There are many specialty food items in the Philippines. Some are heavily influenced by the west: foot long hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. Other delicacies are wildly exotic like "Balut" which is chicken egg embryos eaten raw; tropical fruits such as "Chicko" and even roasted dog meat. Looking for a new experience, but not feeling the draw to wacky animal products, I went to search for the infamous "Buko Pie." Described by my local friends as a delicious coconut cream pie, I headed north by bus about two hours to a town called Candon where the Buko Pie is a local specialty. Along the journey north, out the window to the east, evening light illuminated the high mountains of the Cordillera Central and the rice fields below. With quality local tunes in my ear buds, wind on my face from the moving bus and a smooth enough road for a journal entry, I was thoroughly enjoying my ride. I got off the bus at the plaza in Candon and began my search. I was surprised to find the Buko Pie was not as readily available as I had imagined... After scouring around town asking for the Buko Pie at multiple locations I found all of the shops were already closed. To add to the disappointment, mobs of young grubby street children were caroling in full force, Christmas is only a few days away. I had recently finished "A Fine Balance" a book about street life and beggars in Mumbai, India. Seeing these kids on the street in Candon reinforced to me the hard reality of the street life. After about an hour of searching for this desert treat, I decided to roll back south, empty handed. As I rolled south, I thought about the kids on the street and compared them in my mind with other beggars I've seen in the world. Reminded me though, sometimes traveling to me is more about the journey than the destination. 

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