Filipinos love to eat. An average Filipino eats around six times a day. We eat breakfast usually around 6-7 am, we have some snacks usually around 10am, lunch, more snacks at 3pm and finally dinner.
A typical Filipino breakfast is usually eggs, sunny side up; fried rice and any or all of the favorite Filipino breakfast staples: tocino or sweetened pork strips; tapa, a kind of beef jerky or tuyo, dried salted fish.
These dishes are fairly easy to cook. They require only minimal cooking skills. Fried rice is usually recycled rice from the night before. It is just rice that has cooled, then fried in a little oil with lots of garlic. Tocino and tapa, require a little boiling, when they are soft, the water is usually drained and a little cooking oil is added to fry the meat. Once it has started to caramelize, it is removed from the heat and served hot. Tuyo is usually washed to remove the excess salt and then fried in hot oil.
Filipinos are talkative in nature and even early in the morning the mood in the breakfast table is usually festive. Breakfast is usually a time for mom to remind her family to be good in school, to come home on time and for dad to take it easy at work. Although most Filipino mothers work, they still find time to cook these simple fares for breakfast with the family.
Breakfast is a good time for the children to touch base with their parents too. Since both parents usually work and come home late when the children are about to go to bed, kids usually remind their parents of upcoming projects for school or ball games and parent teacher conferences during breakfast.
Other favorite Filipino breakfast dishes are: hotdogs, pork and beans, sardines usually in tomato sauce and corned beef. Since children’s classes start early in the Philippines, usually around 7-7:30 in the morning, breakfast food is usually easy to prepare. And rice is usually eaten with whatever viand there is.
Though it is not uncommon to find Filipinos eating cereals, oatmeal, toast or pancakes for breakfast, the tuyo, tapa and tocino will always be all time Filipino breakfast favorites. In some tables, a combination of a cooked and cold breakfast is even common. Mom may prefer oatmeal and fruit to her kids milk and cereal, and dad might opt for the cooked breakfast. It is also a frequent practice in most Filipino homes to eat pan de sal or bread while waiting for a cooked breakfast.
Filipinos definitely believe to eat like kings during breakfast because this gives us more time to chat with each other and enjoy each other’s company. It is a time to relax before starting a long day.