Kinamot Kita!

A Filipino way of eating with bare hands.

How weird is it to eat food without the use of cutlery? Not only is it messy, but it also seems barbaric. However, it is a widespread practice in the Philippines and visitors from other countries enjoy the experience as it gets them closer to understanding the Filipino culture.

The Philippines is known for having diverse and multi-faceted customs and traditions, which survived colonialism and foreign occupation. This could be one of the reasons why people from other lands visit the country. They simply want to have a taste of the distinctive Filipino practices that make the archipelago a well-known tourist magnet. One of which is eating with your bare hands, or locally known as kamayan or kinamot. Others tend to get grossed out by this practice as it is grimy and seem to be an unrefined and an unhygienic habit. However, this custom has been a perfectly ordinary part of the Filipinos’ daily lives.

kamayan image


Kinamot is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation over the years. It makes the people feel more at home and comfortable in the company of their kins, promotes a stronger bond between friends, and advocates a healthier relationship among loved ones, as having meals together is considered to be an important routine in every Filipino household. Interestingly, it enhances the individual’s appetite towards food, as claimed by the locals, and wouldn’t be complete without using banana leaves as plates, for it adds aroma to the food.

The kinamot style of eating is pretty easy. All you have to do is mesh together a bit of rice and viand that should hold together as you pick them up with the tips of your fingers and thumb. The thumb will also be used to gently push the food into your mouth. You have to make sure that the food you meshed together isn’t too big to avoid choking. This method of eating is best with dry foods (fried or roasted), but not impossible when eating soup-based dishes.

Never forget to wash your hands before touching the food as eating without doing so is considered rude and completely unsanitary. Of course, this also goes without saying when you’ve finished eating.

Photo Credit: pagkilos ng kultura