Foreigners who have been to the Philippines and once visited a Filipino family will surely agree that one of the most hospitable people in the world are Filipinos.
Guests can feel at home.
Filipinos love making their guests “feel at home.” They serve the best Filipino food they can cook. These people provide the house’s coziest room for them to sleep. They also offer help and assistance frequently. One of your family friends may have a vacation in the Philippines. If they met your family several times before, your mother would inevitably ask what their favorite food is so she can prepare food for them. Your mom may be a very accommodating person who is also a fantastic cook. Inviting your friend to your home can make anyone excited that they will accept the invitation immediately.
Whenever a Filipino invites a guest for a meal, they usually ask what type of food they want to eat. The host would love the guest to eat and enjoy. That is why they prepare the food that the guest requests. While having the meal, the host may put the best piece of meat on the guest’s plate that the latter requested. During the meal, the host may also refill the empty plate of the guest or put the best piece of meat on his plate. It may be a gracious act for some foreigners, but it can be awkward for others. A Filipino host may continue to offer food even if you feel too full. Just tell them you are full. Avoid leaving most of the food on your plate uneaten. It will make the host think that you didn’t like the food. Doing that may also be rude for Filipino families who are not well off. They may have spent most of their earnings for the preparation of a sumptuous meal.
We were previously invited to celebrate Christmas Eve with my husband’s cousin and his family. That was the first time we enjoyed the food. Afterwards, we had a barbecue party with San Miguel beer with the uncles.
Mother knew that Koreans love barbecue parties with San Miguel beer that is why she prepared various barbecue for Chan. She made my cousin do the grilling. My brother-in-law bought beer. My uncles arranged the “drinking place.” We did the drinking in the garage and moved the vehicles in the garden.
Boys and Beer
The men stayed home so they can welcome the guest and drink with him after dinner. In the Philippines, the whole family is involved whenever they entertain the guest. If you live in a rural village, the male neighbors may also join the “drinking party.” Since we live in a private subdivision, they did not have to drink with strangers. Filipina women usually don’t participate with men in drinking. That does not happen in Korea.
The gang played “tong-its” with my veteran husband one morning. When they finished drinking, they offered to take my brother-in-law to the place where he will stay.
When Chan returned to Korea, he only had beautiful things to say about my family. People were warm to him even if we were not there.
My family became impressed with the thoughtfulness of our Korean friend. Bart picked up Chan from the airport and brought him home. He brought medicine, Korean tea and other things we didn’t expect. Chan also brought homecoming gifts for the family. He gave my mother a cosmetic set. Our family had assorted cookies and chocolates. After meeting Mom by the door, he gave her presents and used the word “pasalubong.” Lots of Koreans know the term “pasalubong.” They have the same tradition of bringing gifts whenever they visit family. He brought the most expensive and biggest cake from Red Ribbon. Our other Korean friends also bring something to us from Korea. Initially, I thought it was my husband’s way to woo my family and me. He brought presents for every member of my family and me whenever he visits. Later on, I met his friends and other Koreans who did the same thing. It made me realize that Koreans are thoughtful. They don’t just give any gift; they provide the best. Filipinos may not mind spending too much for the preparation of the most appetizing dishes for guests. Koreans also don’t mind paying a lot for presents.
Our friend Chan bonded with my sister and brother-in-law. It happened while they ate his favorite yellow mangoes. People who have their vacation in the Philippines always have a lot of things to bring home with them. In the past, my in-laws asked us to bring a bag of chestnuts and a box of sea laver. We didn’t have to pay for the additional baggage. Last year, they gave a box of kimchi and sea laver and an expensive bag of dried fish. In the winter season, they sell dried persimmons. These are usually a Seollal present in Korea.
During the Lunar New Year or Seollal or the Korean Thanksgiving Day or Chuseok, my parents-in-law provide gifts for my family and sister in law. They also receive presents like rice cakes, fresh Korean beef, boxes of fruit and Korean snacks. You may become surprised how much Koreans spend for a Seollal present or Chuseok.
Traditional Korean snack gift set
In a few months will be the Chuseok. I’m sure that the house veranda will become full of goodies and gifts from friends and family. It may also come from the companies where we work.