PUP Sta. Mesa – Manila’s Best, Affordable Food Trip


After many years, I am back to my Alma Mater known as Sintang Paaralan to my fellow PUPians. PUP or Polytechnic University of the Philippines is one of the biggest State Universities in the country in terms of population. This is also where my girlfriend (Eloi) and I met because we were classmates in college. Yiihii!

It was supposed to be just a usual visit because we wanted to reminisce a lot of our student memories. But you know, after all these years, things have changed. We now have our own jobs and we’re older, but it will never deny the fact that within this university is where we started to dream and learn a lot of things in life.

And for some strange reasons, I ended up being a travel blogger Haha! So my visit to PUP Manila has turned out to be an amazing blog post worthy experience especially when it comes to food!

PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip


PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip
Main Building

PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip

PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip

There were some changes in facilities and all but the feeling of being inside the school is still the same. A huge “Bahay ng Alumni” building is built on the right side of the university, and the most noticeable is this wall. Students call this “The Great Wall.” Its like an Ancient, Intramuros-like wall that surrounds some of the most iconic structures in the university, the amphitheater and the Lagoon!

PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip
Behind is the Great Wall!

Eloi and I were both holding hands when we entered the Great Wall. We were welcomed by the familiar vibe of the PUP Lagoon. I remember this was where we usually hang out when we have classes at the PUP main. During our times, this was surrounded by trees and plants, but now the area was transformed into a park with tables and chairs made of cement where students eat and make their school works.

PUP Lagoon Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip

And surrounding the area, is a long stalls of food! Yum yum! Remember when you were a student and you have enough allowance, the food’s price was just enough for you, right?

What if you came back and you’re already making your own money and you see these delectable food with price good for students? !

Carbonara and Chicken Pesto for 20 pesos?

Huge juice drinks for 20 pesos?

Shakes of different flavors for 30 and less?

Sandwiches and burgers ranging between 20 pesos each?

Oh my! Nataranta ako for a while. Haha! (panicked)

PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip


Eloi bought a huge Dalandan drinks, chicken pesto and this very popular food among students that has a strange abbreviation. It’s also new to me! We didn’t have this during our time. It’s called FEWA or Footlong Egg Wrapped Around. Oh ha! Haha! And it’s only 39 pesos good for two!

While Ate (vendor) was cooking and preparing the FEWA. I couldn’t help but ask to get inside their store and take a photo of the famous FEWA. I told them we didn’t have this during our time. Ate asked me when did I graduate. Hmmm.. I hesitated for a while Haha!

I said it was a long time ago like 2004. She smile and said, “I think FEWA started in 2005.”

I was like huh? Haha!

I told her, “So they just waited for me to get out of this school before they started?”

Ate said “Yes” and we all laughed. Oh my I can really get along with all tinderas (vendors) Haha!

PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip

PUP Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip

We settled to one of the tables and ate our FEWA, Dalandan juice and Chicken Pesto. I told Eoi that I was having a great time going back and eating on the same place like we used to. 🙂 And then, Eloi saw this one student sipping some shake that looks too inviting. She hurriedly stood up and told me to stay to look for our bags. After a few minutes, she came back holding this chocolate-looking shake that looks so delicious. She said it’s the most popular shake among the students, the Graham Mango Shake with added Pearls. The special order is only 40 pesos.

It was a perfect desert. The graham powder tastes good with chocolate and mango. We both loved it.

PUP Manila Food trip

We then walked around the building. It was still the same building that we walked through years ago. And of course, the chapel. This is where we usually hang out to eat and just chat with friends. It still looks the same.

One of the most popular food trips when we were in college was the famous Lugawan just a few meters outside the school near the church. It was a huge hit among students because the lugaw was really good at a very affordable for price. During our time, plain lugaw was only 5 pesos per order and it’s unlimited. Yes you read it right. Pay 5 pesos and you can go back and get some more whenever you want!

You can also go for egg, lumpia and others for an additional 6 pesos each.

We walked to the inner streets of Sta. Mesa and found our way to the Lugawan. It doesn’t look like the same as before, but we’re still happy to see that the Unli and refillable Lugaw is still alive after all these years.

PUP Lugaw Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip
Lugawan 🙂

Looking for hotels for your next travel? Check here

PUP Lugaw Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip

Now, the Unlimited and Refillable Plain Lugaw is 10 pesos per order! Additional like Egg and Lumpia are also 10 pesos each

We ordered 2 plain lugaw and one lumpiang togue for me. Haha! Eloi is a huge fan of lugaw. It’s her favorite. As for me, I need lumpia to add with lugaw for me to get satisfied.

PUP Lugaw Sta. Mesa Manila Food trip

For only 150 pesos for both of us m, we were able to enjoy a wide array of food and we also get to reminisce our old student days.

This is also a call for Alumni out there to take time to visit our Alma Mater. This is not just for us to remember our old times but surprisingly, will satisfy your cravings for best and affordable food trip experience.



  1. Flavors of Zamboanga
  2. Cafe Maria Jerica in Cubao
  3. Knickerbocker of Zamboanga



  1. Romy Galvez

    Ang dami na talagang nagbago sa PUP. Imagine noong mag-graduate ako, 2-1/2 floors pa lang ang PUP. Hininto kasi ang paggawa dahil lumulubog daw ang building. Ang kainan pa lang bukod sa canteen ay sa ampitheater at diyan sa lagoon ginaganap ang ROTC COCC hazing. Diyan kami pinatalon at akala ng ka-batch ko ay malalim kaya nag-dive pa siya kaya nahirapan kaming iahon.

  2. Gilbert PUP COC 2009

    I’ve dined to the best and most expensive buffets in the country but I must say that nothing can beat the lugaw buffet near my sintang paaralan. It was a place where I celebrate my victories as a student and Where I cried out my failures. FEWA started in 2008 and its was the favorite of the affluent in the school.hahahaha . I’m a COCian and eating in the main campus is just like visiting Luneta for me. I miss the school so much.

    1. Jon Espina Author

      Hi Gilbert,

      I’m a COCian too, but we always eat at the main campus. And yes, the lugawan has been a huge part of our lives as students. Going back there and do some food trip was just a delight. I’m happy that through this blog post, I was able to make a lot of PUPians appreciate more our student memories. Thanks for dropping by!


  3. ross gaddi

    unli lugaw sa sacred heart church ang the best…. pde pa ang matang baka.. food trip along teresa street that time kahit na manggagaling pa ako sa masscom building sa pureza.. PUP PINAGPALA

    1. Jon Espina Author

      Hey Ross,

      Parehas pala tayong taga Masscomm hahaha! Nakakamiss din ang Food trip sa PUP. Buti buhay pa yung lugawan dun sa malapit sa simbahan. PUP Pinagpala. hehe


  4. Yheng Bernardino

    Madalas pa rin ako pumunta Jan s PUP. Nung huling punta ko ee food trip naman s CEA ung na-experience ko..sisig plus 2liters iced tea for 250 pesos,good for 6 na..pag nasa main naman ako di ko pinapalagpas ang beef submarine…da best talaga…pag may alumni ID k,khit d k n mgiwan ng ID s guard ok lang…kaya pumupunta pa rin ako dahil welcome pa rin alumni…ang pinakagusto ko dun ung pg nkikita ko ung tarp s gym…andun pa rin pictures naming mga varsity…haha…parang in memories of lang ang dating..lolz…buti nakabisita kang muli sa ating sintang paaralan…by the way graduate pla aq 2011…College of business.hehe

  5. Mirian Saludes Manrique

    i am also a graduate of PUP way back 1983 and it really amazed me dahil ang dami ng bago…i am interested to visit my Alma Mater someday. Nice blog.

  6. netch

    i am a graduate of PUP way back 1994… with your post, its really interesting to go back and visit our Alma Mater… sooner or later will plan to be there , hopefully. Thanks for your delicious and entertaining post.

  7. Celia L. Aquino

    This is a great blog for us PUPians. I am a graduate of PUP batch 81. Thanks for this blog I really enjoyed it. I hope I can visit my Alma Mater one day and see for myself the present PUP campus that has been my home during my college year. Proud to be a PUPians. God Bless.

  8. Marky

    Nice blog sir! 2k3-19067-5 naman student number ko! Bkit diko alam tong fewa, eh buong college life ko nasa main bldg kami. 4th west wing at 3rd south wing. Diko na din naprocess alumni id ko pati nga diploma at transcript ever since nagtrabaho ako. Definitely babalik kami ng sintang paaralan! Nakakamiss college life kahit minsan pamasahe lang pera mo dahil sa mga klasmeyts mo.

  9. Vangie

    Wow, you all had different experience than us on Circa 77. Sta. Meza campus was just born then Will definitely pass by there when I go for vacation. Looks really, really good! Thanks for posting this.

  10. argie yabut

    proud pupian ! nice blog brod … more pls.
    my klasmeyts r planning to try d fudtrip @ pup … d soonest tym possible, hopefully !

  11. Ross

    Wow! Nice one sir! I’ve been trying hard to find time to visit our Alma Matter. Andaming good memories jan. Classmates which became long time friends. Sana makasama ko sila pagbalik. Kakamiss! 🙂

    1. jontotheworld Author

      Yes benjo. Open naman sila sa Alumni.

      Magla log ka lang talaga then surrender a valid ID. Then bibigyan ka ng slip that you need to go to Alumni BUilding then pa sign mo duon bago ka makalabas at makuha ID mo hehe

      Tara na sa Sintang Paaralan! 🙂

  12. OMG hindi ko man lang natikman yang FEWA na yun in all my 4 years! Pero di kasi ako madalas sa Main dahil COC ang building namin. x_x Nawindang ako sa Great Wall, akala ko painting lang dun sa unang picture haha! Kaka-miss ang PUP. Sadly i didn’t bother processing my alumni ID and overtime tinamad na ‘ko nang tinamad. I wish i can go back and reminisce with my classmates, too. 🙂

    Odee, 2k4-002256-5 (yes kabisado ko pa student # ko!)

    1. jontotheworld Author

      Hi Odee,

      Ako rin taga- COC! hahaha! Talagang madalas lang kami tumambay sa main, and during our time may classes talaga sa main yung mga minor subjects.
      Ako rin di na nagprocess ng Alumni ID, pero you can visit there anytime naman. May bago nga lang silang process. Mag la log ka, surrender ng ID, then papapirma sa Alumni building para ok na paglabas.

      2K-14765-9 Ako rin kabisado ko pa student number ko haha


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