Lugaw for Noche Buena? Pinoys question TasteAtlas’ Christmas Eve post

December 27, 2023 - 6:52 PM
A server pours "lugaw" (rice porridge) at an eatery along Scout Ybardolaza Street, Barangay Sacred Heart, Quezon City on April 1, 2021 (Philippine News Agency/Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

Some Filipinos were left wondering after TasteAtlas reported that the lugaw or the rice porridge in the Philippines is part of its Christmas Eve dishes.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, the food database on December 25 posted an infographic sharing meals from some countries as they anticipate Christmas.

It is still available on its X (formerly Twitter) account, which has the following caption:

“What’s served in your home on this Christmas Eve? Share with us photos of your Christmas Eve feast!”

Among the meals it listed was the Philippines’ lugaw.

The Facebook version of the post drew flak from some Pinoys who commented that they do not include the rice porridge in their respective Noche Buena feasts.

It also reached the X platform when a verified Filipino user reacted to the infographic.

“Sarap sampalin ng gumawa [nito]. LUGAW? Christmas dish? Hiyang-hiya spaghetti na gang [hanggang] three kings,” the user wrote, sharing a picture of the infographic.

The user was referring to the Feast of the Three Kings or the Feast of the Epiphany, which Catholics celebrate on January 6.

It officially marks the end of the Christmas Season in the country.

Meanwhile, another user commented that they have “never seen a Filipino family serving a pot of lugaw during Christmas feast.”

“Fix your data!” the user wrote in the replies to TasteAtlas’ post on the X platform.

“Sarado nga mga lugawan kapag December 24-26 tapos gagawin pang Christmas dish ‘yan?” another user commented.

“Ay grabe, lugaw talaga?! Pwede namang lechon, nagmamarunong gumawa nito or nang-aasar?!” exclaimed a different Pinoy, referring to a roasted suckling pig which is famous in Filipino gatherings.

“Kailan pa naging Christmas dish ang lugaw hahaha, baka pang petsa de peligro ‘yan,” another user commented, referring to a phrase commonly used when one has a dwindling cash supply, especially when one waits for payday.

A typical Noche Buena feast for Filipinos may include spaghetti, macaroni salad, fruit salad, hamon or ham, pancit, lechon, lumpiang ubod or shanghai, queso de bola and bibingka.

Other favorites are the mango graham float and the crema de fruta.

Lugaw is usually served after Simbang Gabi masses, when Pinoys are given warm dishes amid the cool atmosphere felt during these eucharistic celebrations — hours before dawn or in the evening.

While some may serve it in their households during Noche Buena, it is not the first thing that comes to Filipinos’ minds when they think of typical Christmas Eve dishes.