The practice of kamayan and how it fosters Pinoy pride
MANILA, Philippines — Doesn’t eating kamayan-style just make food taste better?
Kamayan is the centuries-old practice of eating with hands, predating the Spanish colonization. During kamayan, a whole community shares a huge spread of Filipino cuisine, spread on fragrant banana leaves.
These days, traditional kamayan is reserved for special occasions, although it has definitely left its mark in modern Pinoy culture.
The act of using our hands to connect with our food allows us to better appreciate it, while the banana leaves gives the food an earthy taste, reminding us to be grateful for Mother Nature’s gifts.
Kamayan also fosters feelings of community. Eating local cuisine the Pinoy way with fellow Filipinos creates a sense of pride and togetherness.
According to Safeguard’s 2018 #GoKamayan Survey, 71% of Pinoys recognize kamayan as a way to bond with other people. Meanwhile, 65% agree it evokes feelings of pride for their Filipino heritage.
The survey shows that Pinoys enjoy kamayan during special occasions such as birthdays, fiestas, reunions, boodle fights, and picnics. But it’s also pretty common during regular full meals in Filipino households, where it happens an average of 4.8 times a week.
For all the positive emotions it evokes and its popularity at home, however, there are negative sentiments too.
A lot of Pinoys feel embarrassed about eating with their hands in public. 76% fear being judged when eating kamayan-style.
This stigma may stem from the belief that kamayan is dirty. In fact, 68% believe eating food with hands is an unhygienic practice.
Is kamayan unsanitary?
It’s not as long as you wash your hands properly.
However, Safeguard’s 2017 Philippines Touching and Handwashing Observation Results shows that 10% of Filipinos do not wash their hands at all before eating, and another 20% do not wash their hands before feeding their kids.
Another 10% wash their hands with water only before eating, while 30% also do not use soap before feeding their kids.
It was also found that 60% don’t wash their hands after using their mobile phones, while another 70% don’t wash their hands after sneezing. This means these people eat with germ-filled hands!
These Filipinos seem to take the importance of proper hand washing habits for granted, but remember: it only takes one person to spread germs.
We come into contact with germs each day — from using our phones and laptops, traveling using public transportation, going to the toilet, and even just breathing. Germs are also in the air!
When you eat without washing your hands, you run the risk of contracting diseases such as stomach bugs, diarrhea, coughs, and colds.
Don’t let your hands become home to germs! They can accumulate on your hands faster than you think, so make it a habit to wash with soap and water frequently, not just before eating. Make sure to remind your loved ones too.
Handwashing is a simple habit, but it helps safeguard your overall health.
Kamayan does not have to be unhygienic. You can enjoy it without worrying about germs — just make sure to wash your hands!
Are you planning to go kamayan this holiday? - Rappler.com
What better way to rediscover the joys of eating with your hands than through #GoKamayan with Safeguard? The brand’s latest film brought together Chef JP Anglo along with known local personalities — Ai-Ai delas Alas, Boy Abunda, Bianca Gonzalez, Drew Arellano, James Deakin, LA Tenorio, Neri Miranda, and Tessa Prieto-Valdes, in a fine dining experience like no other.
Join Safeguard’s #GoKamayanTayo challenge! Take a photo of you or your friends eating kamayan style, then post it on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtags #GoKamayanTayo and #Safeguard. For every entry, Safeguard will donate to HOPE. Proceeds will go towards a Christmas boodle feast for a less-fortunate school of HOPE’s choice. Click here for the full mechanics.
Don’t forget to wash your hands with Safeguard before taking that photo!