But if you are like most Filipinos, you probably have not eaten using your hands in a long time. With the convenience of utensils and hygiene concerns, most people opt not to eat with their hands anytime, anywhere. The embarrassment and self-consciousness of being caught eating with one’s hands have prevented many of us from enjoying that way of eating as often as we want.
To let people rediscover the joy of eating with hands, Safeguard Philippines released a new film titled The Dinner. Starring Boy Abunda, AiAi delas Alas, Bianca Gonzalez, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Neri Miranda, James Deakin, LA Tenorio, Drew Arellano and Chef JP Anglo, the film revolved around these showbiz personalities enjoying a full course meal of Filipino dishes with a twist— they all had to eat with their hands—as they bond over a shared heritage and reminisce how going kamayan is something that all Filipinos should be proud of.
James Deakin says, “This is the oddest thing I think I’ve ever done”, while LA Tenorio wonders, “what’s going to happen here?”.
But over the course of the dinner, as conversations break out and guests start enjoying their meal kamayan-style, the uneasiness gave way to meaningful talks and bonding.
The celebrities delved into deeper conversations and talked more about the barriers that come in the way of Filipinos eating with hands more often. Boy Abunda asked, “Ano ba mga stigmas ‘pag nagkakamay?”. Neri Miranda answered, ““Nakakahiya naman diba. Kasi grabe naman – nagugutuman? Parang ganoon.”
Despite the reasons that hinder Filipinos from going kamayan, one cannot deny the fact that there is really something special when you eat with your bare hands. “The taste of food changes when you eat with your hands. Everything is about the senses, right? You have the sense of smell, taste and touch when you eat with your hands. So, the whole experience is improved” shared James Deakin.
LA Tenorio adds “Kahit after practice nagkakamayan kami. May ibang lasa eh.” This depicts how eating with your hands is a way to bond and have fun with family and friends-- which was very evident when the celebrities engaged in conversations and freely ate with their hands, finishing off even licking their fingers.
Boy Abunda then told to the group, “Earlier, when we were starting, we were all so stiff. Ngayon, wala na. Hahaha!”
Apart from showing how using your hands to eat food can bring about comfort toward the people around us and make the food taste better, the film showed how clean hands enable richer experiences.
“Clean hands as a result of proper handwashing is Safeguard’s pabaon to the nation. Through our latest film, Safeguard not only recognizes the health benefits of handwashing but it also wants to remind people of the joys that eating kamayan-style can bring. It is a celebration of the Filipino heritage that is made even more worthwhile with clean hands and allows us to create richer experiences with our loved ones.” said says Alex Vogler, Associate Director, Digital Transformation & Brand Communications for Procter & Gamble’s Beauty Division in Asia Pacific.
At the end of the video, the awkward moments among the celebrities gives way to genuine camaraderie. This shows how eating using one’s bare hands can bring about a sense of goodwill and bonding over meals which makes the food taste better, and the experience more satisfying.
Join the conversation and share with us your favorite moments eating with hands online with the hashtag #GoKamayan and #Safeguard. Watch “The Dinner” on Safeguard’s Facebook and YouTube!