This question's description is so long so I'm just gonna turn this into a "MyTake Question"
A little trigger warning
I respect every country's uniqueness but there are still a lot of influences and similarities that still can be pointed out which is what I'll be talking about meaning there are going to be small comparisons.
I'm not saying Japanese/Korean food is bad. They're both good their own ways. I can't decide which is better and those actually are 2 of my favorite Asian cuisine because of it's own distinctive taste and it's so umami but I realized how little the ingredients are but some being rare to other countries. (Like sashimi for example being just raw salmon by itself or food like Gyudon, Terriyaki, Yakiniku, Samgyeopsal, Bibimbap, etc) they taste quite similar with a little difference. Mostly ginger, sesame, soy and message is what you taste in their cuisine. But I'm not saying it's bad. They're just cooked nicely. There are exceptions like Ramen or other noodle soups being so hustle to make. Our cuisine (Philippines) is considered "much worse" compared to our neighboring Asian countries according to CNN because our ingredients are so few. https://cnnphilippines.com/life/leisure/food/2019/5/6/westerners-filipino-food-essay.html#:~:text=When%20compared%20to%20other%20Southeast,alien%20and%20too%20%E2%80%9Cbland.%E2%80%9D It's because we are so far from India with a huge ocean separating our archipelago from them unlike Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam or Etc. having so many herbs and spices and because we don't use that much spices in our cooking is what make them say it's taste "basic" despite having a lot of Chinese ingredients and cooking method used (And Chinese cuisine is a popular Asian cuisine as well but I understand why and Taiwanese and Mongolian is quite close to Chinese cuisine) also because we're much closer to China and Taiwan compared to the rest aside from the mainland SEA countries of course.
In other words, our Cuisine is bad because we're just compared to our neighboring countries. But really it would be more like comparing Chinese and Indian Cuisine. They're not comparable and both are good their own ways. But I still admit the others taste better IN MY OPINION or it's because maybe I'm so used to our food that it feels mainstream. It's just that our country is no where near as popular as Japan or Korea which is why our food is also obscured. So it made me think, I guess it's the bandwagon effect because K Pop and Anime had been promoting their culture. So what made me compare our country's cuisine to Japan's is someone in quora surprisingly pointed out the similarity which is what made me just realize https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Filipinos-not-use-that-much-spices-in-cooking-compared-to-their-neighbors-in-the-region
and really the first result in this google search. (That whole link is just one link)
And also I just like to point out that Japanese and Korean cuisines also have similarities also because their pop culture got people hyped. So if we have a quite a similar reason, does it mean the bandwagon effect only made their's popular?
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My dad and I - Filipino, but I'm 1st gen Canadian - often discussed this.
Our theory was that Pinoy cuisine isn't often well presented. We don't really make our food look good when we serve it, and there's that whole "if it isn't Tita's recipe/Ate's cooking then it isn't really Filipino food" mentality. Especially among the old.
However, in the last 20 years I've seen Pinoy cuisine become more popular not just in my hometown but even in places like Minneapolis.
There's fancy Pinoy BBQ and family style restaurants, Jollibee has locations in Canada now, and there's even several Pinoy bakeries and dedicated dessert shops.
I think there's a change coming. The young generations of Pinoy foodies like to cook for their friends, and Instagram gives small independent shops a lot of exposure.
Pinoy food fits that social centric style of eating, and personally I think that we have lots of fried foods, strong flavours, and sweets is in our favour.
I remember even when I was growing up, my friends loved ube and champurado after i brought it to school for a potluck.
Japanese and Korean food are "shiny and clean" and sometimes more approachable. But I think people are finding out that Pinoy food is fun, tasty, casual, and meant to be a fun experience.
And getting culinarily sheltered people to try Pinoy food can get dicey. Once someone learns about balut, there's no going back.
The shiny and clean is a restaurant standard which is what you're talking about. When filipinos do not present their food very well, that usually happens in street foods, cheap cafeterias, or just as a house cook meal but in restaurants, they are served in nice bowls, sizzling plates, garnish with a lot of fried garlic, spring onions and chilis that would actually make it look appetizing. But still though that's not what cnn is talking about. It's good to hear people starting to actually look at the other side of the cuisine instead of just generalizing but still if it's balut they're talking about, every other country also has their own exotic meal that doesn't even look good and sound gross just like eating insects in vietnam or maggot cheese in france or anything like that but they don't say their food is all about those
Yeah, I think it's a bit of a lag behind.
Filipino food is starting to become socially normal now. My parents were part of one of the big diasporas post-Marcos from the Philippines - nowadays, being Filipino-Canadian is as common as Vietnamese-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian (i. e. increasingly).
I think it's just a matter of time.
We just need to remember that for "western" consumers, the preferences of taste and presentation are different.
Like how "Orange Chicken" and "Butter Chicken" aren't really traditional Chinese or Indian dishes - they're just made "Americanized" to appeal to water audiences.
But in all honesty, I'm hearing more and more from my White coworkers that they're trying Filipino food, going to Jolibees (for the novelty more than the quality), and trying new dishes from Filipino friends.
Just like where I lived there's less racism now, I think it's just part of our neighbours starting to just learn more by virtue of us being in the space.
Personally I plan to hold regular BBQs with Pinoy dishes as a feature when I get a house with a yard.
Sharing food is one of the best ways to share our cultures, in my opinion. Doesn't matter your race, humans gotta eat.
You might find this interesting - DoorDash in my area recently added Filipino food as a category!