A Filipino restaurant owner says shame may be one reason authentic Filipino food has not become mainstream

One of the reasons could be that we were not raised to be entrepreneurs. We were raised to be doctors, lawyers — risk-averse careers. I do think there’s a Filipino renaissance right now with artists and entrepreneurs.

Second, there’s a [Tagalog] word called hiya, which means shame. That’s why [some restaurants] give the “white-man menu” [to customers] because they think they’re not going to like dinuguan, which is a pork blood stew. But why have hiya when the French have boudin noir and the Spanish have morcilla? It is because when you’re colonized over so many years, you don’t value your own culture, even though we have so much pride.


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