Some Filipino friends of mine held a dedication service for their newborn daughter last week. It was at their Filipino-American church and was a lovely church service, in which my favourite quote from the pastor was, “For people in American who complain about traffic, go to Africa. There are no cars at all, you will just walk everywhere!”
(For a Filipino living in the U.S., I thought this was cute and perceptive. Of course, there are cars in Africa, but we’ll just ignore that and think about how awful traffic in Manila is compared to any American metropolitan centre. I’m sure he scoffs at D.C. traffic.)
Anyway, following the dedication, a young woman in her 20s came around to all of us non-Filipino guests and said we should go down to the church basement where there is food, LOTS of food. Because that’s how Filipinos roll. Filipinos are committed to a plentitude of food. So we went down to the basement and stuffed ourselves silly.
I had already learned to expect lots of food at a Filipino celebration – and anything is cause for celebration. A few months ago, in Cairo, I went on a Nile boat ride in the afternoon with 20 people from the little international church I was attending. Three of them were Filipino. I didn’t realise the significance of this earlier that day when I’d eaten lunch – I didn’t want to get hungry on the boat, right? But as it turns out, there was so so much yummy Asian food on that boat that I was a little bit sick of full-ness during the rest of the evening.
And Filipino food is GOOD. My favourite item so far is coconut rice in banana leaves.
So, if you are ever invited to a Filipino party, of any sort, GO!