Different cultures will always demonstrate different table manners and acceptable behavior. While some cultures consider eating dinner as a more formal activity, there are cultures that tend to approach it in a more relaxed and candid way. Filipinos are more characterized by the latter. Don’t be surprised to see those table manners on display when dining in Filipino restaurants or when invited in a Filipino home.
What to Expect
Use of spoon and fork. There are no knives on display on your table except of course if you request for one. Filipinos make use of spoon and fork for eating mainly because everything else served on the table is to be eaten with rice. The spoon is mainly used for eating rice.
It’s perfectly okay to chat while eating. While some cultures do not encourage talking while eating on the table, it is actually accepted and considered normal to be talking about anything under the sun when dining with Filipinos. It is after all a good idea to be enjoying great conversation over a great meal.
No leaving the table until everyone is done eating. Don’t you dare leave the table while there’s still someone eating! Leaving the table is considered impolite. So when you’re done with your food, stay on your seat. Rest and relax while enjoying good conversation with the rest of the people on the table.
Get used to packed meals. Whether you’re eating in Filipino restaurants or dining in a Filipino home, it is common to be handed packed left over food. Show courtesy by accepting them and don’t hesitate to do so. It’s up to you whether to reheat and eat them when you get home or give it away to less fortunate people.
With your expectations set, you will never have to wonder why or feel that certain table manners are violated when invited to dine in a Filipino home or Filipino restaurants.