By Patricia Anne Ocampo

Despite how close the 2022 National Elections are, some Filipinos remain unsure of which candidate to vote for, unaware of how to thoroughly inspect them and their attributes. However, there is nothing to fear, because your local snacks and dishes can fill your empty stomach while guiding you in examining the aspirants!

Here is a checklist of qualities that the ideal candidate should possess, courtesy of our local goods:

1. Hindi BALIMBING. (Not a turncoat.)

PHOTO: Youtube

Balimbing, also known as Carambola or Starfruit, is a fruit native to Southeast Asia. It is eaten either as a standalone snack, cooked as Champoy na Balimbing, or included in renowned sour dishes like Sinigang. However, the word has another meaning: Someone who takes multiple sides, or a traitor. During the election season, let the Balimbing remind you to vote for a candidate that will not betray your trust.

2. Hindi lang puro BOLA-BOLA. (Not full of bluff and flattery.)

PHOTO: PhilNews

Siopao, the Filipino rendition of the Cantonese steamed bun called Cha Siu Bao, is served in two flavors: asado and bola-bola. Asado refers to diced meat fillings, cooked in soy sauce and seasoned with salt and sugar. On the other hand, bola-bola refers to finely ground meat fillings mixed with egg and flour. However, it can also refer to excessive and insincere sweet talk, to cozy up to someone for selfish interests. Bola-bola is good as the food, but bola-bola from an aspirant… not as much.

3. Hindi DINUGUAN ang kamay. (Hands are not stained with blood.)

PHOTO: Youtube

Dinuguan is a stew dish composed of pork offal simmered in vinegar, chili, garlic, and pig blood. Its name is from the root word “dugo”, which means “blood”. When taken literally, the dish could mean “bled on.”

Dinuguan may be appealing as a meal, but a debt of blood in the hands of a future leader is not.

Last but not the least…

4. HALO-HALO ang pinaglilingkuran. (Serves a variety of people.)


Who doesn’t love halo-halo, especially in the middle of the summer heat? It is a cold dessert composed of a variety of sweet ingredients that battle against the high temperature. From the name itself, halo-halo means “mixed”, referring to its assorted elements. Let this sweet delicacy remind you that a good leader serves the diverse masses, rather than adding only one sector.

There you have the checklist of qualities to check and remember with the help of our favorite Filipino dishes. Which one is your favorite one? Do you have any to add? Share it below, and let us feed voter awareness through local food!

Edited by Quian Vencel Galut