Dining Practices in the Philippines

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Being natural food lovers, Filipinos fancy over delicious foods and native delicacies. To prove this love of food, an average Filipino would eat five times a day, which consists of 3 meals and 2 snacks. Snacks don’t always have to be that special. Most of the time, Filipinos resort to something which is readily available and in some cases, meals on the nearest food stand might be your best bet.

Meal-time Bonding: Bringing the Filipino Family Closer

Filipinos take pride in their cooking skills and preparing meal for the family is imperative in our country. Regular mealtimes are strictly observed. That being said, each member of the family is required to sit and eat breakfast before leaving for work or for school.

As the part of the Filipino culture, the entire family goes back to their dining table to feast over the special meal prepared by mom and take this opportunity to talk, discuss matters, laugh and joke around over things that happened within the day. Joining the family for dinner would mean heading straight home after school or work and might be a downer for some. But this is a family tradition and is agreed upon by everyone.

Visiting a Family in the Philippines

Filipinos are naturally hospitable by nature. If you happen to drop by a friend’s home in the Philippines, it is expected that this family would prepare some snacks for their visitor. This gesture is observed in almost every family in the Phlippines. Mind you, even those who survive on minimum wage would go out of their way to serve their guests with soda and simple snacks like bread or cookies. Ultimately, you will be greeted with the words, “Tara, kain tayo!” – Come, let’s eat!

While most guests would prefer not to bother their hosts by preparing meals, it would be discourteous to refuse the offer.  If you are full, try to be polite by taking a small serving so as not to offend the host. It is innate for Filipino families to entertain their guests with foods. So, it is expected that you shall be offered to eat and eventually, get more. To avoid this situation, try to leave a small amount of food on your plate. Acknowledge the food as being delicious, tell the host that you are full and gladly say thank you.

Similarly, food may also be given as gifts in special occasions. Instead of bringing flowers or gifts, food will be greatly appreciated.

Extra Rice, Anyone?

Rice is one of the most staple foods in the Philippines. Having said that, please expect that rice shall be included in meals, three times a day. If you are a visitor of the country and is more inclined in eating steak and potatoes, this is not the place for you.

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