It's even better to eat in the "kamayan" style of the Philippines. "Kamay" means hands in the Filipino language. The traditional way of eating in the Philippines is with the hands, especially dishes that are "inihaw" (grilled) or "prito" (fried). When eating, one would take rice pressed together with his fingers and pick up pieces of the main dish. Large banana leaves are used in place of plates.
Kamayan is rarely seen in the city areas of the Philippines. The western influences in the city areas makes it common practice to use spoons and forks. Filipinos tend to feel the spirit of kamayan when eating during out of town trips to the provinces, beach vacations, and town fiestas. Eating kamayan, for me, is a way of "coming home" and brings with it a spirit of community.
A few months back, we visited Villa Manila in National City for a kamayan experience in celebration of cousin Tara's birthday. Tara, being a chef, loves to eat - especially authentic Filipino food!
Here you see our kamayan experience with the banana leaves covering the table with rice along the middle of the entire table length. Along side of the rice is:
We had a great kamayan experience! There is something about eating with your hands that makes the food taste so much better! I can't wait to go again! So yum!