28 April 2006

Filipino table etiquette punished at local school

Filipino table etiquette punished at local school:
Lunch monitor tells student his eating habits are ‘disgusting’

I picked up this news from Teacher Sol. She summarizes this appalling bit of news thus:

Luc Cagadoc’s table behaviour is traditionally Filipino; he fills his spoon by pushing the food on his plate with a fork, his mother, Maria Theresa Gallardo, says.

But after being punished by his school’s lunch program monitor more than 10 times this year for his mealtime conduct — including his technique — the seven-year-old told Gallardo said last week that he was too embarrassed to eat his dinner.

“Mommy, I don’t want to eat anymore,” Gallardo says Luc told her at the kitchen table April 11. “My teacher is telling me that eating with a spoon and fork is yucky and disgusting.”

When he eats with both a spoon and fork, instead of only one utensil, the Grade 2 student said the lunch monitor moves him to a table to sit by himself.

[Lunch monitor says that], “If your son eats like a pig he has to go to another table because this is the way we do it and how we’re going to do it every time.”

[The school principal adds], "personally, I don’t have any problems with it, but it is not the way you see people eat every day. I have never seen somebody eat with a spoon and a fork at the same time.”

Click here to read the entire news item.

This is simply abhorring. And this happening in a learning institution at that! Schools are supposed to teach children that they no longer live in a world where a country is composed solely of their native people. It's a global village. If we are to live together in harmony, we have to exercise tolerance for the trivial things like eating with a spoon and fork, or with chopsticks, or with hands, or with a knife and fork. And celebrate the uniqueness that each race and culture brings to the world!

Such a racist thing happening in a school, and with a narrow-minded Principal in tow, is despicable.

I eat with a spoon and fork, and pour vinegar by the spoonful over my rice swimming in tinola soup, and I don't mind if you eat with your bare hands, or with a knife and fork, or with chopsticks, or with a spatula for all I care. Just sit with me, share our food, and be my friend. A sunny weekend to everyone!


  1. That was horrible..and horrifying!

    And I can't even imagine the type of person who would find that OFFENSIVE???

  2. i don't get it... the kid got punished for using two utensils?


  3. Anonymous8:53 pm

    *rolls eyes*


    Dito sa Pinas, we eat with a fork and a spoon. But when we see someone use a fork and kife lang, do we discriminate against them? And if we see someone using chopsticks to eat our cuisine, do we kick them out?

    Open-mindedness people!

    Poor little kid. =(

  4. Some teacher has got a little too much time on her hands. Eating etiquette should be taught at home and not at school.

    I normally eat with whatever number of utensils to get the job done properly be it one or five. More often than not, it is just one but my wife still usually eats with two.

  5. At that age, I don't know what the big deal is. Let the kid eat the way he is comfortable, as long as he isn't making a mess. The only exception i see is if the parents signed an agreement otherwise.

    On the other hand, once children get older, they should be taught to be able to use utensils according to the situation. For instance, I wouldn't suggest that you pull up one leg under you and start mixing your rice and gravy together with your hands when you are eating at a restaurant outside of the Philippines (or even in most restaurants in the Phils, yes?).

    When I was stationed in new countries, the Air Force provided us with information on what was and what was not acceptable behavior in certain situations.

    You're right, it IS a global society, and we should respect each other's ways. That lunchroom "nazi" was NOT respecting that little boy, but I would hope that the boy will eventually be taught situational eating habits. Does that make sense?

  6. Hi Watson. Pareho pa pala tayo ng post. This incident happened right here in Canada, in Montreal, Quebec to be specific. I hope this is just an isolated case because most Canadians I know are pretty tolerable with people's differences. And I haven't encountered any Canadian who said that my eating habit is disgusting.

  7. Anonymous6:49 am

    This one really escapes me,..I never knew the day would come that eating with spoon and fork would be deemed as improper, when we were told to eat that way by our olds ever since we can remember. I bet the lunch monitor needs some psychiatric help.

  8. clash with the culture... differences.

    but comparing a kid to a pig, that's a different story...

    modern-age hitlerati.

  9. Anonymous12:05 am

    Poor kid!!!

    If they want the kid to practice what they teach, they should respect his culture and his feelings.

    Wala silang cultural sensitivity.

  10. mas worried ako sa magiging effect nito sa psyche ng bata. sira ulo yang prinsipal na yan...

  11. Well said WatsOn. To think that crassness came from educators is even more disappointing. This is one experience that boy could have done without.

  12. SJ, grabe ano?

    Meowok, next time, gumamit ka na lang ng isang utensil. Shanse.

    Toni, mas open minded tayo kung tutuusin kesa sa ibang nations, I guess.

    Hello Ed. How do you feel when your wife eats with a spoon and fork? Frankly, I really don't find anything wrong with it for the child to deserve such treatment.

    Cherry, KOREK!

    Yes Phil, that does indeed make sense. Which makes me wonder too if the media sensationalized this too much.

    Hello niceheart. There have been Candians who have expressed their regret over what had happened and is assuring the rest of the world that Canada in general is not like that at all.

    I know, Major Tom. I know. Grabe ano?

    Hi Jeff. Oo nga e. The kid deserved better than those bastards. Carried away ako hehehe.

    Hi Lani. wish this incident won't be a taint to Canadians in general though. Marami naman raw mababait dun...

    Ate Sienna! Turuan mo nga ng leksyon!

    hi JMom1 Thanks too for sharing this news with the rest of the berks.

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  14. Anonymous5:34 am

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