Thursday, 10 November 2011

Let's eat!

It mentions in the guide book that at all times and on every occasion, Filipinos need little excuse to utter the words "Let's eat!", and it is certainly proving true here. So as such an important part of life, I guess food is worthy of a blog post.

Food creates the rhythm of a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner are all cooked meals. In between the three cooked meals a day, which you might have thought would suffice;  it's also customary to have morning and afternoon snacks. It becomes a little dangerous to approach the community room at certain times, because you know if anyone else is there, they will soon utter the words "Come, take your snacks" - and with it being considered rude to say no, you find yourself once again at table. And when they say snack, they don't mean a biscuit and a cup of tea: it is often far more substantial.

The staple food is rice: staple in that it served at every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner. When they serve pasta, or noodles, there is still always rice. Even McDonalds here serve rice with your burger and fries! We've had boiled rice, fried rice, every type of both sweet and savoury rice cake you can imagine (and every type you can't), and the local speciality, puso, or hanging ... you guessed it ... rice!

The dinner table has certainly been our main point of contact with the community here, and although life is too busy here for all the members of the community to be present at every meal, there are usual at least a few people at table together; and this does seem to be the place where the community members see each other and talk to each other. Likewise, when visitors arrive, it rarely takes long for somebody to say, "Let's take something." Often when one of the community has been away and returns or when someone visits they arrive with "pasalubong" - a gift shared on arrival, and we've yet to see a non-edible pasalubong.

It is, of course, hard to generalise beyond our experience here, but I get the impression that the importance of food here goes hand in hand with the importance of hospitality. Food is to be eaten, of course, but it is also to be shared and socialised over.


  1. It all looks delicious! The local fruit looks interesting, too. Perhaps your time in France was good preparation for treating food seriously and eating as a social event. How much weight will you put on???