MANILA, Philippines - If the "grass is always greener" in California, the "foods are always better" in the Philippines.
Filipino Foods, a parody of popular electropop song California Gurls, is a song that raves about Filipino dishes -- from the "unforgettable" lumpia (spring rolls) and lechon baboy (roast pig) to the "undeniable" fried fish with tomatoes.
Replacing Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg in the music video are balikbayans who call themselves Don Angelo and Cristian Garcia.
True to the song's theme, they wore shirts that read "Always Gutom (hungry)" and "Sinigang (a sour soup with meat or seafood)."
"You could travel the wo-orld, but nothing comes close to chicken adobo. If you party with u-us, you'll be eating a lot, whoa ah oh ah oh ah oh," Don Angelo sang.
For his part, Garcia rapped, "Oh man sh*t I'm ready. Cook some rice 'cause I'm really hungry. Wow, wow let's toast, these are the foods I love the most."
The music video was a hit among Internet users, particularly Filipinos abroad who crave for some home-cooked meals. As of 2:28 p.m. on October 14, Filipino Foods has 392,412 hits and over a thousand comments.
"WOW!!! Real Authentic!!! Sobra, nakaka-gutom naman (This made me really hungry)!!! Job well done, kababayan!!!" said YouTube user JudoBums.
Added user homerbulos, "Nothing beats sisig (chopped parts of a pig's head fried and served on a sizzling platter) in Pampanga, inasal (grilled chicken) in Bacolod, lechon in Cebu, bagnet (deep-fried pork meat) in Ilocos and halo-halo in Manila!"
Time to shine
Locals and balikbayans may find Filipino food tasty, but it remains unrecognized in some parts of the globe.
This was observed by netizens who viewed the Filipino Foods video, with one of them saying, "Sadly, the only people in the world who like Filipino foods are Filipinos only."
Veteran chef Gene Gonzalez and his movement for contemporary Filipino cuisine, the Alta Cocina Filipina, has long felt the same way.
He believes that the country's traditional dishes should be made more dynamic so the Philippines can keep up with the cuisines of other countries, and eventually stand out.
"We have all these islands. We have all these products. We should discover all these that our neighbors are using now that we have all the infrastructure for communication, for transportation and food preservation," Gonzalez said. (Read story here.)
He continued, "We should try to rediscover all these Filipino products together and come up with a truly national cuisine."
In line with this goal, Gonzalez and Alta Cocina Filipina are developing books and recipes that promote Filipino cuisine.
The chef hopes that one day, people can learn how to appreciate the Philippines' own dishes and cook "along the Filipino line of thought." Lucky for him, he may be one step closer to achieving this thanks to the Filipino Foods music video.
"Now, who wants some more? Put your hands up! Ako ako ako..."
All photos from the "Filipino Foods" video