At least once in our lives, we have heard of the term “Eid’l Fitr,” especially in the Philippines where it’s considered a non-working holiday every year. But what exactly is this event to people of the Islamic religion?
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month-long fasting of our Muslim brothers and sisters because of Ramadan—a holy time for them when they pray and heighten their devotion, reflect, and improve themselves. During the month-long fast, they are not allowed to have any food or liquid intake, smoke cigarettes, or engage in sexual activity from dawn to sunset—even chewing gum is disallowed.
But during Eid al-Fitr, Muslims celebrate with their community by having a feast, as it is also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.” In the Philippines, Filipino Muslims hold a three-day celebration to commemorate the occasion by giving gifts, visiting the elderly and the sick, dancing, and other forms of entertainment and merriment. But one of the highlights is the food sharing between their community.
Halal-certified food is what our Muslim brothers and sisters would normally prepare as it means that the food, from production to packaging, meets Islamic dietary laws. But as the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, where can our Muslim brothers and sisters—and those who want to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with them—can purchase Halal food?
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My Pope lists three places where you can get Halal-certified food in the metro.
New Bombay restaurant has multiple branches all over Metro Manila, employs both Indian and Filipino nationals to man the kitchen and cooks up delicious meals. They serve authentic Indian food that is Halal-certified and priced reasonably. But take note that currently, only their Makati and Ortigas branches are Halal-certified.
Ranao Halal Food
This food establishment in Greenhills serves kuning or yellow rice which is popular amongst post-prayer crowds and specializes in Maranao delicacies. But Ranao Halal Food is best known for their iftar menu for Ramadan, their samosas, baked goods, and rice cakes. (Read: Four Manila-based bakeries that deliver birthday cakes at your doorstep)
Secret Recipe is a Malaysian cafe that specializes in Western and Asian fusion cuisine. The cafe practices Halal methods of food preparation in the Philippines just as they do in Malaysia and other neighboring Muslim countries’ branches.