Filipino Food: Rice, staple food of the Philippines

Rice growing in Philippines
Rice growing in the Philippins

Filipino Food: Rice, staple food of the Philippines


Filipinos love to eat and they especially love to eat Filipino food. When it comes to answering the question about what Filipinos will not want to eat without, the answer is rice. Rice is the most common staple food in the country, followed distantly by bread.


Among the types of rice, white rice is most preferred by the Filipinos as food.
While white rice remains as the most commonly eaten food in the Philippines, some
Filipinos consider brown rice as substitute for it because of its added nutritional value
and different taste.


Rice is commonly found in Asian countries, not to mention the Philippines. That
is what you should expect as food on your table if you come to the country.
Rice, whether raw or cooked, is present in just about every household and is the most common Filipino Food.

Restaurant companies based in other countries which found their way to the
Philippines have adapted to Filipino food culture of always making rice part of the menu. Big and small restaurants and dining establishments in the Philippines will always offer rice and rice meals to their customers, no matter where they are in the country.


Filipinos eat rice in huge quantities. Even if the Philippines is one of the world’s
biggest producers of rice, it still has a big need to import the same, making the countrythe largest rice importer of the world. Importing rice from other countries is necessarybecause there is the need to maintain the supply of available rice that circulates in thecountry. If the price of rice goes up, most Filipinos will be affected by the changes intheir budget, especially for food.

The country aims to reduce the amount of rice being imported from other countries by helping improve the production of rice in its own land. The means to do this include the production of cheaper and more accessible fertilizers and support for
research for more efficient production of rice.


Rice needs to be planted on wide, flat land for it to grow properly. An exception is
the Banaue Rice Terraces, one of the most  scenic  in the country and which Filipinos
consider as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.

The presence of long mountain ranges and the archipelagic arrangement of the
islands in the Philippines make the cultivation of rice ideal in central Luzon (the biggestisland in the country where the capital region of the country, Metro Manila, is located).

On the other hand, open areas are vulnerable to natural disasters, especially
typhoons and floods, which significantly reduce the production of rice.


Rice is very often wholesaled in sacks of 50 kilograms, if not 25 kilograms each.
Each sack of rice will differ in value depending on brand, quality and supply. The price
for a 50-kilogram sack of rice will generally be between 30 to 60 US dollars.

The capital of the Philippines, which is the National Capital Region (NCR), also
known as Metro Manila, has dense population and no agricultural sites which make it aheavy consumer of rice in the country. Therefore, it has a great demand for rice, and
takes most of its supply from the provinces north of it.

Dining with rice

The typical Filipino person will always want to eat meals with rice for breakfast,
lunch and supper.

Filipinos will say that “this will taste better when eaten with rice”. Certainly they
are correct. While rice tastes bland on its own, it improves the taste of other foods,
especially meat.

The most common types of meat eaten in conjunction with rice are birds
(chicken, duck, turkey), beef (cow, ox), pork, seafoods (fish, shrimp, oyster, mussel,
squid, cuttlefish, crab) and processed meat (hotdog, corned beef, tocino, bacon, ham,

Filipinos living in urban areas will often find themselves not having enough time
to eat their meals, much less prepare them. For this problem, uncommon rice
meals like paella, chao fan, and rice burgers are being served by some dining

Rice vs bread

I would first like to enumerate their similarities. Both rice and bread are made
from grains, prepared as cereals and at least one of them is considered as staple food
in most countries. They taste better in combination with meat, vegetables and spices inevery bite.

For the differences, I would first like to highlight the fact that no Filipino would
want to eat rice without being accompanied by meat or vegetables, while a lot of
Filipinos would want to eat bread on its own. Bread is also easier to carry around and
eat, as it does not require any packaging nor any utensil to be eaten.

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