food trivia: “TAGAY” and “PULUTAN”

tagay

Tagay” simply means “cheers” or “to have more shots” of liquor! It is also called sometimes as “Inuman” which is the another Filipino term for “drinking session”. In the Philippines, “tagay” became a traditional custom for the Filipinos especially among men. It is usually done with peer groups or welcoming new friends and most of the times in welcoming a man to be the newest member of the family as he will marry one of the family’s daughter which is commonly initiated by the father or the brothers of the soon to be bride.

beer

It is being practiced in a manner where the drinkers will sit around the table and take turns drinking the alcohol from only one glass or shot glass. The “tanggero” also seats among the drinkers within the circle, and is the one responsible for opening the bottle and pouring the alcohol in the glass for the drinkers… and that’s in circling order as well. The participant drinker can say “pass”, if he or she thinks that the alcohol is already taking effects on him or her. Effects such as dizziness, feels like puking, or simply not sober anymore in his or her behavior. While to lessen the effects of alcohol among the drinkers, they have “chasers” with them on the table. “Chasers” are anything liquid that can minimize the taste of alcohol in the mouth and was drunk after swallowing the liquor. Some of these chasers are juices, iced tea, sodas or softdrinks, or even plain cold water. Others prefer to have hot soup for comfort. Some folks wanted to have their own glass or bottle of light alcoholic drink or a simple “jack coke” cocktail which is a combination of cola and small amount of brandy if they already knew by themselves that they cannot handle heavy drinking and they just wanted to be in the circle of drinkers for companionship.

PULUTAN

sisig

“Sizzling Sisig”

mani

“Mani”

Of course, “tagayan sessions” wouldn’t be complete without the “pulutan” on the table.  “Pulutan” is any solid food served with the liquors on the table with the same purpose as the chaser’s. It is usually eaten once in a while and in between drinks just to lessen  and beat the taste and effects of alcohol in the mouth. Common “pulutans” usually tastes sweet, salty, chilli hot or flavorful. Examples are “mani” or nuts and “sizzling sisig”, to name a few.

Moreover, out of my curiosity, I’ve tried joining this drinking session though I really don’t drink. And I found out that its not really the taste of the beer or any alcohol that lures the drinker to always join the “tagay“… but, the sharing of life stories, jokes, good times, and companionship that goes along while drinking. Aside from the fact, that you’ll feel free to express what’s on your mind and that you’ll have an outlet on what you wanted to say without too much hesitation. To simplify it, it’s liberating to speak your mind when you’re drunk. Yet, still sober enough to handle yourself as the alcohol take its effect on you.

Actually, drinking is fun if done with good shares of talk and gaining new friends and not igniting fights and causing physical and emotional harm to anyone. Cheers… and drink moderately!

Photos by: Sukito San

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