her. The market is just a 10-minute walk from her apartment.

Languages spoken: English, Tagalog, Cebuano

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Welcome drink of calamansi or passionfruit juice
  • Soup: Lauya (bone marrow soup) Beef Sinanlag (Beef with Local Mint)
  • Appetizer: Kinilaw, Mindanaoan ceviche of tuna, Spanish mackerel or black marlin in fermented coconut
  • Salad: Pomelo, bamboo shoot or banana blossom
  • Entree: Coconut infused crab, salted egg shrimp, beef in a tomato stew or pater
  • Dessert: Ube flavored palitaw (sticky rice with coconut and purple yam) or deconstructed halo-halo
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

I am very glad to have met April because I am very interested in Mindanaoan culture and cuisine that isn't highlighted much in Manila, even though it is the second largest island in the Philippines. Most people think that the Philippines' coconut based dishes are from the Bicol region which is in Luzon, but Mindanao has been using coconut milk forever. The cuisine is influenced by the Malay and Indonesian cuisines and many don't eat pork because of Islam but they eat a lot of beef and chicken. April comes from the coastal region so she also features seafood and fish in her menu. Mindanaoan cuisine has flavors of chili, coconut milk, turmeric, ginger and lemongrass. Some ingredients of the cuisine can only be found in Mindanao and you won't find in Luzon. April comes from a family of cooks. Her father taught her well. They all love to cook in her family. So they really have the knowledge of what Mindanaoan cuisine is all about. I really like that she was able to tell me a lot of stories about her culture. She prepared a lot of her family favorites like the beef kaldereta which is a tomato based beef dish with potatoes and green peas and carrots, but rather than using liver pate, she used red wine to add her own signature to it. April made a prawn dish cooked in coconut milk with sambal and salted egg. I really liked that too. She served me Pater, which is rice topped with beef cooked in coconut milk, lemongrass, strong turmeric and coconut meat. This is to be eaten with Palapa (sambal made with sakurab which is a type of scallion in Mindanao, chilis, and ginger.) April also taught me how to make the dessert called palitaw, a rice cake dusted with coconut shavings that I really like with purple yam jam and muscovado sugar. Everything was delicious! April gave me not just an introduction but the real experience of what her family eats in their hometown. Most of all, April is very nice with a calm energy. I like that she's really from Mindanao and has worked her way up by doing everything on her own.

Isi, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

This is a new host who does not yet have any reviews. You can see reviews of our other Manila Traveling Spoon experiences on TripAdvisor:
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April

$25-$76 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • No waiting! Booking confirmed instantly
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$32 $25 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$46 $42 Not offered
Market Tour + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$76 $60 Not offered
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$32 $25 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$46 $42 Not offered
Market Tour + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$76 $60 Not offered
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
10:30am-1:30pm 4:30pm-7:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
10:00am-2:00pm 4:00pm-8:00pm

Meet April

April learned to cook from her father and is passionate about serving northern Mindanaoan dishes that have been passed down to her from her ancestors. Mindanao is an island in the country’s south with a distinctive regional cuisine that incorporates a variety of exotic spices and draws on influences from its Malay neighbors like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. April sources many of her ingredients directly from Mindanao. Each dish that April prepares, she has chosen because of its significance to her family and culture. April writes, “I want to be a Traveling Spoon host because I want to showcase the Mindanaoan cuisine to locals and tourists alike. I have been living here in Manila for more than a decade but I rarely see any authentic Mindanaoan food here. The cuisine remains underrated despite its interesting and unique flavors.”

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-4 guests) Meet your host April at her small, modest, high-rise apartment in the Fort Bonifacio/BGC neighborhood of metro Manila. Sip on fresh calamansi or passionfruit juice as your host shares stories about life in Mindanao. Join your host at her dining table to enjoy a regional Filipino meal. Your Mindanaoan menu includes five courses: soup, appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Enjoy dishes such as kinilaw (fish ceviche), banana blossom or bamboo shoot salad and coconut infused crab or sinanlag baka (stir fried beef with mint). Your meal will conclude with a dessert of ube-flavored palitaw (sticky rice) or pintos (corn bread). If you choose the optional alcohol add-on, April will serve you craft beer.

Cooking experience: (1-2 guests) Join your host April at her home kitchen to learn to cook a traditional Mindanaoan meal from recipes that have been passed down through generations in her family. Your Filipino cooking class involves learning to make three dishes made from scratch, and will last about an hour. You will learn to cook dishes such as a Filipino ceviche, a salad and a main from scratch. Enjoy learning about the tips and techniques involved in Mindanaoan cuisine cooking before you sit down at the table to share the meal you helped prepare with host April.

Market visit: (1-3 guests) April will bring you to the seafood and organic market near her place to have a glimpse of what markets within the mall premises look like. The market complex boasts of fresh products, mostly organic, that originate from different provinces. For guests who will book the market visit with cooking experience, it will also culminate the cooking experience as you will be taught the different ingredients for the dishes you will later on prepare with her. The market is just a 10-minute walk from her apartment.

Languages spoken: English, Tagalog, Cebuano

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Welcome drink of calamansi or passionfruit juice
  • Soup: Lauya (bone marrow soup) Beef Sinanlag (Beef with Local Mint)
  • Appetizer: Kinilaw, Mindanaoan ceviche of tuna, Spanish mackerel or black marlin in fermented coconut
  • Salad: Pomelo, bamboo shoot or banana blossom
  • Entree: Coconut infused crab, salted egg shrimp, beef in a tomato stew or pater
  • Dessert: Ube flavored palitaw (sticky rice with coconut and purple yam) or deconstructed halo-halo
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

I am very glad to have met April because I am very interested in Mindanaoan culture and cuisine that isn't highlighted much in Manila, even though it is the second largest island in the Philippines. Most people think that the Philippines' coconut based dishes are from the Bicol region which is in Luzon, but Mindanao has been using coconut milk forever. The cuisine is influenced by the Malay and Indonesian cuisines and many don't eat pork because of Islam but they eat a lot of beef and chicken. April comes from the coastal region so she also features seafood and fish in her menu. Mindanaoan cuisine has flavors of chili, coconut milk, turmeric, ginger and lemongrass. Some ingredients of the cuisine can only be found in Mindanao and you won't find in Luzon. April comes from a family of cooks. Her father taught her well. They all love to cook in her family. So they really have the knowledge of what Mindanaoan cuisine is all about. I really like that she was able to tell me a lot of stories about her culture. She prepared a lot of her family favorites like the beef kaldereta which is a tomato based beef dish with potatoes and green peas and carrots, but rather than using liver pate, she used red wine to add her own signature to it. April made a prawn dish cooked in coconut milk with sambal and salted egg. I really liked that too. She served me Pater, which is rice topped with beef cooked in coconut milk, lemongrass, strong turmeric and coconut meat. This is to be eaten with Palapa (sambal made with sakurab which is a type of scallion in Mindanao, chilis, and ginger.) April also taught me how to make the dessert called palitaw, a rice cake dusted with coconut shavings that I really like with purple yam jam and muscovado sugar. Everything was delicious! April gave me not just an introduction but the real experience of what her family eats in their hometown. Most of all, April is very nice with a calm energy. I like that she's really from Mindanao and has worked her way up by doing everything on her own.

Isi, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

This is a new host who does not yet have any reviews. You can see reviews of our other Manila Traveling Spoon experiences on TripAdvisor:
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$32 $25 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$46 $42 Not offered
Market Tour + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$76 $60 Not offered
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$32 $25 Not offered
Cooking Experience + Meal
$46 $42 Not offered
Market Tour + Meal
$56 $50 Not offered
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$76 $60 Not offered
Alcohol
$4 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
10:30am-1:30pm 4:30pm-7:30pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
10:00am-2:00pm 4:00pm-8:00pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

    You can cancel your reservation for free up until 48 hours before your experience. Experiences within 48 hours are not refundable.

    If you have a question for your host, you can include a note in the field "Write a note to your host" during the booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed your host's direct contact information and you will also be able to message the host through your profile. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund 48 hours or more before your experience. If you have other questions you can also email us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Have a flight or other tour planned and can’t make the timing provided? If the timing listed on the host’s profile doesn’t work for you, our hosts can often accommodate timing changes. Because all of our experiences are private our hosts are happy to tailor experiences to meet your travel needs. Simply note your request in the booking process.

    Your card will not be charged until your host accepts your booking. Typically hosts respond to bookings within 72 hours. In the event your host is unavailable on your selected date and your host rejects your booking your credit card will not be charged.

    Your host's detailed contact information, including their phone number, address, and direction notes, will all be provided immediately upon successful confirmation of your experience (after your hosts accepts your booking and your credit card is successfully processed). This information will be emailed to you to the email address you used to sign up, and will also be visible on your Traveling Spoon profile.

    All prices are noted per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free. Hosts set their own prices and Traveling Spoon marks up the experiences; on average hosts receive over 70% of the price paid by the traveler.

    100% of Traveling Spoon experiences are private! Just you and your host and host’s family.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

    Most of our Traveling Spoon experiences are incredibly family friendly and can accommodate infants and children. If a host is unable to accommodate children that will be noted in the “Notes” section of their profile. Our child pricing policy is children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free.