Old favorites don’t fade; and so the lowly tosino, longganisa and other all-time Pinoy comfort foods shine in the roster of products the Philippines shipped to the UAE in 2015, accounting for $605,000 or nearly 20 percent of the total exports.
Eric C. Elnar
Back in the Philippines, tosino (processed meat), and longganisa (Pinoy-style bologna) are staples on the dining table. Most Filipinos grew up with these all-time favorites which, at times, could be bought on installment from their school teachers selling these food products to augment their relatively small keeps.
And so Pinoys have longsilog, a combo meal of longganisa, fried rice and fried egg; tosilog, tosino, fried rice and fried egg; even bangsilog, fried milk fish and the works.
“One thing I’ve observed here in the UAE,” said Commercial Attaché Eric C. Elnar, head of the Philippine Consulate General’s Trade and Investment Center, “is that the Filipino community here still maintain strong ties to our home country.”
“Owing probably to the temporary nature of our stay here, we do not cast our Pinoy identities and assimilate fully to local practices,” he said, adding that “this is less pronounced in places where we can migrate and gain citizenship, where most Filipinos tend to develop a preference to local food and forget their roots.”
Elnar said “this loyalty to our food is one of the trends that drives the growth of Filipino Food exports to the UAE.”
He said processed foods also include canned meat and canned seafood, condiments, snack food.
Philippine exports to the UAE totalled $313.12 million in 2015. Electronics topped the list at 28.63 percent or $896 million. There are approximately one million Filipinos in the UAE with Dubai home to almost half the number, officials said.