In Defense of Filipino Food
Finding myself unable to go back to sleep after reading a blog post shared about Filipino food by one of my friends in Japan, I took it upon myself to turn my laptop on and start typing.
Now I am not a very sensitive person and I look at criticisms as a good opportunity to change for the better, I do find it offensive when people claim or pretend to be experts on food or anything which they have not done proper research on. I am incensed at bloggers who post sensational headlines without anything to substantiate or validate their claims.
To go to the Philippines, eat in sidewalk stalls and carenderias with the false belief that it would give you the authentic Filipino food experience is a gross mistake. The typical Filipino does not eat that way. We prefer to source local and fresh produce, cook at home and eat with family and friends. Only laborers who need something to get through the workday eat in these places, not that there is something wrong with that.
It is important to remember the adage that you get what you pay for. If you pay cheap, well surprise, you also get cheap. You must remember my dear that these cheap places do not have quality as their top priority since they are aware that their patrons are not rich. Their patrons can only afford to pay so much.
I recall one incident in Yogyakarta when we decided to eat in one of the sidewalk stalls. We were served food which were of low quality and one dish even had the server’s hair in it but I did not dare generalize the country’s and even the region’s cuisine because of that single incident. I did not dare write a scathing remark about how untidy or gross their food is. Why? Because I have common sense and as a traveler I know that one single “misadventure” so to say, does not aptly and rightfully summarize or define the entire cuisine of that region or country.
Yes, our food tends to be on the oily and salty side and we like our desserts really sweet. I understand and I agree that there are things which we need to improve on when it comes to cooking or preparing food. Yes, the standards of hygiene is appalling and that is something we must work on if we want Filipino cuisine to be a hit with foreigners and abroad. However, what I do not agree with is the fact that you are posting a sensational headline as a click bait strategy to get more audience.
If you are looking for authentic Filipino food, you have to do your research and eat in the right places and no you do not need an enormous budget to do that. It is your responsibility to do so if you want to make the best of your travels. You eat at sidewalk food stalls and expect your palate to be pleased. This shows exactly what you did not do, research! Everyone knows these stalls are not hygienic that even locals, except the very poor, do not eat there. You go to a local 7-11 to get longganisa? That is sheer stupidity.
While we are on the subject of Filipino food, let me introduce Filipino delights which you should absolutely try the next time you visit my country. And dear, do find yourself a better guide, someone who can take you to all the right places. Or better yet, get yourself invited to a Filipino home where you will enjoy authentic Filipino dishes and the warm hospitality of my countrymen.
Lastly, please write responsibly. Yes, you are entitled to your own opinion but do make sure that you have done your research. Do not write headlines just for the sake of getting people to click on your blog.