March 20, 2014

I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Read Comments By Butthurt Filipinos

In case you aren't aware of it, a foreign tourist came to the Philippines, ate some of the country's food, didn't like the taste of most of them, then wrote a piece in her blog she titled I Would Rather Go Hungry Than Eat Filipino Street Food Again. In short, she came, she ate, she didn't like what she ate.

Filipinos came across her blog post and all hell broke lose. There are a lot of constructive comments but there's also a lot that would make you do a facepalm over and over again. Let's leave the reasonable comments alone because they are "reasonable" and they can explain themselves. But the unreasonable ones (even stupid ones) need to be addressed because being a butthurt Filipino for the wrong reason is unhealthy and an impedement to mental progress.

The tourist who wrote the blog post is right in that she wrote about what she saw and experienced. And as a Filipino, I (as well as many others) can confirm that she's right in almost all of her observations. To those bashing her write-up, I ask you this question: "Which part of the article do you not agree with? Are you saying she's lying? Are you implying she's not presenting the Filipino food culture in an honest view?"

Of course, this propensity by Filipinos to wield machetes when somebody doesn't like them or something connected to them isn't new news at all. We have been at it for so long and it's even more glaring with the arrival of the internet. Someone says something negative about us and Facebook and Twitter breaks apart with the response which most of the time consists of uncivilized and amateurish rants.

The tourist who didn't like Filipino food and wrote about it is now the target of such rants. Watching the thing unfold gives me headaches. Here's a good person who simply didn't like Filipino food. Yet, because of her dislike of said cuisine, she is being bashed as if she just spat on Ramon Magsaysay's grave.

Let's address some of these comments below:
Comment 1: "You call yourself a food hunter and yet you use covers of styrofoam for eating? Where did you snatch those tissue rolls? Haha if you were so true with your story-you could've used your sony videocam to record your travels! Go home bitch! Take your tissue paper with you!"
Wow, you sir have balls. Just the wrong kind of balls. Calling a woman you never met a bitch because she didn't like the food in your country is something you would expect from a 10-year-old. However, you are a grown man.
Comment 2: "I guess you went to the wrong places while you were here in the Philippines. You should’ve visited famous Filipino restaurants like Barrio Fiesta and Cabalen instead of the small local food stalls in Banaue, because they really don’t live up to our expectations as well (I’m a Filipino, btw). "
Okay, so you are saying that to eat real Filipino food, you need to go to well-known restaurants like the ones you mentioned? So a turo-turo in Tondo is a wrong place and Barrio Fiesta in Makati is the right place? This is a screwed way of thinking. These well-known restaurants serve the same kinds of food. The only difference is that they sell them with MUCH higher price tags. And cleaner maybe. Still, they are REAL Filipino food, regardless of where they are served.
Comment 3: "To be honest you cant really have the real filipino cuisine if you are looking in cheap canteens/karinderia. You can see it in some expensive restaurants now a days. Also i belive the place you went also affect. Theres less nice foods in there. You should ask google first next time to avoid that kind of experience. There are much better foods somewhere south. Especially in PAMPANGA. Iam truly sorry from what you guys experience. I hope you’ll still come back because there are lot more places here in philippines that is worth to go, cheers!"
The same screwed reasoning. According to this commenter, you can only experience REAL Filipino cuisine from expensive restaurants.

To conclude this piece, I leave the good reader with these points:
1) A foreign tourist who visits this country has the right to dislike whatever she eats here. And she has the right to write on her experiences no matter how bad these experiences are.
2) There's no wrong place or right place when it comes to Filipino food. As long as the ingredients and the manner of cooking are there, it's Filipino food. Just because a bowl of adobo was served from a sidewalk eatery doesn't make it less Filipino when compared to a bowl served from a high-class restaurant.
3) The idea that you can only experience real Filipino food from well-known restaurants or from homes is an insult to the thousands of carinderias and eateries around the country. Anyone can make the argument that Aling Nena's Eatery serve's better kare-kare than Barrio Fiesta. No one holds a monopoly on REAL Filipino cuisine. It comes from everywhere.

Photo: Flickr/Subrock





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