The Philippines / Thoughts

Why I love Coconuts (Ang Sarap)

Bukos, Coconuts, Coccos, whatever you like to call them. I have a deep deep passion for this nutty fruit!

And I have tried them all! Whether it was in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines or even Mainland China.. they all taste different and have very very different prices.

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Here I am actually chilling in my office, drinking a fresh buko straight from a street vendor

(Summer 2013 in Manila)

My favorite thing ever: may I introduce to you – the BUKO (coconut)

There are also different options of where you can find them: night markets, street markets, on the street, in the supermarket, beach, jungle or on the side of the road.

So what do I love about coconuts? Obviously it’s fun to play with them and throw them at people… haha just joking. But did you know that coconuts kill more people than sharks? I don’t know the exact statistic, but I do know that it’s very likely! Especially considering how some of the rural Asian population resides; weak infastructure; poor materials and heavy storms- are quite a dangerous combination for those living in little houses or huts near coconuts (yay that rhymed). Anyhow back to the topic…

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Buko on the road: some friends and I were heading to the Pagsanjan Waterfalls in South Luzon, Philippines June 2013

One of my favorite things about living in the Philippines was definitely picking up a buko on my way to work. Every morning, you can expect the ‘buko mans’ as I like to call them, to sell freshly picked bukos from around Manila, in little wooden mobile strolling carts.
Prices vary depending on which street you buy them on and how much competition there is around the area, so make sure to keep an eye on those corners, as the buko mans are quite tricky and tend to move around with the carts.

I usually payed about 20 -50 peso for a single buko. So what’s so great about bukos? Welllll, obviously it’s the fact that they cut it open in fron of you with a huge machete/knife and do really cool moves and tricks. Besides that being insanely impressive, they will pour the juice into a little plastic bag or cup. You decide whether you also want the fresh, juicy buko meat in your package as well. I alwas order it with the meat. The meat is soft and has a pretty cool consistency. They usually give you a straw and you can take it with you. You can cool your nutty refreshment or enjoy it straight away.

Some people like buko, some don’t. However, you need to consider that buko juice is one of the healthiest alternatives to water. Especially in the fruit/nut department. It tastes sweet without any sysrup or additives and is, it is so hydrating.

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Here you see beautiful Kim and I at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (June 2013)

My funnest experience with buko was actually when I travelled to Palawan, a southern Island in the Philippines. My friend and I met a local who took us around on his trycicle (his name was Giosar) throughout the whole trip and we pretty much became friends.

We spent a few nice days together and he even took us to his friend’s place in the middle of the jungle (right next to the beach), he climbed up a couple of palmtrees and just picked about 10 coconuts for us and threw them down! There is no fresher way!
We were standing 20 meters beneath him, looking and squinting while he casually climbed up that tree like an artistic monkey, until he completely disappeared in the palm tree. Then he cut them open for us and we had the freshest freshest buko juice eeever. It was unbelievably delicious!!!

Now I am back in Europe and coconut water seems to be super trendy here. Find a can of imported coconut water for 2 pounds, or maybe 1 if you are lucky. Obviously it doesn’t taste the same, and it’s just not the same feeling to drink coconut water from a plastic bottle or can. But even then I know how healthy coconut water is- it’s good for digestion, skin, ageing and overall health. Still, I feel weird about buying it over here, after it has traveled for so long..

Overall I just love love love buko juice and recommend you not to miss out on this little gem. Especially if you are in South East Asia! Avoid buying them at nightmarkets and always try to higgle as much as you can as prices go up like crazy for non-tourists.

Happy travels and good luck, finding a coconut!

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