We love food! Filipino's love to eat. You shouldn't be surprised if you stay with a Filipino family and have 5 meals a day - breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack (merienda), and dinner.
Filipino's are naturally hospitable. If you'd pass a group eating you would automatically be invited to join them by simply saying: "Kain tayo" - which means "come and eat". Please take note that this is like a custom to all Filipinos and an invitation is offered to all - to a friend, a neighbor or a stranger. It would be polite if you say that you've already eaten, rather than accepting the first offer right away. You can also point out how inconvenient it would be for the host. If the host insists, then please, help yourself. This is also one way to gauge if the invitation is genuine or not. One exception goes here: If there's an abundance of food like in Fiestas, weddings and birthdays - then by all means, participate, the host would appreciate that.
Travelers should always take into account the reverence Filipinos have for food. Regular mealtimes are strictly observed. When visiting a home, you'll be offered food and drink. It's polite to wait to be urged to sit at the table or begin eating. If you don't like the food, eat a little and make an excuse rather than reject it outright. Guests leave a little food on the plate to indicate they're satisfied. Its just the Filipino way.
Let's start talking about the individual meals:
Breakfast: Filipino's wake up early, to go to work and go to school. An average breakfast would include one kind of meat (like pork tocino or beef tapa) or dried fish (bulad), eggs and fried or plain rice paired with coffee or hot choco. These types of meals are called "SILOG" - here's how the term originated:
SI - SInangag - which means fried rice
LOG - itLOG - which means eggs
No pancakes and cereals for you this morning.
Brunch: After a bit of work, tummies rumble. This is just a break time so light courses will do. The nearest food stand is always the best answer, and they're everywhere. You'll see wide range of food:
Lunch: This is now considered the most important meal of the day for Filipinos. The time where you'll see a wide array of dishes served on the table. Common practice for a working Filipino is to eat in a "Karenderia" - an eatery, and choose from a selection of 10 - 15 dishes, all at very economical prices, like:
Dinner: Compared to other countries, dinner is smaller than the other meals and all the food is served upfront and not in courses. This is the time where families settle down, talk and laugh. Mom's cook the food that kids request.
After a hard day's work, they go to bed. Funny as it sounds, the usual question is: "What should we eat tomorrow?"