Friday, September 5, 2014

Budol Fight

I rarely blog on food, and when I do, I only write on it as a side comment.  This being a Filipino blog (with an umbrella of topics covering all things and ideas from my own experiences here in the Philippines) there should be included a food blog.  Filipinos and food are very synonymous, no Filipino party is complete without food, food and more food.  More often, the reception and the food served at a wedding celebration is more talked about than the wedding itself.

“Budol fight” is a term that has become common in many a gathering.  No, it isn’t some sort of sport or fighting bout.  It is a way of eating and serving food here in the Philippines that is practical, fun and easy.  All is needed is a large banana leaf, regularly found on banana trees especially in the provinces.  This is used as the plates.  Then the food is just spread in the middle of the banana leaf.  All participants gather around the table with their space of the leaf in front of them.  We then gather with our hands food from the middle and place it in front of our section of the leaf and eat with our bare hands (“magkamay”).

 This way of eating may look rather messy and unhygienic especially to a newcomer but it’s a Filipino tradition that brings many a laughter and a full stomach.

I remember when I was younger that I attended a wedding reception in my Dad’s provice in Batangas where the meal was served budol fight style.  I was, to say the least, a little shocked, especially when someone in front of me stood up and I was supposed to take his position on the same space of the banana leaf that he ate.  No spoons, no forks, no plates - the plus side, no dishes and utensils to wash afterwards.  All you have to do is throw away the leaf.

An impromptu salu-salo at our home in Binangonan during
 Ate Connie's vacation last 2010

This type of eating increases one’s appetite, something that I’ve experienced even without the banana leaf.  I believe it’s because you know that you have to “fight” with the many others you have to share the food with before it’s all eaten.  So when in the Philippines, try eating the budol fight way.


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