A P2-worth porridge being sold in Valenzuela City is gaining traction online.
Last July 2, a food blogger with the username @manuel_olazo from the video-sharing app, Tiktok, featured “Mang Romy’s Lugawan” in one of his posts.
@manuel_olazo ₱ 2 NA LUGAW! #mangromyslugawan #foodieph #foodtiktokph #foodie #foodtiktok #phoodtour #fypシ #trending #trendingph ♬ Na Na Na – BINI
“Meron pa palang maabot ang dalawang piso,” the blogger said in the Tiktok video which has now garnered more than 523,000 likes and 3,732 comments, as of writing.
“Mang Romy,” known locally by his customers, began serving porridge in 1974.
Over the years
This was not the first time Mang Romy gained popularity online.
In 2010, a Facebook fan page was dedicated to “support and advertise” his porridge shop.
Through a number of posts—and occasionally even through memes—it advertises the P2 porridge and its supplemental tokwa’t baboy.
The fan page now has 8,422 followers.
Another Facebook page, One Valenzuela featured Mang Romy’s Lugawan in 2019, through a photo of Mang Romy’s shop.
“#Throwback: May kwentong Mang Romy’s Lugawan ka rin ba?,” the post reads.
“Mang Romy’s Lugawan. Takbuhan ng [nagugutom] na walang [budget],” a Filipino user commented under the post.
“Namiss ko ‘to promise! Lugaw na 2 pesos plus dila at pinagputulan!!!,” another online user exclaimed.
Given the state of the economy today, many Filipinos wonder if Mang Romy does not suffer financial losses due to his inexpensive porridge.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the headline inflation rate was at 6.1% in June 2022.
READ: Philippine inflation near 4-year high, cements prospect of more rate hikes
Tiktok user, @don.soriano, who “mentors employees to start their own business,” explained in a video that Mang Romy still generates income because of the loss leader marketing strategy.
Corporate Finance Institute defines this as “an aggressive pricing strategy in which a store prices its goods below cost to stimulate sales of other, profitable goods.”
In the case of Mang Romy, aside from porridge, he also sells tokwat’ baboy and other consumable goods, which could also give him profit.
In a March 2021 Facebook post, the National Quincentennial Committee said that “lugaw” is one of the “earliest documented foods of our ancestors.”