In the Philippines it is all about food and the expressions kumain ka na? (“have you eaten?”) and kain ka (“have some food”) or “meryenda ka” are the expressions that immediately follow kumusta ka? (“how are you?”) when you visit a Filipino home.
This happens both in the Philippines and among OFW in my country.
Filipinos love food and every street in the Philippines is lined with food stalls and eateries.
Both in the Philippines and in my country Filipinos have social gatherings or salu-salo as often as they can.
In winter salu-salos take place indoors while between spring and autumn Filipinos who live in Rome take advantage of the fact that Rome has plenty of parks and that the weather is, more often than not, ideal to gather outside and mag-ihaw or prepare barbecue marinade.
The basic ingredients used to make barbecue marinade, at least the way they do it here, and the way my Filipino wife does it, are soy sauce, ground black pepper, lemon juice, banana ketchup, garlic, onion and brown sugar.
Filipinos just love it.
The problem is that, for most Filipinos here in Rome, BBQ is something that they cannot afford to do as often as they do it in the Philippines because they live in apartments and, although most apartments here in Rome do have a balcony or a terrace, chances are that neighbors will complain if Filipinos dare using their balcony to BBQ, as Italians like hanging their clothes on the balcony and they hate wearing “smoked” clothes.
The only Filipinos who can BBQ on their terraces or balconies are the ones who have the luck to live on the last floor of an apartment building, in a penthouse (that can be hard to find in Rome and pretty expensive).
What’s the solution then?
There is no other option then than either wait for warmer days and BBQ in a park or buy an electric grill, one of those that can even be used indoors.
My wife and I have one and it does its job, this way my Filipino wife’s cravings for BBQ are satisfied all-year-round…