MANILA, Philippines – Lechon, spaghetti, ham, fruit salad, lumpiang shanghai. For Filipinos, Noche Buena is not complete without any of these dishes. After all, these are among the Filipino household favorites during the holiday season.
So we asked our Rappler readers on social media: What hearty Noche Buena dishes can fit a P1,000 budget?
Pasta, pancit, and breads for Christmas
Despite varying responses, two common favorites dominated: spaghetti and pancit, and their variations.
“Spaghetti is less expensive and easier to prepare,” according to Facebook user Maynard Mendoza.
Instagram user @vaanche_30 shared that pancit, veggie lumpia, and macaroni salad are enough for a family of six.
Rappler readers shared other dishes that fit the budget. Among their answers were different Filipino ulam, breads, and the popular kesong puti and traditional queso de bola.
One Twitter user even shared a price breakdown of a Noche Buena meal of less than P1,000.
Meanwhile, others are choosing to take the non-traditional route by suggesting tofu instead of pork or beef, which are more expensive.
‘Hindi na kaya’
Some netizens expressed their dismay, reacting to the current situation of the prices of ingredients in groceries and markets. A P1,000 budget is not enough, according to Facebook user Christian Garcia.
Facebook user Loveliza Awitin expressed her frustration, “Sliced bread nga ng simpleng mamamayan 45 pesos na (Even the sliced bread for the common people is already at P45).”
“Sad, but it won’t be a hearty Noche Buena meal given the high prices of basic commodities,” Twitter user @im_adelie said. “For an average Filipino family whose [breadwinner] is just earning the daily minimum wage, surely could hardly afford to buy lechon manok for that occasion.”
James Paptrick Osin also pointed out, apart from the ingredients, one needs to purchase equipment for preparing meals. “You can’t budget P1,000 for a hearty Noche Buena dish,” he stated.
One Facebook user even talked about relying on his company’s grocery giveaway to save money.
Indeed, Filipinos have different ways of fitting P1,000 as Noche Buena budget. Some will need to reconsider what to put on the dining table come Christmas Eve due to the country’s current economic condition. – Rappler.com
Farley Bermeo Jr. is a Communication Arts graduate from UP Los Baños and a digital communications volunteer at Rappler.