A Guide To Filipino Dining Etiquette (Infographic)

21 December, 2015

Below is an infographic sent in by Gourmet Society Philippines on useful tips to remember when eating in the Philippines, particularly if you dine in the company of Filipinos!


Infographic Created by Gourmet Society Philippines

We have very different etiquette and eating habits in the UK, so this took some getting used to. I was especially curious as to how people eat with just a fork and spoon!




The reasoning behind having a fork and spoon is because rice accompanies almost every single native dish (even soup is usually served with a side of rice), so they use the spoon to scoop the rice (I have tried telling my local friends you can still use a knife and fork to eat rice dishes – they didn’t listen!). Obviously when eating steak this can cause issues, but any restaurant here worth it’s salt will still give you a steak knife if that’s what you order.

Regarding tardiness, there is a local expression called ‘Filipino time’ – don’t expect anyone here to be on time when meeting socially, it’s not uncommon for people to be up to an hour late.

The burping definitely took some getting used to – it’s been so drilled into me that it’s impolite that I’ll never see it as anything other than that, and I often chastise my girlfriend for doing so. I always feel slightly disgusted when I see others doing it too, but unfortunately it’s just a cultural difference.

Leftovers and taking home unfinished food is common practice, particularly at restaurants. My fridge almost always contains leftovers and actually this is something that I like, as in the UK you might get strange looks in some restaurants if you were to ask a waiter such a question.

Just remember the above etiquette tips when eating in the Philippines and you’ll fit right in.

This article first appeared on thephilippinesexpat.com, a travel publication by Jonny Lis.

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

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