In Search of the True Allies Wonder Peanuts

I was going to have a three day weekend last weekend and decided to visit my sixty eight year old friend in Camiling. Since I was going to Camiling in Tarlac, I decided to pass by San Fernando in Pampanga where they make the most delicious salted peanuts ever called Allies Wonder Peanuts.

My initial plan was to get off at SM Pampanga, buy Allies Wonder Peanuts, and go back to SM Pampanga to catch a bus to Camiling. My plan was flawed. There were no buses going to Camiling from SM Pampanga and the store that sold Allies Wonder Peanuts was still 2 jeepney rides from SM Pampanga. But I decided to just brave the situation, buy my Allies Wonder Peanuts, and find a way to get to the Dau bus terminal where (I was told) buses pass by going to Camiling.

I initially took a jeepney going to SM San Fernando where I was to take another one going to the Allies Wonder Peanuts store. I was dropped off at the market and had to walk a few meters to SM San Fernando. Walking on a street without any motorized vehicles besides the market was such an incredible experience. There were several horse drawn carriages parked on one side of the street and in the horizon, I could see an impressive dome that belonged to an old church getting bigger and bigger. All around me were vendors hawking their wares. It felt like I was in a totally different place and time.



I don’t know if there is an area in San Fernando that is like Vigan (though I saw a spattering of old houses here and there) which might explain the presence of the horse drawn carriages. I noticed however that the passengers of the carriages did not look like tourists but rather locals; it is therefore possible that they were being used as public utility vehicles.

I thought before that Kapampangan is almost extinct as I never get to hear anyone speak it whenever I pass by Pampanga in a bus so I was pleasantly surprised that people spoke to me in Kapampangan while I was in San Fernando. One word that I picked up was 'wa' which meant yes. 

In front of the Allies Wonder Peanuts store, I saw an impressive neo classic building which turned out to be the provincial capitol.


I got acquainted with Allies Wonder Peanuts through my friend who gave it to me as a gift from his trip in Pampanga. I was so impressed that when I saw an ad on a blog saying that Allies Wonder Peanuts is now available in Manila, I got excited. I set out to buy two 800 gram cans of Allies Wonder Peanuts; I was sorely disappointed because the quality of the peanuts was just not the same. I had a suspicion that the one being sold in Manila is a fake. What strengthened this suspicion was the fact that the label on the Allies Wonder Peanuts sold to me did not have their address on it like the one being sold in Pampanga. My friend who bought the Allies Wonder Peanuts at Robinsons Supermarkets said that those weren’t good either.

So I asked the man at the Allies Wonder Peanuts store in Pampanga if there was a different manufacturer in Manila and he said that there is no such thing, that they were the only ones manufacturing it. The man explained that sometimes, there were those that buy from them in bulk but that they don’t really know where their products end up being sold. Some he says are repacked. Well, I can understand repacking, but taking the name of another product and claiming it to be the same is another thing. The man further explained that he suspects that his products “get old” in grocery shelves in Manila.

The 800 gram can of Allies Wonder Peanuts in San Fernando is sold at 235 pesos while the one sold in Manila is sold at 270 pesos.

Whether or not the Allies Wonder Peanuts sold in Manila is counterfeit remains to be a mystery. As for me, I will be content with having to go to San Fernando just to get my peanuts.

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