A Taste of the Philippines: Celebrating my birthday at Siglo Modern Filipino Restaurant

It's been a long time since I've traveled around the Philippines since the pandemic. Finally, that day came, and I made sure to travel locally through food, thanks to Siglo Modern Filipino. Siglo came up in my searches when I was looking for new places to try for my birthday weekend in Tagaytay. They had excellent food reviews, and the ambiance just wowed me. My husband and I included it in our itinerary on our first day back in Tagaytay, and it did not disappoint. 

As it was our first time returning on the road for a weekend trip, we came prepared with our essentials. We packed our vaccination cards, masks and face shields. We were surprised that our cards were no longer asked. We were instead requested to log our names and details, and to get our temperatures checked before getting seated. Easy peasy. Plus, only three tables were occupied, so there was plenty of space for social distancing. 

What I love about Siglo is that you can travel the Philippines through their food. We enjoyed the diversity and richness of local cuisines in just one place. As Siglo would say, "Travel the archipelago with bestsellers from each of our major island groups. From Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.” Cool, right? 

Of course, we wanted to try everything, but our budget limited us from doing so. But as prices were affordable, we ordered three viands: 

Pampagana (Appetizer) – Calamares Frito from Olongapo (P360). It's deep-fried breaded squid rings with ranch dressing. 

Fresh Harvest (Veggies) – Laing Bicolano from Bicol (P280). This is an indigenously rich and creamy dish made from taro leaves, sliced pork and shrimp, chilis and coconut milk. 

Manok (Chicken) – Inihaw na Manok from Bacolod (P340). Two pieces of grilled chicken that's marinated in soy sauce and sugar. 

Kanin (Rice) – Sinangag with lots of fried garlic (P60). 

All of our dishes were good for two people sharing. We didn't order enough, but when everything was served, we were surprised by how hefty the servings were, especially the Calamares and Laing. We were so full we barely finished the fried squid. 

The grilled chicken was tender and had just the right sweetness to it. The laing was good too, but was a little salty for our taste. The Calamares were also good and freshly cooked. Every bite was tender, and you know squid can be hard to chew if it's not fresh, don't you agree? 

We convinced two of our friends to try Siglo's food, and they ordered the Baked Bulalo Kaldereta (P550), a SiglOriginal. It's creamy bulalo kaldereta baked with mashed potatoes and melted cheese. I didn't get to take photos of their order, but I tell you, it looked filling! Also, they loved it as every spoonful was filling and tasty. 


We probably spent the whole afternoon in the vicinity, as Siglo also had a café on the premises. After having lunch, we walked inwards and found Siglo Brew. The place was Instagram-worthy, and the alfresco terrace was very inviting. So, instead of staying inside the airconditioned café, we opted to sit outside to enjoy more of the view and the cool Tagaytay breeze. 

Meeting up with other friends made our coffee date a lot more fun. It was a good afternoon cap for the whole gang and a birthday well spent with friends I hadn't seen in person for a long time.

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