Mahilig kumain ang mga Pinoy. This is a statement. It's not a question, it's not even an opinion. This is an unspoken truth that is accepted by every true blue Filipino. And while the whole nation is going crazy over the movie, The Hows of Us, I am trying to answer here an equally pertinent question --
Why do we, Filipinos, just love to eat?
Buffet galore. Unli-rice. Value meals. We Pinoys just can't seem to get enough of food.
Filipinos are naturally hospitable. It is this sociability that primarily drives us to welcome friends and strangers, alike, with great food. We also like to celebrate special events. Try naming all the festivals and special occasions that we celebrate throughout the nation and you'd have an inkling as to why eating is ingrained in our system. Try imagining the tables that are set up during fiestas, you'd probably picture ones that are filled with lechon, menudo, mechado, spaghetti (the sweet type if you please coz we Pinoys have a sweetened version of this), leche flan, buco salad, soft drinks, etc.
I once wrote a blog about the awesomeness of Pinoy fiestas, oh, and celebrations aren't complete if there's no videoke machine propped in the corner with someone belting not far away.
Don't forget, too, that Filipinos are agricultural folks so farmers and fishermen need to rise early in the morning and they labor throughout the day. These are also the reasons for the three meals plus 2-3 meriendas (snacks) that we're used to eating each day.
I don't want to think that poor people tend to eat. You know how there's a saying that goes like this, "Rich people invest when they have money while poor people eat.". Again, I don't want to dwell on this notion. As of May 2018, the rate of poverty in the Philippines has declined. The World Bank report proved that from 2006-2015, the poverty rate has dropped by 5% but this is still a probable strong reason why Pinoys eat a lot. After all, the poor probably think that it is best to stuff themselves while they have the means to buy food.
But more than being impoverished, I'd like to think that we love to eat because our country has more than 7,600 islands. We are rich in land and marine resources and even when typhoons ravage some provinces, there are other regions that can help with the food supply. The movie Kusina featuring Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo also showed that we don't even need a reason to gather at our tables. It's simply what we do each day.
Practically speaking, we have lots of food and we even have more reasons to celebrate so, yup, it's a small wonder that our homes become social hubs and at the very heart of it all is a table laden with the best Pinoy dishes.
Let me share here a few more of our family photos where foods and beverages are our co-stars --
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Now which among these Pinoy foods are you craving for at the moment?
E.S. Villamor has made a career in writing for a decade now. Her online business - GIML (Gabriela Isabel & Miguel Lucas) Publishing started in 2014. She advocated for women's rights and was once enamored with imparting financial literacy through training and blogs but she is now focused on propagating all things Filipino. This site is also being groomed as a rich homeschooling resource.