Living Abroad in the Philippines

Philippine Holidays New Year Eve Food Traditions

There isn’t one Philippine holiday that doesn’t include food & drink

New Year’s Eve 2018

Where has the year gone? Already we find ourselves at the end of the year and celebrating Philippine New Years Eve.
As far as New Years Eve food traditions go, the Philippines traditional New Years Eve, includes three things; family, food & drink.  

A Philippine traditional New Years Eve meal includes a pasta dish, cooked rice, beef & lechon.
Photograph by Lanhawk59

One of the most popular dishes in the Philippines is lechon.  Lechón is prepared throughout the year for any special occasion, during festivals, and the holidays. After seasoning, the pig is cooked by skewering the entire animal, entrails removed, on a large stick and cooking it in a pit filled with charcoal. 

“Living abroad as an expat is an experience that you have to adjust for. Not every meal or dish is going to taste like it does back in your home country. You must learn to embrace the uniqueness of each dish that way you can appreciate the country more.”
Naturally our house seems to be ground zero for all festive occasions and the drawback to that is the amount of extra work that is involved. You clean, prep, buy food and when the party is over you get the reward of having to clean up the mess. For the guests, it is just show, eat then split.
One thing that takes place in the Philippines is the tradition of playing majong at any holiday or gathering. Majong game can even be found at funerals, wakes and weddings. The game is traditionally from China but it seems the Philippines have adopted the game as their own. Majong takes four players and the game can last for hours. Of course during our New Years celebration, they setup the table and played majong from noon until sunset. Every time one player got and stopped playing there was somebody else wanting to jump in the game. People like the game of majong because it involves skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance.
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