Filipinos love parties so much. They love to make feasts for different reasons, like birthdays, anniversaries, graduation days, baby’s first step, religion-related celebrations, and many more. Filipino parties and banquets are often celebrated in the Philippines to create a bond with different people and boast their cooking skills.
If a town is having a feast, people will tend to exchange their dishes as a sign of hospitality and gratitude to every household. There are parties where they will serve you with a variety of dishes, and there are parties that are potluck style, especially if you want to pitch or share foods. But regardless of the type of party, you are attending, here are the expected food and things that you must bring to a Filipino party.
WHAT FOOD DO YOU NEED TO BRING TO A FILIPINO PARTY
Party foods will complete the party itself. It is the main highlight that everyone’s waiting for. So many foods are served and will let you say, “Ah! This is indeed a Filipino party.” So without further ado, here is the list of foods you need to bring or expect at a Filipino party.
🍽 Lumpiang Shanghai
Lumpia is a dish commonly seen in the Philippines and Indonesia. It is made by wrapping ground pork with bits of vegetables in a rice paper. There are many types of lumpia like the fresh lumpia or the spring roll type, lumpiang ubod that’s made from bamboo shoots, and the fried lumpia. But of all the kinds of lumpia, the lumpiang shanghai is the most common dish that you can bring to a Filipino party.
Lumpiang shanghai is a rolled mixture of ground pork and veggies, and then it is deep-fried until golden brown. It is best if dipped with banana or tomato ketchup. Lumpiang shanghai is served while hot to enjoy the crispiness and tenderness of the dish.
This dish is now widespread on every Filipino occasion because it is always present, and it is the apple-of-the-eye of every visitor. In addition, lumpia serves as a main course or sometimes a finger food snack or a pulutan (a side dish for alcohol drinkers).
The pancit, sometimes spelled as pansit, is a dish that is served if you wish for a longer life. It is a tradition for every Filipino to have a pancit on any occasion, especially during birthdays. It is made by cooking pancit noodles with cabbage, carrots, beans, soy sauce, and other spices and condiments.
Pancit varies depending on the location and thickness of the noodles. For example, pancit bihon or guisado is a thin glass noodle made from rice flour, while pancit canton is a thicker version made from eggs and flour and is primarily dry when cooked.
Any type of pancit is best to serve with calamansi or lime to add some kick while slurping the shiny noodles. Other pancits also have shrimp to make it seafood-style pancit. Just like spaghetti, the pancit is really a delightful dish that is always present on the table.
It is customary in a Filipino setting to ask the typical dishes in a feast like “Anong handa nyo?” meaning “What food will you prepare?” and the most requested dish is sisig.
As mentioned in the previous post, one of the most popular food in the Philippines, especially in Pampanga, is sisig. It is firstly served as a snack, and now it is one of the most requested dishes at every party. That savory taste of chopped pig’s head and liver, topped with calamansi and egg and served on a sizzling plate, will surely be the highlight of the party.
The juiciness and spiciness of the pork have made every Filipinos to make their own version. As a result, there are now different styles of sisig like the bangus (milkfish) sisig and chicken sisig.
🍽 Desserts or Minatamis
Party in the Philippines is a complete course, unlike a regular day or eating. One part of the course that you must anticipate at every party is the dessert. Every house has different types of desserts that serve as a palate cleanser if you are too fed up with the varieties of foods.
It is also present to conclude your meal while having chit-chats with other visitors. Such desserts are ice cream, halo-halo, brownies and cakes, and many more. Desserts in a Filipino party setting also aim to set the stomach before eating an entire course.
Lastly, Filipino desserts are also served to complement a particular dish because they may give color and flavor to your simple food.
🍽 Main Course or Ulam
A Filipino-style party is not complete without the main course. Setting the party any time of day, visitors still want to eat rice regardless of the time. The typical main course for a Filipino party is fried chicken, crispy pata, lechon, dinuguan, embutido, and kinds of seafood.
The most common ulam is the tomato-based main course. This dishes are named as caldereta, menudo, asado, mechado, and afritada. They have different ways of cooking, but they have one thing in common; they all use tomato sauce. To give some snippet of their differences, Caldereta is the spicier one, Menudo is the dish with raisin and hotdog, while Asado is like caldereta, but it’s not spicy.
Fruits in the meal course may be an appetizer or a dessert. Therefore, it is normal to have a fruit at a Filipino party to balance our food. The most common fruits that you can see are bananas and mangoes, as they are considered the Philippines’ national fruits.
They are also a source of fiber to ease your fullness after eating heavily, and eating fruits while at a party is a great way to control your food, especially if you are conscious of your health. Remember that a portion of great food will let you eat more without noticing that you already have your sixth plate.
🍽 Rice Cakes or Kalamay
Kalamay is a special dish made from sticky rice that is incorporated with coconut milk, margarine or butter, and cheese. Kalamay represents a stronger bond in a family because of its stickiness; the longer the stretch, the stronger the relationship.
It is cooked by stirring it until the right consistency has been reached. Reaching the right consistency is a very meticulous thing because too sticky or too loose may spoil the rice cake in no time. Kalamay is popular as a staple food or a sweetener, especially if you want to chew unconditionally.
There are many types of rice cakes in the Philippines, like ube halaya or the one made from purple yam, Biko, or kalamay, composed only of milk, sugar, and sweet rice, and the sapin-sapin or the layered type rice cake.
WHAT OTHER THINGS CAN YOU BRING TO A FILIPINO PARTY?
Aside from the foods listed above, Filipino visitors bring something as a form of gratitude for inviting them. It is a form of a gift that will surely bring joy to every household. If you are planning to give gifts, but you do not know what to get, take this list as your reference.
> Flowers – it signifies passion, gratitude, and genuine happiness.
> Wine – it represents friendship and hoping for a wealthy life.
> Cake – it represents humble sweetness and love.
> Cutlery set – mothers and newlyweds, will surely appreciate this set as a starter for their home.
> Bedsheets and pillows – this type of gift represents gentle care
> Humidifiers and essential oils – these are perfect gifts for house parties because it diminishes the odor as visitors come and go.
> Loaves of bread, Nuts, and Crackers – if you really do not have an idea, you can bring these simple snacks that can kill boredom at every party.
Filipinos are not meticulous when it comes to gifts. Therefore, anything you bring will be appreciated humbly. It is also not a big deal if you go empty-handed because the important thing in a Filipino party is accepting the invitation. Your presence is most valued because that only means that you are important to one another.