How bloody good is Jollibee? That’s what you’ll hear from pretty much anyone from Filipino descent. There’s one on every corner of the Philippines, everywhere you look you’ll see a happy bee mascot, clad in a red suit, white chef’s hat and yellow gum boots.

But why is it so bloody good? For one, it’s the nation’s favourite hot food franchise despite the popular international brands like McDonalds seeping in back in the day. Jollibee became a burger chain restaurant in 1978, and had a number of name changes. Starting with Jolibe in the early 70’s, Jolibee for a little while in the late 70’s and eventually transforming permanently into Jollibee for branding and marketing purposes.

The adorable bee mascot we’ve all come to love, has been known to signify the Filipino people, said to represent their spirit. To be hard working, optimistic and most of all, ‘jolly.’ This was to instill the idea of a worker bee, coinciding with your typical working Filipino, they are “happy even though they’re busy.” Personally, I really like this interpretation of, why the bee mascot.

Enough history though, how about the food?

You can’t say you went to Jollibee without having its famous Chickenjoy. It says it right in the name, if you love the taste of chicken like me, this meal will bring you nothing but joy. Served with rice and gravy, you can choose between one or two pieces, with a spicy option as well.

Everything is pretty much interchangeable or welcomes add-ons. If you don’t feel like rice with this wonderful crispy chicken, you can replace with a range of goodies like spaghetti, mushroom burger steak or a classic Filipino dish, Palabok which is a type of pancit (noodles). An example of a classic Jollibee order from a very hungry bee is as follows: a two piece Chickenjoy with rice and gravy. But wait, there’s more. Accompanied with a Premium Yum Burger TLC (tomato, lettuce and cheese). There’s also dessert options if you have the space such as your standard sundaes, or you could go for something a little different like a Peach & Mango Pie, or an Ube Pie. What is Ube? It’s purple yam which has a bright lavender colour and is a favourite delicacy here in the Philippines.

A range of burgers are also available. The cheeseburger equivalent, is called the Yum Burger. Simple, yet so elegant. It’s just so good. There’s that fast food addiction to it, where you can’t help but keep coming back for more but I think there’s an added ingredient to it. I think it’s the fact that it’s also only available in Philippines and some select Asian countries like Hong Kong. So me living in Australia, it forces me to crave for it more than any other fast food franchise that’s easier to attain.

I think on a more deeper and personal note, Jollibee has a familial element to it. Sure other restaurants has it, but there’s just something about Jollibee. Every time I come home to visit the Philippines, this place is always the first stop. The first bite, whether it be a crunch into a crispy Chickenjoy piece or sinking my teeth into a juicy Yum Burger, it becomes absolute proof that I’m definitely here in the homeland. A perfect example, I’ve spent the last week and a half living the provincial life in the north, where my relatives are from, where my parents are from. A place called Orani, Bataan. I decided to take all the kids, my cousins, aunties, uncles and whoever else that had a grumbly stomach to Jollibee. Probably one of the greatest meals I’ve ever had. Here’s a quick video of the wholesome dinner I had with my family.

If you haven’t already tried Jollibee, really worth a try. Just to enjoy the ambience, the kind service and of course, the addictive, delicious food that put that red bee on the map.

End of PH-3

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