Regardless of the reason for celebration, the one thing that remains constant in a Filipino family gathering is the Filipino food. Filipino celebrations usually start with eating dinner, digesting and watching your Tita singing Celine Dion songs on Magic Sing Karaoke, eating the leftovers again at 9 pm, and singing some more Magic Sing. If you haven't been fortunate enough to be a part of such a lively outing, I hope this convinces you to befriend a Filipino and help them finish up their leftovers...

1.  "I can't wait to stuff my face."

The week leading up to the gathering, you know you're going to be fed...and fed WELL. You skip breakfast (or have a small piece of pan de sal) to prepare your stomach for the true test of capacity and resilience.

2. "I'm definitely busóg, but I can should definitely help finish up the lumpia."

Just like any little snack, you can't have just one. Lumpia is the GOLD of the Filipino dinner table. It's a small eggroll filled with ground pork, ground shrimp, and ground veggies. Even when you're as busóg (full) as you are, eating lumpia is a mindless task. They're almost like empty calories! Almost.

3. "Where's the suka?"

A Filipino dinner table is incomplete without suka- a sauce only consisting of vinegar, a drizzle of fish sauce, and crushed garlic. It gives everything just a little more flavor.

4. "I can't eat another bite, but I have to make Tita Baby happy."

We all have that one family member that forces us to push ourselves to keep eating- a lot of that time, it's the boisterous Tita Baby. She'll wave you over, "Eat some more, anak," as she plops a hefty serving of pancit while you're trying to digest your seconds on the couch. She's the one to blame if you need to be rolled out of the party.

5. "Still not 100% sure what ube is, but it tastes so damn GOOD."

Is it a potato? Is it a root? Is it taro? What's taro anyway? Nobody really knows. All we know is that it's the most colorful dish on the table--whether it's in the form of purple ice cream or a purple cake roll. Nothing screams Filipino more than ube.

6. "I hate myself." *goes into food coma*

Something about Filipino food makes you feel fuller than any cuisine you'll ever have. It's filling, it's heavier, it's not the healthiest, and definitely knocks you out on the couch right after. You'll definitely want to stick to salads for a few days afterwards to recover. Self-loathing: all time high.

7. "I feel so taba."

By the end of the gathering, you've lost all ability to move and your stomach has doubled in size. Your body is exhausted, because eating Filipino food is a whole new kind of sport. But YOU are a champion.

Go out there and kill the next party, baboy. Take down that adobo with every bit of strength you got--with fork AND spoon (because that's the Filipino way)

coffee, beer, tea
Gabby Galvez