July 04, 2016

What to expect when dining at a Filipino home

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  • So you’re new to the country and lots of questions are probably buzzing in your head right now. You’re a little clueless about everything, from the Filipino culture and traditions to their way of thinking and living. But of course, eventually you’ll meet some Filipino friends. The next thing you’ll know is these new found Filipino friends, being the most hospitable folks that they are, will be inviting you to come over and have dinner with them in their house. When this happens, this article might come handy for you. Here’s some things you should know when dining with Filipinos:

    1. Spoon and fork are the usual eating utensils


    SPOON FOR RICE. Use the spoon to easily scoop up the rice.  (Photo credit: pepper.ph)


    If there’s one thing you will never miss out on a Filipino meal, it’s rice. There are a lot of rice farm in the Philippines, so every meal here is usually complemented with boiled rice and that’s why spoon and fork are essential. You’ll rarely see knife alongside your plate in a casual dinner with them, which is probably a very weird thing for western culture, but don’t be shy if you need it or something, Filipinos will not hesitate to provide you everything you need if they have it.

    2. Chatting while eating is normal



    CONVERSATIONS. For Filipinos, when they chat, they bond! (Photo credit: clipartkid.com)


    Filipinos are very usual of this habit called chikahan or having conversations. They love to talk and laugh at random things, from your personal life to the current events. While for other culture, it is considered disrespectful to talk while eating; it’s actually fun chatting over hot and delicious meal with good companionship.

    3. Don’t leave the table until everyone else is finish with their food


    WAIT FOR A MINUTE. It is also not advisable to get active moving again after eating.


    In the Philippines, leaving the table when someone’s still eating might be considered impolite. So when you finished your meal, you can just stay and rest on your seat for a while and join their conversation, as they will surely entertain you after you fill your tummy. And here’s some fun trivia: there’s an old saying in the Philippines that if you start packing up and cleaning your space while someone’s still eating, that someone will be doomed to be deprived of marriage rights for his/her life.

    4. Here’s a fun thing after eating: you would want to get used to burping!


    BURP! You’ll get used to it. (Photo credit: edit.burrp.com)


    Maybe burping in front of the dining table is rude when it comes to other country’s belief and culture, but here in the Philippines, burping is somehow considered as a sign of a happy tummy. If you burp, it actually means you’re full and you enjoy the meal. Just don’t forget to mumble “sorry” or “excuse me” after letting out the awkwardly funny sound!

    5. Don’t refuse a packed meal


    PACKED MEALS. Always be courteous and accept packed leftovers when they offer you. You can just give it away to the homeless if you really don’t want it. (Photo credit: ironman.com)


    It is common in the Philippines, particularly in restaurants, the packing of leftover foods to take home. So if the host offers you a bag full of foods, don’t hesitate to take it. It usually comes in Styrofoam or plastic containers placed inside a paper bag. You can just reheat it for an instant meal when you get home.


    Source: Gourmet Society Philippines; The Philippines Expat

    Recent Comments

    It’s so true. I am Filipino and this is what we do.

    2 months ago
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