Everybody felt like victors after amassing food pile and finishing their fill during DBI’s Boodle Fight on a Friday night at the company headquarters. On November 19, 2016, the whole Datablazers team had a feel of the military dining experience. An improvised 18-feet table was loaded with Filipino food served on banana leaves – mouthwatering lechon de leche( small roasted pig), fried tilapia, tofu, ensalada with salted eggs plus ripe crunchy tomatoes, pork barbecue, and pansit. Eating fast with bare hands and grabbing as much food as you can was the so-called fight we had with fun.
Although most of us assumed that we just had to mark our own territories to never run out of food supply, the banquet commandants instructed the diners to take five to ten steps to their right after every seven to ten minute interval. That made the feast more enjoyable as everyone always took an aim at having their fill near the ‘lechon’.
Boodle Fight is known as a dining culture adopted by the Filipino armed forces. Huge amounts of food are generally served on banana leaves, which serve as the main platter. The dining style fosters equality and camaraderie as hungry soldiers of varying ranks partake of the same food after a tiring duty. Alongside the dining area are containers filled with water so diners could wash their hands before eating. One has to eat fast to regain strength because for soldiers, life at the battlefield is always uncertain. Eating with bare hands locally known as ‘magkamay’ or ‘magkamet’ is a common dining practice in several areas of the country and in other Asian cultures too.
Mealtime at DBI is always an enjoyed hour among coworkers. Oftentimes, employees would bring along packed lunch to work and share whatever food they have to other diners. Those in their respective departments are the ones who usually group together. Over lunch, we would discuss lighter and trivial matters to relieve ourselves from the serious work sphere for a while. Just like combatants on the frontline, we never know what to expect next, so we have to be satiated to sustain our energy throughout the entire shift.
The DBI Boodle Fight experience signifies deep regard for team spirit. That despite the demands of work deadlines and such, management and staff see to it that relations foster a unifying support system in the company.