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What To Expect At A Filipino Party

Updated on November 24, 2015

Filipino Gatherings 101

If you have been fortunate enough to be invited to a Filipino "party" then you may know what this short article is all about.

Now if you know anything about Filipinos, then you should know that almost anytime they get together, one thing could lead to another and that something will eventually evolve into a "party".

Now imagine if they really actually planned a "party".

So in case you have absolutely no idea what to expect at a Filipino gathering and you have just been invited to one, or you just wanted to find out how it really is inside one of those once secret (now often talked about) and normally exclusive "Filipino gatherings" then you're about to find out.

What You Could Expect To See -- Yes, Food, Lots of It

Filipino Food,  Philippine Government Wikimedia Commons
Filipino Food, Philippine Government Wikimedia Commons

BuzzFeed Video

People say a picture is worth a thousand words. So here is a million's worth of words in one and a half minutes -- BuzzFeed's Short Video titled "11 Signs You're At A Filipino Party".

11 Signs You're At A Filipino Party

11 Signs Is Just Way Too Short A List

Let's countdown a few more signs for you.

12. Everyone older than you is your aunt (tita, auntie) or uncle (tito).

13. Most people will eat with a spoon or their hands (kamayan). Often there will be no chopsticks and knives.

14. As you saw in the video, food would generally be the main event, there will be something grilled, greasy, sour, salty, sweet, smelly, spicy, nasty and/or crispy.

15. If there are lots of courses, which you should expect, then you may need a crash course on the different dips and sauces. When in doubt, ask or be a keen observer. Typically there will be a specific dip for a specific dish.

16. There will be lots and lots of rice. There could also be drinking, smoking and gambling areas (secluded or otherwise).

17. Dessert will be sweet or very sweet. Ice cream might be color purple or be cheese flavor or even avocado (yes, don't roll your eyes).

18. It will be hard to find a Filipino gathering without a pork dish (of whatever kind) and it will be equally hard to find one with an entirely vegan or vegetarian fare, so be forewarned.

19. A few people could and will talk among themselves in their native dialect for whatever reason, do not take that as an offense, rather if you are in their company, then simply smile at them and if they still do not get it, politely ask "what's up" or say "hello, I don't understand anything". But keep smiling.

20. Be aware that you may be forced to bring home one or a few "to go" bags, belt out a song or two and join in on the fun and games. Don't be such a prune, say yes and enjoy!

And come hungry!

Favorite Filipino Food

See results

No Plates, No Problem, Eat With Your Hands

Food Boodle Fight Style, Nonoyborbun Wikimedia Commons
Food Boodle Fight Style, Nonoyborbun Wikimedia Commons

The Chew @ Jeepney New York

Remember "Kamayan" is Tagalog for eating with your bare hands.

Delicious Dinner With No Silverware or Plates, enjoy!

Filipino Shrimp and Vege Stew (Soup)

"Sinigang Na Hipon"
"Sinigang Na Hipon"

Filipino Food Not Really All That Healthy

For sure, the typical Filipino fare will not be for everyone and will not be all that healthy. But there will always be some hacks in case you're into something else. So don't decline an invite to a Filipino party, just because of that.

Besides, more and more Filipinos are preparing, cooking and eating healthier. Filipino chefs and cooks are coming up with new Filipino Fusion Food which could bring traditional Filipino cuisine more into the traditional and international culinary scene.

1. Rice - Although rice is a Filipino staple, and worst white steamed rice, then you can always opt out or if you cannot say no, just take a spoonful, it shouldn't kill you.

2. Salad - Normally you probably wouldn't find a traditional vegetable salad, and your traditional sauces, but there should always be a few vegetable dishes. If there will be some grilling, then you can also ask to grill some veges and even steam some for you. There is a type of "lumpia" that is made out of vegetables, you could also look for that.

3. Soup - Soups will probably not be the kind you will be used to, but there should be a few Filipino light soups, "sinigang" would be one of those. It could be made out of pork, beef or seafood and there should be a ton of veges thrown in. Piping hot rice porridges are also something to consider and they come plain, with egg and/or with different kinds of meat.

4. Dessert - Now the sweets are what could possibly bring you to an early grave. And there might be tons of them to choose from. If you simply must avoid sugar or carbs, then just ask for the one thing that you shouldn't miss and just try one. But, good luck with that.

Grilled Goodies

Big Basket of Grilled Everything
Big Basket of Grilled Everything

Filipino Food Terms

Spring Roll
Pork, Beef, Veges, Deep Fried, Wrapped or Fresh
Noodles with Meat & Veges
Too many to mention
Whole Roasted Pig/Calf
Young Pig or Calf

Assorted Filipino Sweets

Sweet Tidbits
Sweet Tidbits

Filipino Phrases That May Come in Handy

Filipino Casual
Filipino Formal
Thank you
Salamat po
Hindi po

Filipino 101

Filipinos are over 100 million strong and most of them are in their tiny island nation called the Philippines. But for the last 100+ years, they have traveled, studied, worked and migrated to many other places and today they are all over the planet.

You may not know who they are, but believe me, where ever you are in the world, you may have already come in contact with one. You may be interacting with a few right now -- on the phone, on the internet, social media, in the airwaves, at job sites, in the work place, in retail stores, restaurants, in hospitals and laboratories, in hotels, churches, theaters, movies, ports, ships, the military, and in schools.

Anyway, they look similar to any Southeast Asian native (like a Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Singaporean) and even other Asians, such as the Burmese, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese and even a Pakistani or Indian. Where ever they are, most can blend in, assimilate and be unnoticed quickly.

They are in to current trends and knowledgeable if not up to date in everything from fashion, music, Hollywood, world news and to what's hot or not.

They are nevertheless not easily boxed or lumped into a category. They are more Hispanic than Asian. They are more American than Pacific Islander. They speak English. Most are university graduates. They are Christian. They do not write in any typical Asian script. And they could be your best friend or your worst enemy.


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    • chateaudumer profile image

      David B Katague 

      3 years ago from Northern California and the Philippines

      I could Identify with this hub very much. Pinoys have obsession with food, food and food


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