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“Hands on” Kamayan Lunch held to introduce Filipino Food Week

What is Kamayan?

Kamayan is derived from the Filipino word “kamay”, which means “hands” in English. It refers to a style of eating where people use their hands to partake of food laid usually on top of banana leaves, with rice as the central staple. This eating style highlights the Filipinos’ communal nature, wherein food is served family-style to be shared by everyone.

There were no spoons or forks before Spanish conquistadors took over the islands, now known as Philippines. The Spaniards considered the practice of eating with hands as savagery. The Spaniards stopped the native Filipino way of eating and forced them to use utensils because it is more “civilized”.

Nonetheless, eating with hands is one thing that is truly Filipino. You don’t see it a lot at Filipino restaurants, but the practice of kamayan is often found in peoples’ homes to keep the tradition alive. 

With that, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, in partnership with the Filipino Junior Chamber, hosted a Kamayan Lunch at Dana’s Restaurant on Saturday, April 27, 2019 to help introduce the Filipino Food Week happening from June 9-15, 2019. Guests were treated to a kamayan feast featuring the following Filipino dishes:

Ginataang Kalabasa (squash with coconut milk)
Lechon Kawali (deep-fried pork)
Pancit Bihon (noodles with pork and vegetables)
Pork Adobo (pork simmered in soy sauce and vinegar)
Eggplant Adobo
Inihaw na Manok (barbecue chicken)
Inihaw na Tilapia (steamed fish)
Pakwan (watermelon)
Banana Lumpia (deep fried banana wrap)
Cupcake with coconut flakes 

On behalf of the Tasty Island, Yours Truly was personally invited by Andrea Caymo, Vice Consul of the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, to partake in this special Kamayan lunch. which to be honest, I have never ever experienced before. Eating with my hands, of course, but not so formally in a social setting with a full Filipino feast spread out like this one. Following is the Tasty Island’s photo coverage of the event. Kain na tayo (let’s eat)! 
About Filipino Food Week

The Kamayan Lunch previews what is to come during the Filipino Food Week (FFW) Hawaii which will take place from June 9-15, 2019. During FFW, restaurants and chefs in Oahu, Maui, Hawai’i, and Kaua’i will be invited to incorporate Filipino food in their menu. Participating establishments can either do pop-up events, kamayans, or create special Filipino food items to be sold for lunch and dinner, happy hour, lunch/dinner, or any other combinations at the option of the restaurants. This year’s FFW will highlight Filipino dishes which use coconut as an ingredient. Restaurants will be asked to prepare at least one dish (either appetizer, pupus, main course, dessert, or drinks) inspired by one of the Philippine’s most popular ingredients. Participating restaurants will be given an ingredients basket containing Filipino food products for them to try which includes food mixes, sauces, coconut products, liquors, and beers. The top-selling restaurant during FFW will be awarded two (2) roundtrip tickets to the Philippines courtesy of Philippine Airlines and a special culinary tour to learn more about the diverse culinary heritage of the country.

As of April 29, 2019, the following restaurants have confirmed their participation to the Filipino Food Week Hawaii: Chef Chai, Dana’s Restaurant, Haleiwa Beach House, Lineage, Max’s of Manila, Tiano’s Restaurants, and Tin Roof Maui. More restaurants are expected to join soon. Interested restaurants can get in touch with the Economic Section of the Philippine Consulate General (phone: 808-429-4458 | email: andrea.caymo@dfa.gov.ph) to find out more details regarding Filipino Food Week.

To get the latest update on Filipino Food Week, visit FilipinoFoodWeekHawaii.com. You can also follow the Facebook and Instagram Page of FFW by searching @FilipinoFoodWeekHawaii and hashtags #FilipinoFoodWeekHawaii #FFW2019. The list of participating restaurants can also be found on Yelp using this link: https://www.yelp.com/collection/B1NFW46vZ7kuxxnWnUTFXg

The Filipino Food Week Hawaii is spearheaded by the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu together with its partners, the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, and Philippine Airlines with the support of the following companies/organizations: Asian Food Trading Co., Bleeding Hearts Rum, East West Marketing, Filipino Association of University Women, Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Filipino Junior Chamber, Filipino Young Leaders Program, KNDI Radio, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, Mama Sita’s, PhotoLuxe and Event Services.  

Message from FJC President

Natalie Millon - 2019 President Filipino Junior Chamber
Natalie Millon – 2019 President Filipino Junior Chamber

Aloha and Mabuhay!

Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat for joining us today! Kamayan Lunch is part of FJC’s signature project “Kamayan Feast” and for this event, we are honored to partner with the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu. Kamayan Lunch is part of the activities to promote Filipino Food Week (FFW) on June 9 -15. FFW 2019 is being organized by Philippine Consulate in partnership with FJC and other organizations.

Today’s menu is prepared by Dana’s Catering & Restaurant and will include famous Filipino dishes like adobo, pancit, and many more. Let’s not forget dessert which will feature an ingredient that is a dominant sector of the Philippine agriculture: coconut! As a matter of fact, FFW 2019 will highlight Filipino dishes which use coconut as an ingredient.

Kamayan Lunch would not be possible without my fellow planning committee members: Andrea, Su, Carolyn, Liane, and Brosnan. Thank you for your time and dedication into this project. I would also like to thank our Kultura sponsor Keller Williams, and Kaibigan sponsors WestPac Wealth Partners, and Structural Hawaii for their support. Last but not least, thank YOU! You are here today to support FJC continue their mission to perpetuate the local Filipino heritage and provide development opportunities that empower young, active citizens to create positive change.

Without further ado… kain na tayo! “Let’s eat!”

Message from Consulate General of the Republic of the Philippines Honolulu

Joselito A. Jimeno - Consul General of the Republic of the Philippines Honolulu
Joselito A. Jimeno – Consul General of the Republic of the Philippines Honolulu

On behalf of the Consulate General of the Republic of the Philippines in Honolulu, I would like to thank you for joining us at today’s Kamayan Lunch. We thank the Filipino Junior Chamber for helping us co-organize this event to promote our country’s cuisine to the general public.

Food is an integral part of Philippine culture and way of life. Many Filipinos eat five (5) times a day and people often greet each other by saying, “kumain ka na ba” or “have you eaten”. Filipino families congregate around food and we have banquets whenever we celebrate special occasions and fiestas.

Today, you will experience a facet of the rich culinary heritage of the Philippines. Kamayan, which is derived from the word “kamay” which means “hands” in English, is a style of eating wherein people use their hands to partake of food laid usually on top of banana leaves. This style of eating highlights the Filipinos’ way of connecting with nature, which provides us nourishment, and with our family and friends, as we all eat together, talking and enjoying each others company.

We hope that you will enjoy the meal that was prepared today and we hope to see you again during our celebration of Filipino Food Week on June 9-15, 2019.

Aloha and Mabuhay!

Consul General

2433 Pali Highway, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Tel: 1(808) 595-6316 to 19 • Fax: 1(808) 595-2581 • Email: honolulupc@hawaii.twcbc.com


To provide development opportunities that empower young active citizens to create positive change and perpetuate the local filipino heritage.

Chairman – Rommel Raymundo
President – Natalie Luz B. Millon
Executive Vice President – Tiffany Marie Salvador
Secretary – Aldric Ulep
Treasurer – Laren Eustace
Community Development VP – Nicki Ozaki
Individual Development VP – Carolyn Alhambra
Membership Development VP – Brosnan Dumayas
Fundraising VP – Patrick Comiso

Natalie Millon – Chairperson
Su Lazo – Event Director
Andrea Caymo – Event Director
Liane Ancajas – Sales Director
Brosnan Dumayas – Marketing Director
Carolyn Alhambra – Public Relations Director

May GMM/Vegan Cooking Class (May 16)
Youth Empowerment Fair (May 18th)
Ethnic Education Hawaii 25th Anniversary (June 26th)

Email hello@fjchamber.org
Instagram @FilipinoJuniorChamber
#FilipinoJuniorChamber #FJCHawaii #KamayanFeastHawaii

Tasty Island related links:

Kamayan Lunch Recipe Book
Kamayan Lunch Recipes


5 thoughts on ““Hands on” Kamayan Lunch held to introduce Filipino Food Week

  • May 4, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    OMG how do you WALK after that Dude??? :D

    Best Regards


    • May 4, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Haru, collectively it appears to be a ton of food, however if you look carefully, it’s replicated in sets with individual portions of each dish on the menu for each diner sitting in the booth. So that long spread is for a tabletop of 8.

      • May 5, 2019 at 11:43 am

        8 HEALTHY eaters… :D Closest thing we have to a Luau or Kamayan in this region would probably be the seafood/crawfish boil. We just did one. Shrimp, crawfish, blue crab, corn, red potatoes, onions, and smoked sausages all boiled together (in stages so nothing is overdone and the shrimp is the last into the pot) seasoned with rock salt, cayenne, and shrimp boil spices. When it’s done, drain and spread over a big table covered with newspapers. Toss in sliced lemons, cocktail sauce, and butter. Cold beer- LOTS of cold beer… :D

        Best Regards!



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